Viki Pandit
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Like most, I also want to save our dying planet, but I can see now the darkness that envelopes it will not allow it. We say we live in the times of peace. It is but an illusion as we sit over enough arsenal to destroy our planet 10 times over. So I go wandering and sharing stories of the beauty that still remains of this unique, unique planet.

Sunrise at White Rann

I would be the last person to get up at 5 am on a vacation. But I did and yes I am not complaining. I was witness to the most lovely sunrise over the white melted salts of White Rann. The silence accompanied with the vastness of space, the cool breeze of early November and the locals dressed up in ghagra & cholis make this moment a feast for my disenchanted urban soul.

Ride to Kalo Dungar

We ride out deep into the desert to explore Kalo Dungar also known as the Black Hill. Kalo Dungar is the highest point in Kutch and the best place to enjoy a panoramic view of the amazing Rann of Kutch. Though not literally black, the hill is known so because in olden times, the merchants returning to Kutch from Sindh used to be guided by this lonesome hill in the grim desert, which used to appear black because of the shadow cast by the sun.

Sunset at White Rann

Nothing beats a sunset and that too at the endless desert of White Rann. While basking in the beautiful sunset the only thought that grazed my mind was this, right here..is one of the “Real” 7 wonders of the world.

The forgotten tombs of Chattardi

Chattardi in Bhuj is a small yet wonderful place to experience the history of Kutch. These Chattardis or umbrella shaped domes were built around 1770 AD to glorify the tombs of the Royal families of Rajput lineage. Surrounded by sea on one size and the grim Rann mountains on the other, Kutch remained cut off from the rest of India, in a time-wrapped cocoon with its amazing culture and art confined within these natural boundaries.

The Stone Sculptures of Veerabhadra Temple

Today we ride to a 16th century temple in Lepakshi. Hidden away in the suburbs of Andra Pradesh, this small town was sufficiently influenced by the stone sculptures of Vijayanagar Empire and includes a huge monolithic bull that sits staring at the Temple.

Terracotta Temples of Bishnupur

We drive deep into rural Bengal to witness the exquisite terracotta temples of Bishnupur. These extensively decorated temples were created during the 17th century using only baked mud and have somehow managed to survive the ravages of time.

Photowalk to Ukimido Pavilion

While on my evening walk today, I dropped in at Ukimido Pavilion. Umikido is a hexagonal gazebo over the Sagiike Pond in an aloof area of Nara Park. During summer evenings the floating pavilion is illuminated and it feels very relaxing sitting in the center of the pond surrounded by enchanting lights.

The thrilling Tojinbo Cliffs

Tojinbo Cliffs enjoy the dubious distinction of being the most loved suicide spot in Japan. For the wandering souls like me, the enthralling, rugged cliffs eroded by the raging waves of the Sea of Japan combined with the mesmerizing sunset is certainly more than likely to cause skipped heartbeats.

Bon Odori at Kobe Harbour

Mani & I took the train to Kobe to check out the stunning illuminated harbor but we were sucked into the Bon Odori festivities happening on the same day. Food and beer stalls were everywhere. Surrounded by a sea of Kimono clad couples, on a small wooden stage, a group of lovely ladies were dancing to traditional music. It was great fun watching this 500-year-old tradition that is celebrated yearly to honor the spirits of their ancestors.

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