Unesco World Heritage Site

Nachi Falls

Hike to Nachi Falls

I hike to the incredible cliff-diving Nachi Waterfall to witness its wild beauty. The Sanjūdō Pagoda in front of the falls creates one of the most beautiful scenes in Japan. The tall waterfall boasts the longest drop in Japan. One can drink the flowing spring water, supposed to have healing abilities, from the falls at the Shrine directly below.

Today I went back to Wakayama to explore Nachisan and capture the iconic view of Sanjudo Pagoda in front of the Nachi Falls or Nachi-no-taki as it is known locally After the exploits of my first outing on my own to Shirahama, I was much more confident today Shirahama was an amazing experience with the thrilling Sandanbeki Cliffs, the lovely Shirahama Beach and the most stunning sunset at Engetsu Nachi Falls ([那智の滝) in Nachikatsuura, Wakayama is one of the best-known waterfalls in Japan It is said to be the highest single drop waterfall in the country at 133 m The mountain is also popular for Kumano Nachi Taisha, Seiganto-ji Temple, Sanjudo
New Year at Todaiji

Ringing in the new year at Todai-ji

We decided to do something different this new year eve. We walked down to Todaiji at midnight to usher in the new year with the blessings of the great Daibutsu. For it is only during New Year eve that the upper doors, in front of the face of the Great Buddha, are opened so all can witness the eyes of the Daibutsu.

We decided to do something different this new year eve We walked down to Todai-ji at midnight to usher in the new year with the blessings of the great Daibutsu Todai-ji is the largest of the Seven Great Temples of Nara and one of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara“ The roads were lit and the streets were empty Nothing new for someone who has lived in Nara even for a short amount of time Once we reached the Nara Park area, we could see some families walking towards the temple A group of deer were gathered under the street lights We came across some deer while walking towards Todaiji The narrow
Heijo Palace

The majestic Heijo Palace

I used to go past the Heijo Palace every time we used to drop in at Osaka. It used to look so beautiful in the night from the train. We finally went to the palace grounds today, to capture its majestic view. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Heijo Palace used to be the emperor’s residence when Nara was the capital of Japan in the 8th century.

While I was living in Nara, Kyoto used to be one of my favourite places to hang out during the weekends Unless I had a JR Pass lying around, I would generally take the Kintetsu local line from Nara to Kyoto On-route, the train line passes through a wide stretch of paddy fields with a beautiful building standing majestically at the Heijo Palace site As the local train used to run past the heritage building, it used to captivate me each time, especially during my late-evening rides Today I took out some time to explore the Palace grounds and capture its majestic persona, which at one point of time, used to be
Todai-ji

Todai-ji : Home of Buddha

One cannot but feel tiny in front of Todaiji, home to the world’s largest bronze Buddha, housed in the colossal Daibutsuden Hall. Constructed in 752 AD as the head temple of all provincial Buddhist temples, it rose to become one of the most powerful temple in Japan, guarded by the fierce Sohei warrior monks.

Today we went for a walk to Nara Park to explore the age-old Buddhist temple of Todai-ji (東大寺) Once the most powerful temple in all of Japan, guarded by the fierce Sohei warrior monks, its phenomenal rise eventually forced the Emperor to shift their capital from Nara to Kyoto to stop its growing influence After a long week of dull cloudy days, the sun was finally shining through It was a Monday and I was hoping the crowd would be less compared to the weekends The last time we were at the park, it was late in the evening and the temple hall had closed down for the day Shrines and temple in Japan
Yakushi-ji

Exploring the Yakushi-ji Temple

I took the Nara Kotsu bus to explore the 7th century temple of Yakushi-ji in the suburbs of Nara. Known as the Temple of Medicine, Yakushi-ji is among Unesco’s list of “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara” World Heritage Site.

After spending a couple of hours in the peaceful gardens of Toshodai-ji, I walked down to Yakushi-ji using Google Maps as my guide It led me along a narrow path along a Canal The water flowing in the Canal was sparkling clear I cannot in my wildest dream think of such clean flowing water in Kolkata (my hometown) I trudged along the path at a leisurely pace At the first intersection, I asked a traffic cop for directions who directed me towards the gate of the temple While walking towards the Yakushi-ji temple, I happened to see a lovely courtyard on my right and I went in to take a look
Kofuku-ji Temple in Nara

Photo Walk to Kofuku-ji

Mani’s got classes today, so I ran off by myself to take a closer look at the beautiful temples of Kofuku-ji, some of which are said to be from as early as 700 CE.

Kofuku-ji is both a landmark and a symbol of Nara It used to be the family temple of the Fujiwara, the most powerful family clan during much of the Nara and Heian Periods The temple originally is said to have contained almost 150 buildings in its premises, but only a few have survived, and most rebuilt over the years I had a quick breakfast at the Nara University cafeteria and head off to Kofuku-ji on foot using the narrow lanes The route I love to go to Kofuku-ji is via the Sanjo-dori It is the happening street in the area with hundreds of shops selling souvenirs and local delicacies There is always a buzz along the
Hampi

The lost city of Hampi

Hampi is an ancient city on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. It used to be the capital of the Vijaynagara Empire where music, art and sculpture flourished. Join me on an exploration of over 300 exquisitely designed stone temples and palaces of a vanished civilization.

Today we walk among the ruins of an ancient kingdom that time forgot The rise and fall of Hampi Hampi is an ancient city on the banks of the Tungabhadra River in Hospet taluka of Bellary district in Karnataka Granite boulders of varying sizes dominate the landscape, distributed as piles of smooth spherical rocks The former capital of Vijayanagara Empire and known as the City of Victory, the city is a sea of more than 1600 stone structures spread over an area of 25 square kilometers Once South India’s wealthiest and most powerful cities, it was sacked in 1565 by the armies of the Bahamani sultanates For years, the city lay abandoned

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