Feeling like Cleopatra!

Imagine yourself  in this beautiful hairdo, perched oh-so-elegantly on your head…

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followed by this absolutely stunning neck piece, just closely embracing your neck …

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right down to sandals made out of solid gold, complete with golden finger and toe nails!

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And I am quite sure nothing is going to stop you from feeling like royalty (irrespective of whatever outfit you are wearing)

In awe of Egyptian art and attention to detail…

 

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Legend of the Hidimba Temple (Built in 1553)

The Hidimba Temple is located in Manali, famous resort town in Himachal Pradesh. This ancient temple situated at the foot of the Himalayas, in a forest of cedar trees is said to have been built in the year 1553.

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This is probably the sight you would see as you walked through the forest flanked by huge deciduous trees. A three-tiered structure that almost looks like a house. The deity is believed to be a part of a huge rock cut out of the ground around which this structure was built.

TRIVIA

The most surprising feature of the temple or what believers could call the most reassuring feature of the temple is the fact that inside the temple the imprint of the feet of the Godess carved on a block of stone are worshipped and if you go to Google Satellite and zoom into the area where the temple is located, you can clearly see the imprint of a giant foot spanning across the valley in the area near the temple. It’s thumb starts from where Google shows the Manali Heights hotel to be located and the rest of the foot goes all the way down the slope.” – Wikipedia

WHO IS HIDIMBA DEVI?

Hidimba Devi, is a character from the great epic Mahabharatha. Who was she? The mother of Gatothkacha (The Giant Asura – son of Bhima) and devoted wife to Bhima ( one of the five Pandavas, known for his extreme strength in combat.)

WHAT WAS THE LEGEND?

The Pandavas along with their mother, Kunti Devi  and wife Draupadi were wandering through the forests during course of the exile. Having arrived at this very forest the women in the group felt very tired and decided to halt for the night. Having climbed one of the huge deodars, Bhima looked around and decided it was safe enough for them to spend the night there.

As was common – the brothers took turns at keeping vigil while the others slept. When it was Bhima’s turn to keep watch – he spotted a very attractive woman walking towards him in the middle of the night. While the gallant Pandava asked her if she required any help, the beautiful woman begged him no end to leave the place immediately, for fear of their safety.

Not being one to give in to fear – Bhima asked her to explain herself. The young woman Hidimba told him the truth ” I am a man-eating Rakshasi (demon) staying with my brother. My brother has decided to kill you all this night and devour you. Please do go away as soon as possible. I have come in guise of a mortal to warn you”.

The courageous Pandava replied ” Fair maiden, thank you for having warned us. But I assure you, it your brother who has to be warned against us and not the other way around. I refuse to disturb my tired mother and brothers as they sleep so peacefully in order to humor your brother”

By this time Hidimba’s brother had tracked her down, and was furious that she had sought to warn the humans, mere mortals. Needless to say – a huge battle ensued. Trees were uprooted, violence galore as man and demon met face to face.

Trees  of this size are believed to have been uprooted during the battle.

Trees of this size are believed to have been uprooted during the battle.

Finally Bhima overpowered the Asura and killed him. The gentle Hidimba, having fallen in love with the strong and brave Bhima asked him to marry her. Bhima agreed, on the one condition that he will stay with her until a son is born to her after which he will join his brothers to complete the 13-year exile. The son – who was born later on was the gigantic and gentle Gatothkacha. His is another story to be told later. Thus ends the legend of the Hidimba Devi temple.

THE TEMPLE UP CLOSE

Sculptures and carving show the level of intricacy in detail even as far back as the mid 1500′s.

The carvings are believed to be 400 years old!

The carvings are believed to be 400 years old!

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While some people just pray to the Godess as the “Hill Godess” a legend and a story woven into the history always makes it more memorable – I think. I leave you now, with a final view of the temple.

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Posted in Life In India, Misc, Nature, Photo stories, Photos, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Have you met these people today?

Mathangi Jeypal:

Read it after a long time… Still holds good :)

Originally posted on Mathangi Jeyabaul:

Well, almost everyone feels stressed at the end of the day. Crazy commutes, Pressure to meet deadlines, Family commitment, – but nothing saps your energy like people, their ability to push your buttons, and ‘politics’. Many a person has quit their job because they could not handle the politics, or because someone else’s psyche was far stronger than their own. Or stayed quiet at school or at home – because you just did not want to get into an argument with them. I’ve met a few annoying types – tell me if you’ve met them too!

1. The Do-gooder (DG): Do not take this term at face value for the do-gooder is not the person who does good things for people. In fact this person has done everything much better than you have! Excerpts from a dialogue between DG and Me:


Me : Sniff! Sniff! I seem to…

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Stained Beauty – yet Perfect !

Stained glass paintings never fail to impress. They are vibrant yet not gaudy, silent and yet speak volumes…. I hope you all enjoy these beautiful works of art, snapped at the Met Museum, NY.

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Blue and Gold

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Caught her mid way as she was sliding gracefully within the space allotted for her… Almost looks diaphanous as though she might just disappear into the royal blue in a whiff of smoke!

Beauty in blue and gold!

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The many faces of Lady Liberty

A couple of months back I did get to visit Lady Liberty. And though denied the regular visit to the Island (Thanks to renovations due to Sandy), I still went on a ferry ride and went berserk with my camera.  Here are some of them.

1. The sky, the clouds and she…

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2. A side profile you can see

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3. A bad day at New York maybe? 

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 4. This one focuses on just her and her individuality

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5. Symbol of freedom for eternity

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6. Did you take time to get to know her personally ?

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Do tell me, which one spoke to you at least slightly? :) 

Posted in A penny for my thoughts, Expressions, Just pics, Photos, Poems and Creative writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Parents, siblings,friends,spouse – strangers

In the past 4 months of 2013  -  I have heard 4 similar stories , almost one for each month – that of estrangement of relations. One was between a very close brother and sister, the other between a  mother and her son, the third between a girl and her long term love who married someone else suddenly, and the fourth a divorce. Most people exhibited common feelings of betrayal, confusion and anger. What I have attempted to do – as an observer -is to just filter out the top 3 feelings that I felt most of them encountered.

ego

3. Ego -  “Relationships never die a natural death, they are killed by Ego, misunderstanding  and lack of trust” . Most of us would have come across this quote at some point. Most of the people I spoke to – lost out on a relationship, because they kept waiting for the other person to initiate a call, or apologize or something that they decided the other person must do or vice-versa. Needless to say, with this conviction grows a chasm too large to cross. Well, if you think the relationship is important – then the logic of fair/ unfair has to take a back seat. Bury the ego and save what is important.

2. Taken for granted -tfgThis was the other negative emotion that came up during most of my talks about relationships gone bad. Parents felt they were being taken for granted, same goes for wives, brothers , mothers… the person who felt victimized at the end of it. While most of them talked themselves into looking at it as the closeness or lack of boundaries that their relationship had erased, definitely felt used and felt that they had NO role whatsoever in the other person’s life. This feeling of pain and hurt was a trigger to ending the relation, or unwillingness to patch up the relationship. Nothing is worth your unhappiness. If you can, walk away before it causes you more pain. You have the choice. Chances are you will feel more relieved than guilty. choice

1.Lack of Self-respect and thereby low self-esteem-

selfesteemmThis was the top emotion that came out during discussions. The feeling of estrangement and distance that one felt with a loved one, became much deeper when people viewed it as a lack of self-respect. They regretted the time invested in it, the mind share one devoted, the power you give a loved one over your feelings and emotions and how it felt when all these emotions were trashed by their loved one! And with it a lot of guilt. “Maybe it was my fault. ” “I am such a loser.” ” Did I not do enough?”

Well here is some good news.

Truer words never said

Truer words never said

Obviously dealing with a lot of negative thought can make you feel as though ,all these social and familial relations are just not worth it.

Like the good man says...

Like the good man says…

But a little distance between people, a few rules and regulations, and lots of comfort with yourself would probably help reduce the feeling of validation we seek from our close ones, thereby giving them infinite power over our happiness. A bit more self worth and a little less emotion – that should be the key to get out of this vicious cycle.

love yourself

Best of luck all! 

Posted in A penny for my thoughts, Misc, Parents and Children, Life and death | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments