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Video: Meera Loves Boxes

When we go for a walk and Meera sees a cardboard box in someone’s trash, she wants it. One time she made me carry a big water-heater box back home. With some box cutters, duck tape, paint, binder clips and a big dose of Meera’s creativity, we made a Rocket Ship!

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Jñana Yoga or Karma Yoga, a difficult choice

pics of sadhu and lady at Panchavati Nashik by Arun Shanbhag

At the ghats in Panchavati, Nāshik, I was intrigued by this sādhu pondering the mysteries of sat and asat, while a lady was busy washing her cooking utensils. Verily a juxtaposition of the paths of Jñāna yoga and Karma Yoga. Which path to follow? This is a difficult decision for many to make. If you […]

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Neelkanteshwar Mahadev Mandir, Panchavati, Nashik

Neelkanteshwar Mandir, Panchavati, Nashik

Panchavati is an amazing city with some very ancient and beautiful temples, and some very big problems of governance. The sacred temples get easily overshadowed by the trash everywhere and the lack of respect for the sanctity of this place. And it was not even the Kumbha mela. This tiny temple, the Neelkanteshwar Mahadev Mandir […]

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Krishna Muth Udupi, Hanuman Shrine

Photos at Hanuman Shrine at the Shri Krishna Muth, Udupi, Karnataka by

Inside the Krishna Muth, Udupi, there are many shrines to different deities. One of the first along the corridor is the Hanuman Shrine. A small group of devotees were singing bhajans there. The light streaking through the door and tall windows lit the singers in a golden hue. I sat inside for a few minutes […]

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Krishna Muth, Udupi

Photos of multiple rathas outside the Krishna Muth udupi Karnataka by Arun Shanbhag

After a long hiatus, I recently returned to the Shri Krishna Muth in Udupi, Karnataka. What a joyous, uplifting experience it was getting darshan of BālaKrishna (child Krishna). The temple and seminary were founded by Sant Madhavāchārya, in the late 13th century; it has since become the center of Krishna bhakti and Dvaita Philosophy. It […]

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Peigutso Lake towards Saga

photos of Peigutso Lake in Tibet by Arun Shanbhag

Kailash Manasarovar Yatra, Day 6: Peigutso Lake (4,400 m; 14,436 ft) on the Tibetan Plateau (noticed this in my private posts; edited and posted in Dec 2014) After lunch and pics of local kids, we headed west along a ravine and climbed a pass. There before us was the serenely beautiful Peigutso Lake. Overcast skies […]

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Lunch & Chanting at Saraswati Vidya Kendra

photos of kindergarten tudents eating lunch at Saraswati Vidya Kendra Kumta by Arun Shanbhag

I have previously written about the mid-day school lunch at the Shanbhag High School and the primary Saraswati Vidya Kendra in Kumta. When I visited Kumta earlier this year, I took a few video snippets of students lining up for lunch and the KG students chanting the blessing. At the Konkan schools, teachers too have […]

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Kini Hotel, Kumta

pics of chai and breakfast at Kini Hotel Kumta by Arun Shanbhag

This tiny tea shop in Kumta is my main eating and meeting place in Kumta. It’s in the main paent (market) and only a few steps from the Shanteri Kamakshi Devasthan and the Venkatraman Muth/Devasthan.

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Kumta Street Vegetables

photos of fresh vegetable vendors on Kumta Street by Arun Shanbhag

In the Kumta market, these women set up shop early in the morning before the crowds got there. Those vegetables look so delicious! It was March, so the variations of brinjals/eggplants were in season. You will also find konkani classics padwal, ghosalae, muLi (radish), tambdi bhaji (red leaves), vaaLi (green creeper leaves), muggae, karate, maskaa […]

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Pālki at the Rāmnāthi Devasthān

photos of Ramnath and Kamakshi in Palki at Ramnathi Devasthan by Arun Shanbhag

Hindus believe that all things animate and in-animate (manifest or unmanifest) are part of the universal divine consciousness. We generally refer to this divine consciousness as “That”, because any attribute you give it is limiting (see Sant Tulsidas’ beautiful verse describing “That” divine consciousness; also this post on Dwija). In common parlance, we refer to […]

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Pyāsā – Soda at Rāmnāthi

Photos of the Soda store owner at the Neeta Canteen by the Ramnathi Devasthan Goa by Arun Shanbhag

During Maha Shivratri, as I waited for a rickshaw outside the Ramnathi Devasthan, I shot pics of colorful soda bottles arrayed in crates. The hovering owner felt neglected and offers, “Maegel bhī photo kād” (take a pic of me too). I obliged. I loved the confident pose he struck in front of the red wall. […]

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Agniteertham in Rāmeshwaram

photos from Agniteertham in Rameshwaram by Arun Shanbhag

Just in time for Ram Navami Visiting the island of Rameshwaram is considered a most auspicious pilgrimage; here Hindus pay their respects to Ramnathaswamy (Shiva) and it is one of 12 sacred Jyotirlingams.

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Honavar Bunder

Photos of the Honavar Bunder by Arun Shanbhag

When we were kids, Honavar Bunder was an intriguing place. We’d spend all morning just hanging around the folks mending nets and running around upturned boats. The fishing boats fished at the estuary with the Arabian sea and usually came in just around lunch. If you had the patience for a late lunch, you could […]

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MahāShivrātri at Rāmnāthi

Photos of MahaShivaratri Festival at Ramnathi Goa by Arun Shanbhag

|| Om Namah Shivay || Wishing you all an auspicious Maha Shivratri More on the Ramnathi Devasthan Goa: Pālki at the Rāmnāthi Ramnathi Devasthan, A Konkani Temple Goa, Visiting Ramnathi Dassara: Celebrating Devi’s Grace Flower sellers at the Ramnathi Devasthan Buddha’s Tooth, Peter’s Bones and Jesuits Pope’s Hypocrisy Sacred Places: Avalanche of Christian Aid in […]

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Picture: Thali in Puducherry

Photos of Thali Riceplate at Anand Bhavan in Puducherry Pondicherry India by Arun Shanbhag

Thali (Riceplate) at the Anand Bhavan in Puducherry, India

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Buddha’s Tooth, Peter’s Bones and Jesuit Pope’s Hypocrisy

pic of Buddha from the RijksMuseum posted by Arun Shanbhag

Circa 1560 CE Portuguese forces based in Goa, India, raided the town of Jaffnapatam, Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka). They looted the temples and pagodas and torched the town. One of the items they stole was a reliquary containing a tooth of Buddha – the Enlightened One. The Buddhist community was distraught and the King […]

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Hanumant Devasthan, Bhatkal

pics from the Hanumant Devasthan temple in Bhatkal Karnataka by Arun Shanbhag

In a spotless white dhoti, a white jhabba and a topi covering his pate, my abbu (grandfather) would stride purposefully to his pharmacy store in the Bhatkal (in rural Karnataka) paent every morning. Clutched under his left arm was an old-fashioned, wood handled umbrella, the black fabric faded by the south indian sun. When he […]

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Shingnāpur Temple to Shani (Saturn)

pics from the Shanishingnapur temple for Saturn by Arun Shanbhag

Saturn has an outsized effect on the Earth; screen grab from Sky Walk app on iPhone The gravitational pull of the moon causes the seas and oceans to bulge outwards resulting in tides, which affect all life on earth in dramatic ways. (Note: Latest research shows Moon phases also affect sleep cycles in Humans.) Vedic […]

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Gupta Chikki – Yummy Candy

Pictures of Lego Minifigures enjoying Peanut Chikki by Arun Shanbhag

Growing up in Mumbai, chikkis were our treats. Local kirana dukkan (stores) had a assortment of chikkis available for a pittance. Chikkis are the traditional Indian candy bars before there were candy bars. PiPi (fennel candy) was our other delicacy. The simplest chikki’s are roasted peanuts in a gooey, crunchy slab of jaggery (see Making […]

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Ram Navami – battle against terror continues

Frieze of Shri Ram killing Ravana at the Khetapai Narayana Temple in Bhatkal by Arun Shanbhag

Wishing All A Wonderful Rām Navamī Bliss in Śri Rām’s Grace M&m and A The frieze above is from the outer wall of Khetapai Narayan Temple in Bhatkal, which I recently visited. This tiny stone temple was built ca 1546 when Konkani traders escaped Portuguese persecution in Goa and settled in Bhatkal. The Bhatkal port […]

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Murals by Mario at Madgaon Train Station

pictures of Murals by Mario at Madgaon Station, Goa by Arun Shanbhag

I am a creature of habit. On every visit to Goa, I follow a similar routine. First I commune with our kuldevata at the Shanteri Kamakshi Ramnath Devasthan in Ponda, then I may get a cup of Chai or two at the local canteen. Perhaps visit the nearby Mahalakshmi Devasthan and the Mangeshi Devasthan; and […]