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 established in 1662 on the Ram Kund demonstrates the confluence of urban growth, apathy and the sacred. In dire need of the Swachh Bhārat Abhiyan. Continue reading “Neelkanteshwar Mahadev Mandir, Panchavati, Nashik”

Meera at the Harvard Art Museum

pictures from the Harvard Art Museum Cambridge by Arun Shanbhag

For many years, Harvard’s Fogg Museum showcasing a beautiful collection of 19th century French and American art, was one of my favorite past-times in Boston. Harvard also hosted a unique Degas at Harvard exhibition – Degas: Of Dancers and Bathers. A few years ago, Harvard undertook a major renovation of the Fogg Museum, expanded it, and brought together collections from the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Arthur Sackler Museum and Fogg Museum. This was my first visit to the renovated and renamed Harvard Art Museums with Meera as a curious companion. Thankfully, they did not change the main layout and courtyard, but extended the side wings and added a Louvre-style, roof top glass pyramid.

Meera had a wonderful time reading the layout map and leading me from section to section. She was particularly intrigued and recognized the portraits of American Presidents. Obviously this first grader thought all the renaissance paintings with scantily clad women were “gross”. She was terrified of peering into the courtyard from the upper level verandahs. This is not the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum and I was not expecting a plethora of Indian art – they had a 13th century Chola bronze of Shri Rām, a few pieces of Buddha and other miscellaneous artwork.

We had a wonderful meal at the cafe and ended our visit at the gift shop – Meera’s favorite. She did say she liked the Harvard Museum of Natural History better and I promised her a return trip this week.

This day I loved this work by the 16th century, Italian Baroque painter, Orazio Gentileschi – Virgin and the Sleeping Christ; see how kindly she shields the child with her diaphanous veil.

pictures from the Harvard Art Museum Cambridge by Arun Shanbhag
Orazio Gentileschi – Virgin with Sleeping Christ, 1610


Meera at the Cape

pics photos of beach at the Chatham Bars Inn Cape Cod by Arun Shanbhag
The views were soothing

Meera was thrilled to be visiting the Cape. She looked forward to this all spring and finally it happened. The weather was perfect – warm days and cool nights. She loved the Lighthouse, collecting shells on the beach, playing in the pool, catching up with friends, soccer on the beach, scoping seals lazing on sand bars, riding the boat and toasting marshmallows by the bon fire. As in earlier times, the food was spectacular. Overall, a great time.

The lighthouse is beautiful.

pics photos of Lighthouse at the Chatham Bars Inn Cape Cod by Arun Shanbhag
Lighthouse at Chatham

Roofers in Arlington

Robert Farina Roofers in Arlington pics by Arun Shanbhag

This was a hardworking bunch of six roofers in four trucks, who descended on our house very early on a Saturday. After a busy day of climbing, covering, pulling, scraping, hauling, balancing, brushing, taping, nailing, sliding, edging, sawing, more nailing, venting, cleaning, more cleaning, much more cleaning, vacuuming, they were done. We are ready for more snow-geddon this winter. Continue reading “Roofers in Arlington”

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 enjoying the music. Then bowed at the shrine and went to enjoy the rest of the temple. Continue reading “Krishna Muth Udupi, Hanuman Shrine”

Krishna Muth, Udupi

Photos of Main Gopuram of the Shri 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 is here that Krishna showed us his grace. One night as Kanak Dās sat outside the temple singing the glories of Krishna, the mischievously smiling child Krishna was overcome by the soul-stirring music and turned to listen to his devotee. Thus turned, he stands today. A tiny stone grill is cut in the granite side wall from which we get darshan. Continue reading “Krishna Muth, Udupi”

Mehndi (or Henna) designs

photos of bridal Mehndi designs on hands and feet by Arun ShanbhagHere are a few pics from my niece’s mehndi gathering before her shādi. The lady squeezes out the mehndi paste from a foil cone and uses it to draw intricate designs on hands and feet. As the paste dries, fresh lemon juice is squeezed on it to keep it moisten and intensify the color.

Shādi or not, my sisters love mehndi for any occasion. Continue reading “Mehndi (or Henna) designs”

After the Snow – Walking down Washington St

With all the snow in the Boston area, the simple task of getting to and from work is a serious chore, taking at time 2-3 hours one way. After much of the snow, the buses would not come up the hill, so I would walk down to the cross street, or the bike path and hiked to another bus or T-station. Its a long, cold walk in the snow and the winter wonderland feel is exceptionally beautiful; but you have to be cautious of slipping on the narrowed streets in the path of oncoming traffic.

See Meera walking to school that morning.

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