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Neelkanteshwar Mahadev 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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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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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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Aśṭa Vināyak – Pilgrimage to Eight Gaṇeśa Temples – A Photo Essay

Pics from AstaVinayak Tirth Yatra Maharashtra by Arun Shanbhag

In the Indian state of Maharashtra, a tīrth yātra (pilgrimage) to visit eight ancient temples to Gaṇeśa (Aśṭa Vināyak) is mentioned in the puranas and considered very sacred. These eight temples, each with exquisitely beautiful Gaṇeśa murtīs, are in tiny villages, scattered around the mountainous terrain between Mumbai and Pune. After much procrastination, last February […]

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Tirth Yātra: Temples of Tāmil Nādu

Pics of Kapaleeshwara Temple in Mylapore Chennai by Arun Shanbhag

Even as a child, I enjoyed visiting temples. The prasad was certainly a big draw. I’d stop by random SatyaNarayana Pujas, just to receive of the nectarine prasad. Aarti bhajans were equally soothing. At annual Wadala GSB Ganapati celebrations, while we were enticed by stalls selling bhajiyas and bondas, we first paid our respects to […]

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Lake Manasarovar, Finally

An Accidental Pilgrim Reaches Manasarovar, Day 10 Approximate Elevation: 4,560 m (~ 15,000 ft) Over the six months I had planned this trip, I never gave much thought to the significance of going on a yatra (pilgrimage). I had signed up primarily as an adventure with my brothers and several of my cousins; to shoot […]

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Kailash Manasarovar: Brahmaputra and Onwards to Paryang

Kailash Manasarovar Yatra: Brahmaputra, Day 6,7: Paryang Elevation: 4,540 m (14,895 ft) Considering the spectacular Peigutso Lake, the 185 km drive from Saga to Paryang was tedious. We made a bee-line to the western edge of the Tibetan Plateau, which remained featureless; the skies were overcast and in the distant south we discerned the grey-brown […]

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Cerulean Skies Over Nyalam

photos of mountains around Nyalama Tibet by Arun Shanbhag

Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra continues: Day 5, Blue Skies Over Nyalam Once we reached Kailash, the plan was to walk around the mountain parikrama. We’d hike 40 km over three days, at elevations starting at 15,000 ft and reaching over 19,000 ft. While this might appear trivial at sea level, reality is vastly different at 15,000 ft. […]

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Tension In Kodari

Pictures of the Tibetan side from Kodari Nepal by Arun Shanbhag

Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra continues: Tension in Kodari Kodari Elevation: 2250 meters; 7,382 feet. Our initial plan was to have a quick lunch in Kodari, perform exit visa procedures, and cross over the Friendship bridge into China-occupied Tibet. But instead, we found ourselves gobbling lunch to a backdrop of a frenzied stone-throwing mob and the staccato of […]

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Onwards to Kodari, Nepal

pics of Emerald green fields enroute Kathmandu to Kodari by Arun Shanbhag

See larger image here. The Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra continues: Onwards to Kodari We spent a day in Kathmandu flying along the Everest Mountain Range, taking darshan at Pashupatinath, and the Baudhanath Stupa, (Monks and Kids at the Baudhnath) and visiting the local markets. We left early the following morning for the border town of Kodari, where […]

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Kids at the Baudhanath Stupa

Pics of Kids at the Baudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu Nepal by Arun Shanbhag

One of the joys of traveling is taking spontaneous photographs of complete strangers. Our interaction is only for a few seconds, or at most a few minutes. But through their pics they leave a lasting impression. In the comfort of my home, those few moments get stretched, not unlike Einstein’s time. I recall every blink […]

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Tirupati: A Walk Enlightens

Walking up the stairs to the Tirupati Devasthan pics by Arun Shanbhag

It was a dream of mine to walk up the mountains to the Tirupati Tirumala Devasthan. When I shared this with M, the 14 km hike up more than 4000 steps did not dissuade her. My dream became her’s too!