Saturday, September 11, 2010

Manali & Manikaran Sahib, Himachal Pradesh, India


This is the sixth and last posting of my trip to India in June. Manali, in the Kullu district is the town where everyone, who wants to travel through the Rhotang pass to Leh, hangs out. Manikaran Sahib is a very special Sikh Temple built on the wild river Parvati and on hot springs.

I hope you enjoy the photos. My trip to Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh was one of the most memorable. Apart from the stunning scenery and the lovely people, I had the most wonderful travelling companions. From the left in the photo above, Harvinder, Amrit, Naved and Bob. Next time I'll post photos of Florentine architecture from a little know Tuscan city called Pistoia.

What a view to wake up to!

Taken from our hotel in Manali

We stayed in upper Manali, in the peace and
quiet away from the hustle and bustle of

Colourful houses up on the hills

The river Beas is a great attraction

The locals find ways to have fun

The intrepid four waiting for the pass to open,
which it never did!

Downtown Manali. This street is known as
"the Mall" (Mall Road). A great place for a

...or for just sitting and watching the world go by

Mata Temple on the Mall

I think he must be a craftsman, judging from
what he is carrying on the front of his bike

Public ear cleaning!



Giving. Sikhs give out free milk

Taking a rest

A yak, gorgeous animal

Didgeridoo player

Manikaran Sahib on the Parvati river.
The temple is special to Sikhs because of its
association with Guru Nanak, who visited

The wet weather with low cloud on the hills
together with the wild, racing river, created
a magical atmosphere, charged with energy

You can see the steam from the hot springs

There are three pools for people to bathe in. It
is said the water contains radioactive elements
like uranium. I wondered why I was glowing!

One is outside

The pool for the men is through
this main entrance to the right.
There is also a pool for the ladies.
The water is very hot! It was a great
experience bathing and then eating
in the temple. The Sikhs always
provide food for everyone

On the right Harvinder. Me on the left

The two of us with Bob

Thanks for coming. Come back to see a Tuscan
city called Pistoia, which is about 35 km from
Florence. I worked there from 1979 to 1983

Friday, September 03, 2010

Dharamsala - धर्मशाला - & Mcleod Ganj

Thanks for coming to visit my blog.

Going backwards on our trip to Leh we are now in Himachal Pradesh, having left Manali. Unable to take the Rohtang Pass to Leh because of snow and a landslide, we set out for Dharamsala, the seat of the Dalai Lama. This was a very special occasion for me and I felt blessed and honoured to have the opportunity to go there.

These photos show some scenes of the very beautiful trip to Dharamsala and then of Mcleod Ganj, the village where the Dalai Lama and the monks live and practice their Tibetan Buddhist religion. Next time will be the last posting of this fantastic trip to North India. I'll show you photos of Manali and an amazing Sikh temple built on the banks of a wild river. The temple is built over hot springs. The river in this first photo is much calmer as it winds its way between the cliffs.

Now why would you want to build here?

Whatever it is, it is very striking.

Took this shot as we were driving along

What a great bridge. Looks a bit scary though!

The beautiful late afternoon light on the
lovely hills of Himachal Pradesh

Just gorgeous

Climbing higher now and rewarded by this
lovely view of the Himalayas

Sunset before we reached Dharamsala. We
still had several hours of driving before
we got there

Early morning in Dharamsala. The view from
where we we stayed

Very colourful, if a bit chaotic!

Wouldn't you like to do that!

Now we are in Mcleod Ganj,
upper Dharamsala

A street on our way to the Dalai Lama temple

Tibetan ladies enjoying a simple task

Morning prayers

The entrance to the Dalai Lama temple complex
also called the Tsuglagkhang Temple complex.
With my friends Naved in orange and Bob in green

Very simple in its design

We arrived just after the Dalai Lama had left
to visit Japan. There was a prayer vigil taking
place so the complex was full of people........

......and monks

View of the hills and Mcleaod Ganj from the
temple complex

Mani prayer wheels

A young monk distracted by the chance of
having his photo taken!

The prayers are long and tiring

Devotional prostrations

Hidden away in the hills across from the temple

Battle weary Havinder (left) and Amrit the
wounded (right)

Walking back to the car

I leave you with these
glorious chaps

Do come back in two weeks
for those photos of Manali
and a special Sikh Temple