Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Back to Art!

Hi there! How is life treating you?
Mine is going at an easy pace as of now so I am happy!
Happy because I am getting to do the things that I photography and painting 'n' stuff. The problem with me is that I can't sit idle, my mind keeps bubbling with ideas and until I don't give a shape to an idea I get impatient,,,especially when its related to what I love doing.
As a kid I always used to have a sketch book in my hand, won school competitions and what not but life got busy after marriage so kind of left it. So recently I decided to paint again...had a reason behind it!
The place where I am right now has a little problem with net connectivity. So few days back I had the same problem and so I thought I will paint something. Well, I am so glad that I started painting again. My near and dear ones encouraged me to paint more after seeing it. So now I am on a painting spree. Here's my creation!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Shanti Stupa- World Peace!

Yesterday I went to visit the famous ‘Shanti Stupa’ of Leh with two of my friends. Totally geared up with my camera I was very excited that finally I was going to visit the place since I had been wanting to see it for a long time. As soon as you reach the gates the first thing you can’t help but notice is the view of the surroundings…the inhabited valley surrounded by brown hills.
Entering the gates and walking a few steps comes a beautiful little temple. As you stand in front of the door you see the statue of golden Buddha. Sitting behind him are two smaller Buddhas meditating. As you pay attention to Buddha in front you can’t help but notice the calmness on his face. It’s like he’s looking back at you and soothing your mind. 

It’s a beautiful room decorated in gold, red, yellow, greens, and blues…Oh! And if you pay attention to the top right and left corners of the wall behind Buddha you will notice two beautiful and colorful artworks. Below are the pictures.

I love visiting Monasteries so I insisted that I wanted to sit there and spend some time in quietness. It felt amazing. Well, after few minutes we moved on and saw even a bigger temple. A huge hall with a huge statue of blue haired Buddha sitting calmly and glowing under the sun rays peeking through the windows. With half shut eyes he sits holding a bowl in his hands. I think it was filled with raisins. 

Here too I sat for a while. This time we had company as in front of me sat a man busy meditating. The clothes he wore reminded me of a martial artist but not doing martial arts. He was totally lost in his own world and unaware of his surroundings.
After the ‘awakening’ time I had in the temples we stood in front of the mighty Shanti Stupa. On the right is the beautiful Zanskar range with its snow peaks glittering under the sun and on the left is the valley, as I mentioned earlier. Here is the photograph of the Shanti Stupa shining on a sunny day with clear blue sky and brown mountains behind it. Also the Zanskar range.

Not many people would be aware of the fact that this Stupa was built by Japanese monks with the assistance of Ladakhi monks as a symbol of ‘World peace’. It was built in 1991 and holds the relics of the Buddha at its base, enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama himself. It has two floors and one is supposed to walk clock vise. The colorful and intricate artwork stands out against the white background of the Stupa. 

As I was busy clicking photographs on the top floor, a monk who was busy restoring the artwork called out to me. He was a humorous monk and at one point even teased me. Anyway, we began chatting and had a long conversation about Enlightenment, peace and how to be a better human being in today’s world which is filled with so much negativity and hatred.
Our conversation was so interesting that I lost track of time. I forgot about my friends and where I was. It was when I heard someone shout my name that I snapped out of our conversation and realized where I was, my friends were calling me. The monk was so keen to converse with me that I was feeling guilty and sorry for interrupting him to say that I had to go. Honestly, even I wanted to chat more…

Loved my visit!

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Road trip

Recently I went on a road trip with my husband. Initially I was damn excited as I was getting an opportunity to do what I love most…photography! I pictured a trip where I could capture all the beauty Ladakh has to offer, in my camera; able to enjoy the beautiful scenery and sit in nature’s lap, dangling my feet in the clear blue waters of the flowing rivers and watch the animals graze. I love nature and Ladakh is an amazing place to experience that besides the spirituality aspect.
I saw the confluence of Indus and Zanskar and it is so beautiful. Bright blue Zanskar and greenish water of Indus...

It was a three day trip and believe it or not we went to 14 locations in three days. My husband had official work and I was just accompanying. We were practically on road except for night when I could enjoy the luxury of a guest room. From getting fried and tanned under the sun (strong sun rays in Ladakh), covered in dust and a back breaking road trip, believe me when I say that at the end of the day being able to put my feet up and relax on the bed with a hot cup of coffee was a bliss. At some locations it was pretty cold.
Speaking of roads, generally they are pretty good except for few locations where they are almost non- existent. There were times when I was literally thrown of my seat and sometimes it felt as if my organs were displaced…not joking! An absolute adventurous trip…but I’m not complaining because I saw and experienced things few get to see and feel. Despite the road the view was beautiful all along…red, brown and purple mountains with colorful trees, shrubs and bushes. Imagine yellow, orange, green and red colored flora on the brown mountains and in between icy blue streams and rivers flowing softly. Absolute silence all around and all you can hear is nature’s music…sound of wind and flowing water. I mean it!

One thing you definitely notice in Ladakh is that no matter where you go, mountains and rivers are your constant companions. Occasionally one can see birds leisurely gliding in the clear blue skies. Even the clouds are beautiful here…pure white and of very interesting shapes against the light blue skies. By evening the view completely changes. As the sun decides to say ‘good bye’ the colors of the mountains change to gold; the sky turns into an artist’s canvas and the winds bring with it the feeling of calm, purity, spirituality and a kind of feeling that runs through your body and awakens you…that’s how I have felt since the day I put my foot on this beautiful holy land.

I am totally in love with this place!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

An affair with Ladakh!

Hello again! Long time...
Here is another post about amazing Ladakh.
OK so recently me and my hubby along with couple of friends went to see Pangong Tso lake. What can I say???
WOW, BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING are the top three words I could think off. Let me show you!

This is the first glimpse of Pangong Tso. If you notice you can see colorful lines in the lake.
Pangong Tso, Tibetan for "long, narrow, enchanted lake", is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,267 m above sea level. It is 40 miles in length and nearly 2-4 miles in width extending from India to Tibet. As the sun sets the color of the water changes from turquoise to dark blue. The scene is amazing. It reminds me of the lines I once read in a travelling book about Ladakh...

" Mind is as spacious as light in this country, as self- delighted, able to touch each object, each crag, each fern, each ragged patch of grass with joy."

Standing on the bank of Pangong Tso and soaking up the view, the feeling is amazing. Blue sky, colorful strokes in the water, surrounded by hills and snow peaks peeking from one side make it such that it is difficult to believe that such a beautiful place exists.
A visit is a must!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Going gaga!

Seriously...I am literally going gaga over photographing Leh. Never before have I stepped out of my home with a camera in my hand wherever I go. I just want to explore and explore. Finally I am pretty active on National Geographic now and am loving the response towards my photographs.
This place is magical. The scenes change dramatically and voila! In front of your eyes the nature paints a stunning picture. If you don't believe me then see this shot of mine.

Sunset in Leh

A visit to this place is a must. If  you haven't heard of it...Google it. You can get all the info you need. There are places here that you can't imagine ever existed. Seeing is believing. Here is another shot...

Golden peak

Below is a link to my Nat Geo page. In case you wish to see more photographs...feel free to visit.

Will be posting soon.
Take care!