The South Indian Road Trip – 2015

My brother and I started driving from Bangalore on 19 July 2015. We completed our road trip today after covering 2260 kms (1400 miles).

The places we covered were,

  • Madurai
  • Rameshwaram
  • Dhanushkodi
  • Kanyakumari
  • Alappuzha (Alleppy)
  • Munnar
  • Kochi
  • Wayanad
  • Madikeri

Here’s our route map for the 7 day 2000 km journey.

West coast road trip 2015

More photos soon.

Dhanushkodi – The ghost town

Ruins of the church at Dhanushkodi. This was a happy town before the cyclone consumed the entire place in 1964. No ones lived here since then. Now it’s a tourist spot and there are small stalls selling refreshments. All that remains are the ruins of what existed when this was a happy place filled with life.   

Manali Winter Trek – First adventure of 2015

My brother, few of his classmates, and I decided to welcome this year with a trip to Manali and experience the cold winters of North India. The trek was organised by Youth Hostels Association of India (YHAI) and lasted 4 days (Jan 4 – 8). This was a mellow trek and the sights were incredible. There were snow covered mountains in all directions (Foothills of Himalayas) , the days were pleasant and the nights, freezing! Let me tell you more about it through my pictures.

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The Red Fort in Old Delhi

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The Indian flag flying high in Central Park, Delhi.

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Delhi covered in fog at 9 am

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The International Youth hostel at Manali

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View around the hostel at Manali

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One house stands alone amidst leafless trees

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Had we been here a week early, the entire region would have been filled with snow.

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The days were pleasant despite the harsh sun.

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Looks like a wasted garden, but I’m sure they’ll be colourful once again soon.

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I wish to trek there some day in the near future

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The tree that lived alone.

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The Dogs here are extremely friendly. They jog along by your side throughout the trek, and expect nothing in return.

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My brother and his friends contemplating about snow balls.

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My brother, his friends and I (Family Portrait).

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Trees awaiting change.

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The descent (Photo – Kaushik)

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The long and winding road (Photo – Kaushik)

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Hachiko keeping me company (Photo – Kaushik)

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Smiles and frowns (Photo – Kaushik)

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Serious snow balling happened here. (photo – Kaushik)

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Guardian of the mountains

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Buddhist prayer flags

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Sunset in Manali

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Huge statue of Lord Shiva at the Gurudwara in Manikaran. The fumes in the image is from the hot water spring below the statue. The water is so hot that rice and channa are cooked here.

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Enroute Dharamsala

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View from one of the hotels in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala.

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View from the museum window at Dharamsala

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The cemetery at the Church of St John in the Wilderness, McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala.

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Somewhere in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala

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Back to International Youth Hostel, Delhi, and then to Bangalore.

Ganesha Chaturthi in Mumbai

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Ganesha Chaturthi is a Hindu festival celebrated to honour the Elephant headed god, Lord Ganesha. The usual dates are between 19th of August and 20th of September. This year, the celebrations started on 29th of August.

Clay idols of varying sizes, of Lord Ganesha are worshipped in every corner of the nation. Some Ganeshas are so huge that container trucks are used to carry them. NASA’s Space shuttle carriers may seem small in front of Lord Ganesha.

The entire nation celebrates this festival with great splendor. One city well known for the Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations is Mumbai! The display of Ganeshas in Mumbai is absolutely stunning. Though the festival is celebrated everywhere, the excitement, rush, intensity is quite humungous in the state of Maharashtra. Here, not only Hindus, but also people belonging to other religions take part in the celebrations.

Children run through the streets yelling “Ganapati Bappa Moryaaa”, elders are busy in decorating the Ganesha idol, there’s tasty food in every house, and the whole of Mumbai’s traffic comes to a halt (except the local trains of course). On this day I walked around 3 kms to the train station, in half an hour. A taxi would take more time to get there.

The visarjan/immersion of the Ganesha idols are performed on specific dates,

One and half day visarjan, three day visarjan, five day visarjan, seven day visarjan and the 10th day Visarjan. In Mumbai, around 150,000 Ganesha idols are immersed each year.

Chowpatty and Juhu are the most famous locations for Ganesha visarjan in Mumbai. The statues are either carried on small carts or loaded onto huge trucks, and then the procession begins. Schools declare holiday and offices close early on the last day of Ganesha Visarjan as the entire city would be flooded with devotees headed towards the sea.

The Ganesha Visarjan signifies the cycle of birth and death, and that we all eventually give up our physical form and become one with the elements of nature. 

Here are some pictures from the Ganesha visarjan that took place on August 30, 2014, at Juhu Chowpatty, Mumbai.

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People on their way to immerse Lord Ganesha

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A family photo

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More and more people coming in as it gets darker

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Two Ganesha idols waiting to give up their physical form and become one with the elements of nature.

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Some leave the idols where the wave breaks, but some dare to carry their Lord deep into the sea.

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The Ganapati Maharaj being carried into the sea.

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An idol that was immersed but the waves brought him back.

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The Ganapati Maharaj

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Another Ganesha idol brought back by the waves.

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Decapitated Ganesha

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The crowd at Juhu Chowpatty, Mumbai.

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Sand sculpture of Lord Ganesha