My friends and I had been to Amsterdam to welcome 2016, and on our way back to Poitiers, France, we had a few hours to kill. We had reached Paris on 3 January 2016, early in the morning. The bus to Poitiers was at 15:00. Since we had a lot of time, we decided to head to the “Louvre”. It was still very dark when we arrived at the gigantic walls surrounding the Louvre Pyramid. We couldn’t figure out where the entrance was and there was not a soul to be seen. After a lot of walking around, we found our way inside. I must say we were extremely lucky to have arrived at the Louvre Palace in the morning. There were hardly any people around, and I never did spot any homo sapiens “selfying” with their phones! The dim lighting of the palace complimented by the dark sky was a visual treat indeed. Due to the limited time, we couldn’t venture into the museum. But I was really glad to just witness the beauty of its surroundings. We walked around the palace enjoying the changing colours of the sky, after which we took the metro and arrived at the Eiffel Tower. Seeing the Eiffel tower was an achievement for us, not because its a World Wonder, but because it had been 4 months since we arrived in France, and had never been to the Eiffel Tower. The view of the city from the top of the tower is stunning. One look from here is ample for anyone to fall in love with the architecture of this city (Paris is divided into 20 Arrondissements).
Here are some pictures of these beautiful places,
The Palais-Royal, home of the Conseil d’État
The bridge, Pont des arts
The Seine river as seen from the Pont des arts
The Seine river
The gateway to the Louvre Pyramid
The Louvre Pyramid (Mona Lisa is in there somewhere)
The Pont des arts leading to the Mazarine Library
The Cour Carrée (Square Courtyard completed under Napoleon I) seen from the Mazarine library.
Posters promoting Australian tourism, in the vicinity of the Eiffel Tower.
View of the city from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Chaillot’s Palace seen from the Eiffel tower.
La Grande Roue de Paris (The big wheel of Paris) seen from the Eiffel Tower.
The “Champ de Mars” seen from the Eiffel tower.
The World famous “Tour Eiffel” (Eiffel Tower)
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.
People on their way to immerse Lord Ganesha
A family photo
More and more people coming in as it gets darker
Two Ganesha idols waiting to give up their physical form and become one with the elements of nature.
Some leave the idols where the wave breaks, but some dare to carry their Lord deep into the sea.
The Ganapati Maharaj being carried into the sea.
An idol that was immersed but the waves brought him back.
The Ganapati Maharaj
Another Ganesha idol brought back by the waves.
The crowd at Juhu Chowpatty, Mumbai.
Sand sculpture of Lord Ganesha
I absolutely love Sunrise and never get bored of it. I clicked this picture at The Gateway of India, Mumbai, today morning and I feel its one of the best pictures of Sunrise I’ve ever captured.
This one is from my road trip to Ladakh in 2012.