Monday, March 13, 2017

Happy Holi: The Colors of Life

Let us splash vibrant frenzy colors on the eve of Holi…

Holi festival at Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh

... Gulal ...

red, blue, purple, yellow or green

Celebrating Holi beyond boundaries

A riot of colors ... let them free, let them fly

A happy lady dancing on the festival of Holi

A day's melee or a life's canvas
let me paint an everlasting imagination
shades as beautiful as a dream


Celebrating Holi at Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh

Like petals of a spirited flower
these are colors of a different kind
they touch us, they soothe and they bind

Celebrating Holi beyond boundaries at Parmarth Niketan Ashram Rishikesh

All trees - old or young, big or small
Smile in their tender sprouts
and laugh in their blooms…

A color soaked woman poses on the festival of Holi

What is the color of smiles and laughter?
Multitudes of the Universe in its chime

Celebrating Holi with foreigners at Rishikesh

What is the color of innocence?

Celebrating Holi beyond colors

A gaze that cleanses the mind
purifies the heart of all evil
and fills it with love and adoration

A child drenched in the colors of Holi

... Love ...
as childlike, playful and pure as Radha and Krishna

Selfie in the colors of Holi

Shaded in a feeling rich and wholesome,
A flight as gentle as a dove

Celebrating Holi beyond boundaries at Rishikesh

What is the color of success?
Survival of faith when challenged by evil
And satisfaction dyed in the sweat of giving your best

A group of friends on the festival of Holi

Year after year,
A myriad of strings rages within my spirit
Each thread drenched in the hue of Existence

Celebrating Holi Holika Dahan Rishikesh

What is the color of Existence?

Smiles, tears, joy and sadness
flowing from the Heart of Life itself
A heady concoction of moments
happy, sad, bitter and sweet
igniting embers of hope, faith, kindness and forgiveness in the yearning fire of spirit

The yearning fire 
dancing in the vast expanse of Love and Beauty – of My Father.

What color is My Father?

Lord Shiva Rishikesh

... And yours ...

And what color is His blessing?

Lord Shiva drenched in colors, Holi

Blessings that fill our canvas of Life
in hues and shades of all humane colors and more.

Celebrating Holi Rishikesh

I wonder if I or anyone can really ever know.

HAPPY HOL!


All pictures from the International Yoga Festival held at Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, 2015 - the only time that I can remember having participated in Dhuleti or the color day of the Holi festival! 


The Lesser-Known Places in Suburban Mumbai

It is a well-known fact that Mumbai is a busy and over-crowded city. Being the financial capital of India, people also associate Mumbai with – congested roads, crowded markets, noise, and pollution. But a lesser known fact is that amidst all this havoc the city also nestles several beautiful and quiet places, in and around the city as well as its suburbs.

If you are planning to visit the city and might want to explore the several hidden gems of the city, then we suggest you look for hotels in Mumbai close to the suburbs. A quick Google search for hotels in Mumbai should give you options of great rooms at unmatched rates.

Here are few lesser known but beautiful places of Suburban Mumbai

KANHERI CAVES.


Kanheri Caves, Mumbai


Visit the caves to view the oldest rock-cut Buddhist monuments. The caves were constructed to serve as Buddhist centers of education and are around two thousand years old. The beauty of the place is that it can be traced way back to the 10th century and has writings in the Brahmi and Devanagari scripts. The caves are beautiful and quaint, sculpted over the cliff. Best time to view the caves is during the rainy season, for a breathtaking view of the forest and the waterfalls.

Why Visit?

The caves have been chiselled out of a massive basaltic rock which was outcropping from the mountains. Totally 109 caves have been carved out of the rock and used for living, studying, meditating, worshipping and storing water. It is an ideal place to appreciate the Buddhist culture of a long-gone era.

Where?

Situated near the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Borivali, a Western suburb of Mumbai.

DANA PANI BEACH – MALAD.


Dana Pani Beach Malad Mumbai
Picture courtesy: Moutshshut.com

Close to the Aksa beach, the Dana Pani Beach is a quiet secluded spot and has a gorgeous foliage. It is a peaceful beach with beautiful surroundings. The clean beach looks welcoming and has a lovely atmosphere. Overall, the visit to the beach is quite a pleasing and calming experience after the hustle and bustle of the central city.

Why Visit?

Great place for a peaceful weekend getaway, or even a day trip. The beach and nearby locations have resorts where one can stay and enjoy this quiet beach.

Where?

Located in Malad, Dana Pani beach is at the very end of Madh Marve Road.

MAHAKALI CAVES.


Mahakali Caves Mumbai
Picture courtesy: Wikipedia

The caves are also known as Kondivite Caves. The name was adapted from the Kondivti village as the caves lie in the proximity of the village. The caves are one of the oldest rock cut Buddhist monastery in Mumbai. These caves have carvings of Buddha and the Buddhist mythology. The cave complex is maintained by Archaeological Survey of India.

Why Visit?

The caves were built between the 2nd to the 6th century A.D. The most impressive cave is the Chaitya Cave No. 9, which has a wonderful plan layout, and is one of the oldest in the group.

Where?

Located in the Eastern suburb of Andheri in the city of Mumbai, on the Mahakali hills.

SANJAY GANDHI NATIONAL PARK.


Sanjay Gandhi National Park Mumbai
Picture courtesy: Youtube.com

One of the most visited parks in Asia, it has a tiger safari and a mini train ride. The ride covers a 30-40 minute circuit of the park. The park amidst its greenery has a strong historical and artistic significance. The park covers an area of 104 kilometers and has two of the city’s largest lakes- Vihar and Tulsi. The park also houses a Jain Temple.

Why visit?

Visit the Jain temple in the park, or to view the over 2,000-years-old Buddhist caves close by, or for its tiger safari. Boating is another point of attraction inside the park.

Where?

The Park’s main entrance is in Borivali, which is approximately 40 km North of the Southern tip of Mumbai.

Besides these, there are several other beautiful and unknown places to visit while in Mumbai. The Dahanu Beach located 160 km North of Mumbai is the perfect place to unwind. While the Pandavkada Falls, a waterfall located in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai is an excellent place to get in touch with nature.

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About the Author: Meera Dewaan is an aspiring writer, literature geek and author. She has several journals, articles and papers to her name. Writing is her passion. She writes about mostly all genres.


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