Kolkata

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Konark Sun Temple

👉Also known as Black pagoda by the European sailors. .

👉The name Konark derives from the Sanskrit words ‘kona’ and ‘ark’ which mean ‘angle’ and ‘the Sun’ respectively, and the temple is dedicated to Sun God Surya. .

👉Architectural style: Kalinga architecture

⚙️ Pairs of wheels
The 12 stone-carved wheels of the Konark Sun Temple represent the 12 months of a year. These wheels that are found at the base of the temple, also show time. The spokes of the wheel form the shape of a sundial. The exact time of the day can be calculated seeing the shadow cast by the wheels. …

👉The Spokes of Each Wheel
Each structure built in Konark Sun Temple represents the passage of time. Each wheel here has 8 spokes, each representing a ‘prahar’ which is a 3-hour period, adding up to 24 hours which is a day.

🌟Depiction of Wealth and Power
At the entrance of the Sun Temple, you can find two lions at either sides of the entrance, that are seen crushing an elephant each. Beneath each elephant is a human being.

👉Here, lion represents power and the elephant portrays wealth. The whole illustration symbolises the major problems faced by man in his life – money and power.

👉Birds in their nests..🐦💛
These handicrafts are commonly found just outside konark temple,made up of grasses and straws.

Flower of the day -Plumeria

We were born to die and we die to live. As seedlings of God, we barely blossom on earth; we fully flower in heaven.

Plumeria Flower

Plumeria flower is easily recognized by its gentle and sweet fragrance. It has five small–about two to three inches in diameter–teardrop-shaped petals, and the color of the flowers vary from white, pink, yellow, red and orange to pastel colors.

The Meaning of the Plumeria Flower

Hindu Meaning

In Hindu culture, plumeria flowers represent loyalty, and young brides wear plumerias in their hair on their wedding day to show their loyalty to their new husbands.

Chinese Meaning

In China, plumeria flowers are tokens of love. In China, it is not accustomed to share personal feelings, but giving a plumeria flower to your sweetheart has the same meaning as saying “I love you” or “You are special.” Chinese consider plumerias even more precious than orchids.

Vietnamese Meaning

In Vietnam, plumeria is the flower of the educated and westernized upper class. Therefore, plumeria flowers are used to show status in society.

Tungnath-The mountains that Breathe

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The rising temperature with each step forward with the breeze getting colder with each passing cliff. The mountains have so much to excite and intrigue within us. Be it the unevenly beautiful steeps or the fragile but beautiful sloped houses. they certainly tickle your brain and compel you to think and imagine how beautiful life is in those hills. But unlike those gift boxes and surprise presents those hills that seem to be so magnanimous have disastrous and disappointing truths that lay hidden within those sloped houses and behind those hidden faces that lie behind those hoods and caps. there’s a lot of struggle and pain hidden more than the fun and peace we experience while passing through those beautiful hills with trees and clouds and nature at it’s best.

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Tungnath is the highest Shiva temple in the world and is the highest of the five Panch Kedar temples located in the mountain range of Tunganath in Rudraprayag district, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The Tunganath (literal meaning: Lord of the peaks) mountains form the Mandakini and Alaknanda river valleys. Located at an altitude of 3,680 m (12,073 ft), and just below the peak of Chandrashila, Tungnath temple is the highest Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is believed to be 5000 years old and is the third (Tritiya Kedar) in the pecking order of the Panch Kedars. It has a rich legend linked to the Pandavas, heroes of the Mahabharata epic.

How to Reach Tungnath / Chandrashilla

By Air

Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Bhaniawala, Dehradun, 41 KMs from Haridwar. After reaching Haridwar you need to carry rest of the journey by road only. Haridwar to Chopta is about 225 KMs by road.

By Rail

Nearest railway station is at Haridwar. After reaching Haridwar you need to carry rest of the journey by road only. Haridwar to Chopta is about 225 KMs by road.

By Road

Below is the route that needs to be followed to reach Deoria Tal from Delhi –

Delhi – Haridwar (212 KMs) – Rishikesh – Dev Prayag – Srinagar – Rudra Prayag (take left towards Kedarnath) – Agustmuni – Syal Saur – Kund – Ukhimath – Duggalbitta – Baniya Kund – Chopta (448 KMs) – Tungnath – Chandrashilla

Vehicles can go up to Chopta only and you need to trek about 3.5 KMs from Chopta to reach Tungnath. If you are interested in Chandrashilla, you need to further trek about 1.5 KMs from Tungnath to reach the Chandrashilla peak. There is no motorable road to Tungnath and Chandrashilla. The trek is a paved path from Chopta up to Tungnath temple and from there on to Chandrashilla it is not paved but track exists. People generally complete the trek to Tungnath (without snow) in about 2-3 hours and to Chandrashilla in about 3-5 hours from Chopta.

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Well there’s a lot more surprise for you that you need to observe more keenly apart from those scenic views and the adorable weather. Behind those best of nature scenes there lies the worst of life experiences.

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Meri chopta wali Maggi at 8790ft

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Imagine the pain those shopkeepers take so that you can enjoy the tasty hot soupy maggie at the altitude of around 10-13000 feet above and even after that you complain about the cost and whatnot. Okay so lets understand this very simple equation that might enlighten some of us a bit that life in those mountains are not really interesting as it seems to be. Those shopkeepers have to get their supplies all the way from the plains that obviously cost’s them a hefty amount and then the trek distance for which we often take mules or manual carriers who help us trek those steep hills so that we manage to enjoy those beautiful views above. When you yourself are unable to walk that steep steps alone they carry your loads and trek those deadly cliffs and you obviously pay them. But the question that needs to be asked is the pain they endure just to make a living justified with the penny we pay. Worst of all they have to collect their entire years livelihood within that 3-4 months of season duration. Well its not that easy even after when we are paid every month to run our errands so how easy is it would be for them to earn a survival in those Oh so Wow valleys.

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All that needs to be known apart from the beauty and views of the hills is that those hills may be a mere holiday or picnic spot for us but they have lives within them for whom those hills are their everything.

The Era of Indian Railways- National Rail Museum, New Delhi

Discover the 163 years of rich Indian Railway’s historic heritage in the company of rare steam, diesel and electric locos, royal saloons and lots of artifacts. Interactive display will enhance the experience of visitors and make them understand how a single investment of Indian Railway helped in unification and progress of India as a nation.

Joy ride

Great collection of trains at this place. you can find train from every era here. Great to bring kids along, as they would love to travel in toy train..

Builder number plates.

Railway signal lights.

Photo courtesy: Ajit Srivastava

Mountains are calling : A trip to shimla.

Shimla derives its name from Shyamala Devi, an incarnation of the goddess Kali, whose temple existed in the dense forest covering the Jakhu Hill in the early 19th century. Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh and was also the summer capital in pre-Independence India. Covering an area of 25 sq km at a height of 7,238 ft, Shimla is surrounded by pine, deodar and oak forests. Its well developed amenities, easy reach and various tourist attractions make it one of India’s most popular hill stations.

Mall Road, Shimla

Jakhu Temple, Shimla

You can reach Jakhu temple by walk, by taking rented cars or by using rope cable cars.

Baptist church , Kasauli

Watch more sunsets than Netflix.

5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Sunsets.

One of the things I love to do during the summer is watch sunsets. I realized, though, that I didn’t know too much about them so I decided to look up some interesting facts. So the next time you look at a sunset you can impress the person you are with by your knowledge of sunset trivia.

1. Sunsets happen because of the Earth’s atmosphere

If the Earth was airless, let’s say, like the moon then the sun would look the same as it was dropping behind the horizon. But due to our 300 mile atmosphere, we get the scattered effect of light as the atmosphere acts as a prism.

2. The sun starts to lose color as it sets

As the sun starts dropping to the horizon it starts to lose its blue wavelength hues, then its green and yellow hues, and eventually orange, leaving only red wavelengths. That is why the sun at the end of a sunset will look like a ball of fire.

3. By the time you see the sun set, it’s actually gone

Have you ever been told that some of the stars you are looking at are already dead because of the time it takes the light to travel? Well the same thing sorta happens with the sun, except the sun doesn’t die every night. Again thanks to our atmosphere, which bends light, we are able to see the sun setting.

4. Pollution causes those prettier sunsets

Sad, isn’t it? It will make you think twice when you look at a stunning sunset. Smoke particles are great for filtering out colors, leaving pinks, reds, and oranges become more vivid. But if pollution gets too high, the sky will just look hazy, leaving a murky sunset that no one really appreciates. This is happening a lot in Rome due to their pollution problem.

5. “Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight; red sky in morning, shepherd’s take warning.” This quote is actually true.

The bright, red, pure colors at night mean that the air is clear to the west and will be good weather in the morning. A red sky in the morning means that good, high pressure weather has already passed meaning low pressure weather (storms) will be coming to the east.