Well, thank you, Preethi, for that nudge in the direction of the blogosphere. It happens. The world of posts and pictures, and comments and stats seem to be the thing. Very soon, the itch to document everything slacks on the priority list. And before you know it, you are one year older. Yes heck, it takes some persistence of habit to keep at writing blog posts. So without making any promises to self, and Preethi, I’m creeping back here…
…with the calm charm of the French Quarters and the brilliance of coastal colours.
Closed doors and ochre walls only serve to beckon…
A pink door. Turquoise wall panels. A Paris Cafe jazz radio-like tune wafting on to the sidewalk, catching unsuspecting steps, halting them, if for a while. La Maison Rose.
Main players in the spotlight once, perhaps. But now catching eyes from an odd seat on the sidewalk.
Art and light.
Eminently stroll-worthy. Very soon addicted…
French architecture meets kolam. Charming storefronts..
… and even more beautiful interiors. The sun lights up more than just the courtyard.
The French Quarters in Puducherry are based on the French grid-like pattern for cities, and it is very easy to navigate. Just take a walk along the quieter back streets, or a walk along the Promenade by the Bay of Bengal. Dotted with cafes and restaurants, this IS the place to chill.
A home away from home. Can it be? Any substitute would not be the same, I would think. But for hundreds of Tibetans, who left their home land to seek refuge away from their homeland, Bylakuppe <bi-la-kuppey>, 1000s of miles from home, would have to do. It has been home to monks and locals who arrived in this part of Karnataka, near Coorg (Kodagu) and were given land by the government to setlle down and make their own living.
Kushalnagar is the name that is often looked up while searching for this slice of Tibet in down south India, but it is only the nearest town to Bylakuppe. So if you are headed out to Coorg (and visit Bylakuppe en route) or if you want to spend a weekend or more just walking around monasteries, temples, fields and Tibetan shopping – go Bylakuppe. (It is 226 kms from Bangalore).
We visited on the way back to Bangalore from Coorg, and nothing quite prepared us for the sight of the Golden Temple and monastery. It quite took our breath away and we were transported to Tibet.
The architecture kept our eyes up and raised – to appreciate the beauty reaching towards the skies.
As we got closer, we slowed down and wished we had planned for more time here. The atmosphere is serene.
The most fascinating walls and paintings…
This window was my most favourite part of the temple.
The huge statues do not seem over the top, the entire atmosphere inside is that of peace.
The closer one gets to the walls, the longer one wants to stay and observe.
Surrounding the monasteries and temples, are numerous stores selling Tibetan art and crafts, from Buddhas to incense to shawls. If you have the time to go through half a dozen stores, you are sure to find some beautiful sculptures and keepsakes. There are restaurants serving up Tibetan food and small vendors vending pretty much everything.
Leaving Bylakuppe, as we turned our backs to the life that the monks have built over 30 odd years, taking in the sights along the road that leads to the highway back to Bangalore is like a rude awakening. It is not Tibet after all…
Every time I see pictures of fall in north eastern America, I get nostalgic as hell. The time we spent in New Hampshire is unforgettable. Its absolutely amazing to see the changing seasons, through a hot summer, a lovely fall, a cruel but fascinating winter and the next year’s welcoming sun…
So when Shobha visited Vermont and captured those lovely hues, I couldn’t but help going down memory lane… She’s graciously allowed me to post some of the pictures here.
it’s almost christmas
burst of orange
shades of ochre – my all time fave colour
woods. there was a spot exactly like this a couple of miles behind where we lived in Manchester
The last few hanging on, but not sure the howling wind spared them – Shobha
All pictures by Shobha Suryanarayan