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Gitanjali Banerjee
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Travel Blogger At Travel By Karma | www.writergitanjali.com | Curated experiences | Offbeat Destinations
Travel Blogger At Travel By Karma | www.writergitanjali.com | Curated experiences | Offbeat Destinations

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Experience of sea is incomplete without a catamaran ride. As we reach the beach at the crack of dawn there is a small open boat with motor in the tail waiting for us. It was efficiently handled by two seasoned operators. The operators introduced themselves as fishermen turned tour operators. After all, Catamaran is best handled by a fisherman. The boat was articulated as close as possible to the beach to enable us to hop on to it. This was not an easy task for few as the boat was rocking on high tide. In a minute we were in the open sea and with sun slowly rising up the horizon, it was a sight to behold. We started sailing towards the shore temple and the view were getting brilliant with outline of shore and the monument. The operator gave us a history glimpse of Mahabalipuram shore temple which were 7 in total and over time 6 of them submerged in the deep while the last and existing one was seen. The purpose of catamaran ride was to explore the submerged temples.

All eyes were transfixed at the blue sea when suddenly the operator shouted to look left and there it was – breaking the waves the shikahara of the submerged temple. The moment was epic; it felt as if I was instantly connected with the Pallavas, the creator of these temples. The operator said people had seen the complete temple when the water had receded during the unfortunate Tsunami incident. From there we started our way back and as we sat lazily in the boat, there were fishermen with their nets carrying out daily routine. The entire ride lasted for a little over an hour but the feel of the rocking boat and the sight of submerged temple lingered on.
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This article was first published in The Times Of India.

Recently, on June 13th, a mela was held in Jadhang village inside Nelang valley, a forbidden area for commoners where one can enter only with permit or special permission. Lal devta is the presiding God of this area of Nelang who is also worshipped among Tibetans. Under him in order of hierarchy are Ringali devi and Someshawar devta who currently reside in the village of Dunda during winter and in Bagori near Harshil during summer season. When the people of Jadhung were displaced during Chinese aggression in 1962 they brought Rangali devi and Someshwar devta along with them to Dunda. However, according to folktales Lal devta refused to move. Thus, once every year Ringali devi and Someshwar devta have to be taken to their ancestral home in Jadhang to meet Lal devta . It is a reunion of Gods.

http://writergitanjali.com/reunion-gods-nelang-valley/
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This photo blog is a humble attempt to bring forth the contrasting colours of Rajasthan. Experience the kaleidoscope and be intrigues to explore this land.
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Around 4 kilometers ahead of Nelang post towards North-East direction there is a famous temple of Shiv and Parvati. Locals here will forbid you to go ahead of this temple. It is said that people who had gone ahead simply went missing. Some ITBP Jawans have known to vanish. Mystical powers or simply folk lore- it is hard to say unless you try it for yourself. Are you up for the challenge then?

Jadung Valley
Jadung is the last village, the border village of India. This village served as a pitstop for trade route between India and China on this axis. It was known for its vibrant art and architecture. The village was deserted during Chinese aggression of 1962 when the people of Jadung were moved to Dunda, a small place near Uttarkashi.

Dunda is now famous for some lip-smacking mutton momos and woollens like shawls, sweater, coats, socks, caps etc made out of special wool and knitted by women folk of Dunda.

Shopping Tip: When you pass by Dunda, do buy a few woollens. They are really warm. And you get to do your small bit to encourage local livelihood and become a responsible tourists.

There were around 70-80 houses in Jadung at that time. Each house had beautiful wooden carvings, even the stones had carving. The intricate work makes you think about the creativity and genius that resides in such far-off and small places. Here simple people reside in harsh weather conditions away from the luxury of modern amenities but their life is full of joy and contentment.
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Bikaner is a lesser known place in Rajasthan. Though still a tourist place but not as heavily promoted as Jaipur or Udaipur. I got a chance to explore Bikaner not once but twice and each time Bikaner blessed me with a special person. First time, I met my husband and got married and second time when I was posted here, I was blessed with a baby boy. Bikaner, you have a special place in my heart.

Rajasthan and Shopaholic me is the best combination ever.For some genuine shopping in Bikaner at a negotiable price I ventured inside the lanes and by-lanes and explored the place extensively.

Here’s an insider’s guide on 7 things you must shop in Bikaner, Rajasthan.
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Mahabalipuram Trail At The Break Of Dawn
The trail starts at the crack of the dawn, the brilliance of the sun in the deep background of red sky the sound of the waves breaking on the shore wakes you up on a high note.

As you limber up for the walk you are offered hot cup of chai. A man with a crisp white shirt approaches us and introduces as guide nominated for the tour by the Chariot beach resort.

By now the sun is over the horizon and we can see the shore temple at a distance. With no physical or visual obstruction in between the resort and shore temple, the much awaited Mahabalipuram trail looks promising. We embark on our journey and within 100mtrs of walk the sayings of John Muir began to come alive. We witnessed couple of boys practising acrobatics. Using the cushion of soft sand it was heartening to see the talents of local lads.

http://writergitanjali.com/mahabalipuram-trail/
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