The long stretches of undulating meadows, ablaze and dappled in delicate blooms. A dreamland – colourful and astonishing Kaas Plateau. Spread over an area of around 1000 hectare, this highland provides a breathtaking expanse amidst the sprawling lawn, though not green but, mottled. Kaas Pathar, as know locally is a plateau in the Sahyadri range in Satara district of Maharashtra. It gets draped with a variety of wildflowers every year, resembling a canvas with myriad hues.
Ganesh Utsav is the 10-day long Hindu festival starting from Ganesh Chaturthi. It is celebrated with pomp and grandeur throughout the nation. The first place that comes to mind during this festival is Mumbai. But Pune is not far behind, this being the probable birthplace of the festival. The legacy passed on from generations till date. From Kasba Ganapati Mandal to Tambdi Jogeshwari Ganapati to Dagduseth Halwai trust to the Tulsi Baug Ganapati, many such big names are linked to the celebration in Pune.
Water is the elixir of life. The water supplied by the rains – stored in reservoirs and lakes, interconnected by the networking of rivers and canals carrying life in the form of water. The Panshet Dam on the Ambi river, along with Varasgaon, Temghar and Khadakwasla Dams form the lifeline of the residents of Pune. Not only do they supply water to quench the bodily thirst but they also provide a peaceful getaway to heal the soul.
The parched land had dried even further, the sometimes green grass lost all its moisture to turn pale – then brown, the trees had shed their leaves to retain the last drop of sap. The riverbed stands exposed and the lakes vaporised. The birds look for water to quench their thirst, the haggard farmer sits by their home looking at the sun-baked farmland. All skyward facing in hope for the thick grey sheet to cover the blazing sun. This is when the Nimbus arrives. It drains its store to fill all pores. And thus arrives the Monsoon.
Beating Retreat is an old military ceremony practised in England for the retreat of the patrolling forces to the castle. This ceremony was called Watch Setting as it used to coincide with the sunset followed by the single shot fired by the gun. In India, beating retreat signifies the official end of the Republic Day celebration. While the Retreat Parade and flag lowering ceremony of Wagah Border is also well known. This practice is followed by the security forces of both the countries (BSF – India and PR – Pakistan) since 1959. The same is in practice on the other side of the nation too, though is lesser known.
Udaipur of the east is also a town of lakes similar to the one of the west. Though Udaipur of the east is a small town and lesser known than its western counterpart. This is also a holy town housing the famous Tripureshwari Temple. By the bank of the river Gomati, this town has many artificial lakes dug during the Manikya dynasty. Thus enhancing the natural beauty of the place.
Tripura, a small state in the Northeastern part of India can also be called tiny Bengal. The majority of the population here are Bengali speaking, the food, the culture and the traditions – all are same. The state even has a rustic flavour of the adjoining country of Bangladesh, as it shares the international border from three sides. The widespread greenery, the large water bodies, the narrow rivulets, small villages by the road, the warm-hearted – easy going people are all a reflection of the laid back life away from the chaotic, fast-paced, industrialised city life.