Once upon a time, when faces went without masks when smiles were visible in human lips when the term ‘social distancing’ was just another phrase from the English dictionary, I was in the Scottish highlands of Inverness. River Ness quietly meanders through this quaint city adding to its captivating charm. Today, I recollect those lovely times of touring the wonderful vistas and relive each and every moment of the carefree, happy days.
The lesser-known Vellore Mutiny being a small scale mutiny could not earn itself the fame of Sepoy Mutiny. Yet it was the first Indian military rebellion against the British East India Force. Not known to many, this mutiny occurred long before the well known Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 in Vellore Fort. I learnt about this important part of Indian history while on my visit to this important monument in the city of Vellore in Tamil Nadu. Stay with me to explore the remains of the fort and know the story of the first Indian Sepoy mutiny.
Long back (today it seems like an era before) in the good old days, yes, the good old normal days I was in the coastal city of Pondicherry, the capital of the Indian Union Territory that has been recently renamed as Puducherry. My remarkably short and simple trip to this old French colony is now a dreamlike remembrance of the golden days when humans could travel free from any restrictions.
Auroville or the City of Dawn is a universal township with an experimental concept of human unity. Founded by Mirra Alfassa (better known as the Mother) in the year 1968 it aimed at achieving life in peace and harmony beyond the differences of caste, creed and nationality. The vision statement describes it as “…a place where the needs of the spirit and the care for progress would get precedence over the satisfaction of desires and passions, the seeking for pleasures and material enjoyments.”
Today I share a journey that has been totally different from those I have shared before. This was the most unplanned, unprecedented and unavoidable trip of my life and I am sure the same is of yours too. All these ‘un’ things made me really unhappy. The soul was rioting within and the mind with its acquired wisdom kept soothing it to take on to this new and the most unique journey of my life till date. This was my lockdown journey which came in as a side effect of the imported COVID-19 pandemic.
When the foot of your wanderlust driven soul is tied up by the strong ropes of the villainous COVID-19, you can only set your mind free for some virtual tour or a walk down the memory lane to recollect some moments to satisfy your thirst. Thus, today my walk through the memory lane took me to Naldurg fort and I thought of sharing some tidbits of the fort.
While the novel Coronavirus was gradually setting its foot (or I shall say its spikes) on India along with the international fliers during the prime Springtime, least aware of the upcoming grave situation, we decided to have a birdwatching Sunday at Bhigwan Bird Sanctuary where the migratory birds arrive during the winters. From winter to spring, this town hosts a large group of migratory species making it a bird watcher’s paradise.
The pleasing melody of the old Corries’ song surely takes you ‘Over the sea to Skye’ though not to be the king but to set afloat your imagination to fly in the sky of Skye. The ‘Isle of Skye’ has a whiff of romanticism in its name and this romanticism took me to this island. The isle of the Cuillins and moors, topped by the vast dramatic sky creates a landscape – sublime and surreal.
Jagdalpur is the land blessed by mother nature with its dearest of children, the life-giving water. These waters in the form of luscious streams plunge down, spreading its youthful charm as gorgeous waterfalls to spread the aura of mystery within the forest. The forested district of Bastar is irrigated by these streams embellishing it with the tint of blue within the lushness of greenery and the ruggedness of the rocks. Come with me to explore this land of waterfalls.
Raipur is the capital of Chhattisgarh in the central-eastern part of India. Chhattisgarh is a state of great natural wealth. The soil is rich in mineral resources and the major part of the land is under the forest cover. It is also the state of many rivers and waterfalls supporting the healthy groundwater level which again is the major factor influencing the agricultural dependency of a majority of the population. In between them lies the district of Raipur and the capital city.