Thursday, August 21, 2014

BLUE SKY SPECKED WITH LONELY CLOUDS




 SKYWATCH FRIDAY


Shot in the late evening during walk, on Kumarhatti Nahan road

Sunlight has almost disappeared except a tinge of it reflecting in the clouds beyond mountains. 




Friends, welcome here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

THURSDAY CHALLENGE


 BLOOMING BLOOMS

  TODAY'S THEME IS:

  YELLOW (Anything with the colour yellow in it,...)







 I ADORE NATURE IN ALL ITS MANIFESTATIONS. IT IS MY CONSTANT ALLY AND FOREVER A SOURCE

OF INSPIRATION. SO MY CHOICE FOR THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE IS FLOWERS.


FRIENDS,WELCOME HERE AS ALWAYS.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

AN EXCITING JOURNEY BY A HILL TRAIN




TRAIN JOURNEY IN THE MOUNTAINS

'F' is for a fun experience.


Friends I must tell you here that I took two short videos to acquaint you about the natural beauty of the hill terrain which i witnessed during the journey , but failed to upload here due to some error.

Traveling in the hills by train and a historic one at that, which runs between Kalka and Shimla, is an  exercise worth taking, in its novelty at least. ‘The Kalka–Shimla Railway is a 2ft.6 in, narrow gauge railway in North-West India, passing along a mostly mountainous route. It is known for its fascinating view of the hills, surrounding villages and hamlets on far off slopes.’

In July 2008, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The train covers 96 Km. to reach Shimla. It is an enthralling journey from many angles. For one, it is considered  a technological marvel. It climbs from 2152 ft.above sea level at Kalka and terminates at an elevation of 6811ft. at Shimla. En route the train passes through more than hundred tunnels. 'The Barog Tunnel' (No. 33) being the longest tunnel on the line at 3,753 ft. in length between Dagshai and Solan and 890 ft. below the road.'

It negotiates 864 bridges and scores of sharp curves. “The Kalka–Shimla Railway was built to connect Shimla, the summer capital of India during the British Raj, with the Indian rail system. Now, Shimla is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh and is popularly known as the ‘queen of hills’ and Kalka is a town in the Panchkula district of Haryana. Spectacular scenery along the whole route, and the marvels of its construction, keeps the traveler on this line spell bound. On leaving Kalka, (2,152 ft.) , the railway enters the shivalik foothills and immediately commences its climb and touches Shimla at 6811 ft.



Above is the Summer Hill station our destination

 The railway station at Salogra.


A Shimla bound  train passing over this complex but artful bridge build by the British. Courtesy Wikipedia


 I had  repeatedly heard about the spectacle of abundant scenic beauty flanking the rail tracks of this famous rail route from Kalka to Shimla. I made up my mind right then to experience the nature’s  magic at the earliest opportunity. Last week the chance knocked at our door when we thought of visiting a friend and his family at Summer Hill, 3 kilometers short of Shimla after a gap of many years. Summer Hill has the charm of a better-developed hill station and houses the state University and an advanced research center.



Our train at one of the stations.


The decision to undertake the momentous journey was finalized. According to the plan, we boarded the small KALKA- SHIMLA EXPRESS TRAIN with seven bogies from Dharampur and got down at Summer Hill station. On the way we passed many important towns like Barog, Solan, Shogi, Kandaghat,Tara Devi and a few others.

The journey no doubt was  once in a lifetime experience. The train rushed passed  lush green forest cover which looked lustrous in the virgin morning light. Shallow valleys, deep gorges and sometimes  the heart stopping moments when the train moved on the edge of a gaping gorge keep your senses animated with wonder.These spell binding sensations keep you hooked throughout. At places, the brave hearts could even touch the rocks or the thick vegetation. Surrounding the railway track you could observe stately pines, rugged deodars, sprawling bushes, common cacti and sundry vegetation. A photographer’s delight no doubt!

The  negative points were all due to the inefficiency of the human element in the journey. The catering at stations was sub standard.The seating area and toilets needed better cleaning, even in the first class compartment. This as we all know is the bane of public services in the country.

The  whole experience is unforgettable though! I'm happy that I could do it. 

Friends,welcome here!

Monday, August 18, 2014

OUR WORLD




   Panoramic view of hill architecture.





An over view of Summer Hill (Shimla) from the roof of top floor flat of our friend whom we paid a visit 

last week. It is three Km. short of Shimla  and is marvellously picturesque with trees and verdant growth 

all around.

Friends, your thoughts are welcome as always!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

SKY IS MAJESTICALLY IMPOSING


 SKY WATCH FRIDAY


 BOTH THESE PICTURES PRESENT THE SKY AS I CLICKED IT SITTING IN THE COMPARTMENT OF KALKA SHIMLA EXPRESS TRAIN LAST WEEK.  THESE ARE  SHOT IN THE LATE EVENING WITH REMNANTS OF SETTING SUN 'S LIGHT STILL LINGERING ON.


 THE DWELLING UNITS DOWN UNDER AND FAR FAR AWAY  THE HIMALAYAS



THURSDAY CHALLENGE

NATURE'S KALEIDOSCOPE
THEME FOR TODAY IS:

 "WATER" (Swimming, Boating, Fishing, Lake, Ocean, River,...)





 This is a water body at the entrance of the community  in which our son and his family live in the US. I captured the lovely ambiance one day during our evening walk last year.


 Friends, your views on the pic. are awaited.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

E WORDS ENRICH OUR EXPRESSION

ABC WEDNESDAY


E is for enriching and empowering our lives in our short sojourn on earth.

It is for educating us to kindle the spark of creativity and experimentation for promoting edifying existence.

Think for a moment and you will realize how e words express activities which are integral to  our life’s fascinating odyssey on the earth. Just imagine how insipid our life would be if it is not eventful, encompassing joys and sorrows in the course of many roles, we enact.

Here are a few e words which I've chosen to exhibit exuberance, excellence and roughness of life’s manifold errands.

We won’t be able to enjoy life fully, if we lack energy and √©lan to discharge the enormous duties as part of our locus standi in the affairs of our private, micro and larger macro world.

How our life force erodes if we are lethargic and shun exercise. Exercising mind and body is as essential as eating and sleeping. It emancipates us from host of ailments.

 Isn’t it advisable to avoid extreme positions in dealing with our day-to-day circumstances? Extremism ethnic or otherwise has wrecked havoc in the lives of millions of people all over the world.  

In our social relationships, we encounter some people who always see a silver lining in every dark cloud or believe that there is light after every dark tunnel. They are die-hard extroverts. They earnestly vouch for the efficacy of this positive approach. Being optimistic is an effective mantra for success.

Tax evasion and harming the environment are twin evils we should earnestly escape from, if we love our country.

Solar and lunar eclipse has deep religious connotations for Indians. The elite as well as the marginalized participate in ritualistic episodes on this occasion with elation.

In the present day globalized world, egotistical leanings of super powers are frowned upon. Rather there is ever-increasing clamor for collaboration in areas of mutual interest for the benefit of all.

The evacuation of people to safer places in the war torn zones is not easy to execute. However,to do so, is humanitarian expediency for the concerned warring regimes.

In the evening of life, people tend to be more religious and earthy. An evensong develops into an important part of their lives.  

Friends, share your ideas with  us.