Marina Bay Reflection

Clark Quay and the Central Business District  Change Alley, Singapore

Pagodas at the Chinese Garden in Singapore

Beautiful Singapore. I want to go see this place one day.


The rats of Karni mata Temple

Incredible! That’s how I felt when I saw all of them dinning and crawling together. Before you think I happened to visit the set where Stuart Little was filmed, let me walk you through Mata Karni Temple in Deshnok in Rajasthan. Standing tall is the main shrine of Mata Karni accompanied by what the natives and many ardent devotees worship – rats! Almost 20,000 of them!

 During my stay in Bikaner, I’d heard so much about this temple that the very next morning, I had to see it to believe it. After a half hour drive, from the moment I reached Deshnok till the time I stepped inside the temple, I was more curious than scared. On entering, I saw rats teeming everywhere. Huddled in corners and flitting around, they are completely oblivious of devotees gawking at them. The sight was absolutely bizarre!

Fearlessly feeding them were devotees who come here to receive therats’ blessings. Once these rats nibble food, it is considered auspicious to be served as prasad. Creepy? Yes it is, especially if you’re rat phobic. At first, you might want to just run…and fast. But hang on…Soon, you realise these rats are harmless They’re too busy nibbling away on food and slurping milk.

At the temple, it’s believed that if you sight a white rat amongst the thousands of black rats, you’re considered fortunate. Legend has it that white rats are manifestations of Mata Karni who was an incarnation of Goddess Durga and her four sons. When the child of one of her clansmen died, she insisted Lord Yama (god of death) bring him back to life. He did so and reincarnated the child as a rat.

Thereafter, Karni Mata dictated that if any of her clansmen died, they would be reborn as rats.

Since then, thousands of rats move this story forward. In fact, the authorities take special care to safeguard these treasured beings. The temple is bordered by wires and grills over the courtyard to prevent birds and other animals from coming in. People are requested to walk carefully inside so that they do not step on them. If one is accidently killed, you’d be forced to shell out a 24 carat gold rat. Now, that is a huge penalty! A stranger fact is that not a single case of plague has been reported here ever since this temple was constructed. Professors, researchers and I still wonder…

Photo Credit: Wikimedia


Intoxicating As Heaven !!

From my childhood I learnt about the “Paradise on earth” which is our very own Kashmir.

Of Kashmir, it is said, 

“Gar bar-ru-e-zamin ast; hamin ast, hamin ast, hamin asto!”

(“If there be a paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here!”).

Now to reach this heaven one has to first get to Srinagar, the capital of J&K State. One can either take a direct flight from Delhi or take a train to Jammu and from there a bus to Srinagar. The hill resorts of Kud, Patnitop and Batote fall en route this 293 km long picturesque route. The 2.5 km long Jawahar tunnel allows road access to Srinagar even in the winter..


If one can ignore the soldiers, at once Srinagar is a compilation of images: a son-et-lumiere that tells the tale of the love of the Mughal emperors for this paradise valley, full of green rice fields, gardens in bloom, snow clad mountains, beautiful people and lakes rimmed by houseboats.        

The Kashmir state, at the extreme north west of India, is bounded on the west and north by Pakistan, on the northeast by China and on the southeast and south by the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. More than 90 percent of the state is mountainous. From southwest to northeast the region contains the fertile Jammu and Punch plains, the coniferous Himalayan foothills from 2,000 to 7,000 feet, the heavily glaciated Pir Panjal range at 12,500 feet, the valley of Kashmir at 5,300 feet, the Himalayan ranges above 20,000 feet, the upper Indus River valley at 11,000 feet, the barren plateau of Ladakh and the remote Karakorum range. The Indus, Jhelum, Chenab and Tawi are the principal rivers while the Dal and Wular are the major lakes.     


Rogan josh (or roghan josh) is one of the signature recipes of Kashmiri multi-course meal (The “Wazwan”)

Rogan josh was brought to Kashmir by the Mughals, whose cuisine was in turn influenced by Persian cuisine. The unrelenting summer heat of the Indian plains took the Mughals frequently to Kashmir, which has a cooler climate because of its altitude.

Imagine yourself in a valley surrounded by snow clad mountains with fresh snow all around you and while looking outside from your window enjoying your Rogan josh with hot rice or Naan Bread !!

We are very passionate about Kashmir and believe it as possibly the most beautiful place on earth. We highly recommend people to visit this mesmerizing state.

‎’Breathtaking View’

Gullfoss Waterfall found in the southwestern Iceland is one of Iceland’s most popular attractions and also Europe’s most powerful waterfall.

On a sunlit day, the mist clouds surrounding the hammering falls are filled with dozens of rainbows, providing an unparalleled spectacle of colour and motion.