Lord Livingstone Special

I had watched the movie Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi yesterday, and wanted to share something related to nature after having a certain dose of messages against deforestation and rest of the wrongdoings against nature. Even though the movie won’t appeal to everyone in the same manner, the intentions are very good there. Here I am sharing a few photos of nature which I have taken from outside India, that is in Sri Lanka. I believe that I have shared enough photos from Kerala already with the beauty of nature.

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***All the images used in this blog post were taken by me on Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 and DSC-W180.

TeNy

Old Ceylon Photos

I never really got to share most of the photos I had taken during my visit to Sri Lanka long ago. So, I will share a few of the interesting ones among them right here – they are the pictures which I haven’t shared yet, and are not really the perfectly shot photos of the major tourist attractions. I have shared a few pictures already, but I have been looking forward to sharing more with some variations for a long time. Do you have a favourite picture among these? Well I love them all and hope to visit the island nation again some day! 🙂

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***All the images shared in this blog post were taken by me in Sri Lanka.

TeNy

Bucket List Reloaded

Don’t you wish to live the life you have always dreamed of? Don’t we all have that power of hope that is within us even during the most pessimistic of moments? We all do, and in my case, I have had a long bucket list which I am choosing to bring down to a small list of five. I have never been able to limit the list to five, but these are a few things which were in my mind for such a long time, some of them which my readers might have already known and the others not really brought to light.

1. To visit Florence and Rome: There are many cities that I wish to visit, but these two have been in the list for so long that I feel that this need come from my previous birth. Florence being the city of Renaissance and Rome being once a great city of ancient times, I would want to visit these two places first. It is only fair to start with these two cities as I can always travel more inside and outside Italy, from Venice and Milan to Barcelona and Lisbon outside the Mediterranean.

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2. To spend a lot of time in a Buddhist monastery: I have never been to one in India, but I have been to a few in Sri Lanka. I have kept the list of a number of monasteries, and there are a few which I have liked more than the rest – they make me wish to travel to Ceylon, but Nepal, Bhutan, Burma and Thailand are also in my list. I have spend enough time in a number of Christian monasteries and it is time I add these to the long list too.

3. To tell Pope Francis that he is awesome: No, it is not that he needs to be told that, but still, with what he has been doing, I feel that it is my duty and privilege to go and say that. He has made people say that the Pope is awesome in such a small period of time. It should also mean a journey to St. Peter’s Square, which should another nice thing. St. Peter’s Basilica, sooner or later, I am coming there and I shall take those photos for my church photography collection.

4. To have a long Carpathian expedition: Carpathians! You should have heard the name. Count Dracula and Carpathians have that kind of a relationship with me that has made my brain remember the name of that mountain ranges a lot of more than I would have needed to. I have kept that in my list from childhood, and some day, I am going to travel to any castle around there and ask for the Count. I do hope that they have calling bells. Yes, I also wish to go back to Romania’s cities and get an autograph from Simona Halep. That means two things in one journey.

5. To volunteer for Missionaries of Charity: There is no other organization in the whole world which I consider with that much reverence as the Missionaries of Charity. I have visited a number of their convents and the places of work, and it is safe to say that being part of the congregation is one of the greatest things of service that one can do. Yes, I can be of service somewhere else now, but may be one day, volunteer for their work if possible. Kolkata is indeed a blessed city.

The list should go on and on, especially with the cities to be visited, which covers almost all of the Europe and a good area of Latin America. There are always more things in the bucket list than you can keep thinking about, and there are always more things in the world to add to that list. For now, these are the five things that I would do if I had nothing to hold me back and I was #BefikarUmarBhar.

*** The image used in this blog post is from the Happy Hours Campaign page at Indiblogger. This blog post was written as part of the Happy Hours contest from IDFI Federal Life Insurance in association with Indiblogger. Please check this link for further details: http://bit.ly/BefikarUmarBhar

🙂 TeNy

A Special Ceylon Rewind

My journey to Ceylon is something that I rewind and play very often in my mind. There are many things that I was sure about, but one thing among them was that I had a fantastic time with the Ramayana Tour arranged by Riya Travels with the company of the newfound “spiritual uncles”, all of them who seemed to be above the age of sixty and myself being the not-so-little kid 😀 Here, I am sharing a few places that I wish to recollect – my little packages of joy.

10. The Ravana Ella: There have been a number of waterfalls during our journey through the high altitude areas of Ceylon, and among them, this waterfalls named after Ravana has the first say. This has a background story going back to Ramayana, and it is believed that Ravana hid Seetha in the caves behind this waterfalls.

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9. The Kandy Lake: This man-made lake is a beautiful sight to witness. Built by the last king of the place, Vikrama Rajasinha, before going under the British occupation, this is a nice place in the heart of the city, located next to the Temple of the Tooth. Here is one for your favourite lakes list.

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8. Hakgala Botanical Garden: Often connected to Ravana’s Ashoka Vatika in Ramayana, this is now a botanical garden with nice collection of trees, plants and flowers. The climate is nice and cold, with the place having some beautiful spots for taking photos. Yes, the tea is also around for us.

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7. St. Xavier’s Church, Nuwara Eliya: A walk through the cool climate of the place felt good, and during one of those walks through the hilly town, we came across this church, and an attempt to enter with chappals left on the outside almost lead to the freezing effect. The structure is nicely built and things were nicely arranged.

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6. St. Anthony’s Church, Bandarawela: When we were wandering around the town with lots of spare time having nothing else to do, we found out this hidden gem. It was not a big structure, but managed to be different in its style. It is located at a higher area of the town, and with its attractive looks, has a calm atmosphere.

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5. Seetha Amman Temple, Seetha Eliya: This is where Ravana is supposed to have hidden Seetha after abducting her. It is not a big town or anything, but a peaceful place which seems to have its own spiritual significance for anyone who wishes for some serenity during their journey. This a small, but beautiful structure which stretches from the rocks below to the heights of the road.

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4. The Negombo Beaches: We didn’t have much to spend at Colombo, and therefore the adjustment was made whatever was left with the beaches of Negombo. There were some nice, beautiful scenery there, and some spots which reminds us of home, in an extremely positive manner. There was a lot of Kerala at parts of Negombo, and I didn’t feel away from home at all.

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3. Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Factory, Nuwara Eliya: Providing us with breath-taking scenery of the tea plantations and also for providing us with the much needed awesome tea, the cold climate contributes with a sudden blow of wind which takes out breath away and then we realized that we need to drink more tea.

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2. Temple of the Tooth, Kandy: A royal palace and a temple complex, with the sacred relic of the tooth of Buddha – I don’t think that it could get any better on that trip. It was actually the first Buddhist temple I had ever visited, if my memory is correct; and yes it was not like anything I had seen before.

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1. The Kelaniya Temple: This is where our journey ended, as we went directly to the airporty at Colombo after the visit here. The temple takes us back to the time of the final visit of Buddha to Sri Lanka. It has wonderful paintings and sculptures all around, and special mention is needed for the reclining Buddha. The paintings show the life of the Buddha, incidents related to Buddhism in Sri Lanka, also a few things from the Jataka tales.

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*The photos used in this blog post are all taken by me using a Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 and a Sony Cybershot DSC-W180 – had two cameras with me in case one gave me trouble 😀

TeNy

That Aroma of Tea

There is no denying the fact that our travel is for the sake for visiting tourist destinations and having a peek at those places where we haven’t gone before and taking snaps to remember the journey. But some of those journeys are about smell, the fragrance that rises above what is visible, and makes us feel like never before, and I talk about such a journey here which stayed in my mind due to the fragrance factor.

There are not many things that have interested me more than the fragrance that the tea provides, even as it is a known fact that there will be more talks about the smell of coffee. The fragrance of tea leaves have been something that has inspired me, and that is evident from the name and header of this blog. I have never really left any doubt about the same either, it has been clear to me since an early childhood visit to Munnar in Kerala.

Can't wait to enter and have the much needed tea :D

Can’t wait to enter and have the much needed tea 😀

This is where my journey to Ceylon comes to the picture. The Sri Lankan journey happened in July 2010 which started with a fire on the flight which I boarded. But that was never really the beginning to the wonderful journey, which actually started somewhere higher in altitude – no not Kandy, much higher; and that should be the city of Nuwara Eliya as we travelled from Kandy to that place which was relatively unknown to us.

Our bus was going between the tea plantations until it stopped near a building which had a certain amount of beauty and could boast of having a scenic background that is close enough to a traveller’s paradise. I had decided at that moment that Nuwara Eliya was to be something special for my mind, forever. The guide brought us into the building which had that smell which filled the soul like nothing ever before. It was the fragrance of the tea leaves.

It might not be what most of people would wish to smell, but I found the fragrance like nothing ever before, even as I have been to tea factories before at least twice. It is like heaven to be at such a place, and the description of tea production never really caught my ears as this fragrance captured myself as a whole. There is beauty in the fragrance of tea, something which enchants and inspires us. It had transformed into a beautiful land of awesome tea.

There was the need to taste tea, and this opportunity only came later after minutes of living in that fragrance, hoping for the drink to grace my tongue; it was finally achieved by a cup of Orange Pekoe tea and one of the finest I have ever had, and the ambiance which was there for having that cup was simply mesmerizing. I wished I could stay there forever, but that was one of the shortest time periods spend anywhere during that journey. The only dose of happiness that we brought back was related to the Ceylon Tea packets which we brought home and a few photos which I keep as my wallpaper.

Who would not want to have tea here? Plus the aroma

Who would not want to have tea here? Plus the aroma

This blog entry is in relation to the #InspireAFragrance contest by Godrej aer: http://www.godrejaer.com/ – the contest was to inspire with an evocative travel experience to create the first crowd-inspired fragrances for Godrej aer. It always feels good to have one of such a thing for our cars, doesn’t it? Even if it is a new experience with the same, it never hurts to try. The fragrance is very important, as it is something which has become an unavoidable part of our lives, even related to the food and drinks.

TeNy