Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Bristol, UK in December 2008

I visited Bristol on the 10th of December in 2008. This city is located in the West England and is a mix of ancient and modern. It was the old part of the city that I liked. Photos of some of the interesting sites in Bristol that I visited:

A Cathedral

The Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity (a)

The Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity (b)

The Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity (c)

The Old and the New Together

The above photo is of a dilapidated church building where a Christmas Market along with the fun wheel etc were there and presented a nice view of the old and the new together

A Panoramic View of Bristol (a)

A Panoramic View of Bristol (b)

A Panoramic View of Bristol (c)

Bristol Waterway

Another Cathedral In Bristol

An Interesting Wall Painting Outside a Building!

Bristol University

A Street in Bristol with Bristol University Tower in the Background

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Chepstow in Wales, UK

Recently I had an opportunity to go to Chepstow, a small town in the Wales in UK in December 2008 where I stayed for two days. It is a very small town by the river Avon. Just sitting by the river and looking at the nature can make your day. Here are some photos of this town that I would like to share with you.

River Avon near Chepstow

Hotel Marriott St Pierre Majestic Entrance Where I Stayed

Flowers at the Hotel

A Lake View

A Majestic Tree

Partially Frozen Lake

A Fort in Chepstow

Unfortunately by the time I got an oppurtunuity to visit this site it was already dark (it gets dark by 4 PM in winters) and there was no lighting arrangement at the Fort. Probably this is something to be taken care of by the Chepstow and Wales Tourism departments to atleast light up the outer walls!

A Church In Chepstow

Morning Frost in Chepstow
Frost in Chepstow

The frost was a feature in December in Chepstow and all grass use to look white in the mornings. The frost used to be there till at least noon and then again used to come back later in the evening

Friday, 26 December 2008

Cambridge in December 2008

Recently in December 2008 I had gone to Cambridge in UK for some official work. I reached Cambridge on the afternoon of a cold, cloudy and rainy 13th of December. My meeting were to start at 5 PM so I had couple of hours which I utilized in visiting this beautiful University town. The main area of attraction are the five or so colleges of the University all located in the City Center. Cambridge though is smaller than the other University town of Oxford but the city center is equally beautiful. Most attractive is the King's college. Below are some photos of this town.

King's College, Cambridge

Canal near City Center, Cambridge

The Cambridge University

Friday, 12 September 2008

McLeodganj, Dharamshala, Himachal

Recently I went on vacation to McLeodganj also known as Upper Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh in the month of August 2008. McLeodganj is the town also known for the headquarters of the Tibetan Government in exile. Though most of the time it rained a lot but still the trip was good and the Tibetan food fantastic. Here are a few photographs of the trip that I would like to share.

Entry into Himachal near Una

I drove to McLeodganj from Delhi on 14th August 2008 and it took me 14 hours to reach as for the first 9 hours there was heavy downpour till I was in the plains. There is a bad stretch of road between Una and Amb so one has to go very slow. Also lost more than half an hour on the way as at one stretch a big Eucalyptus tree was being cut by the villagers and therefore the road was blocked. While coming back it took me 12 hours to reach back to Delhi.

View on the Way

Sunset by the River

Namgyaima Stupa in McLeodganj

Tibetans Marching in Protest Against the Chinese occupation & Olympics

While the Olympics were on at Beijing each day at McLeodganj there was a candle light protest march against the Olympics, Tibetan occupation by the Chinese and the Tibetan genocide.

Protest Against the Chinese Occupation at the Tsug-Lha-Khang Complex

Dal Lake, McLeodganj

The walk to the Dal lake from McLeodganj is about three kms one way and is enjoyable as it is pretty green on the way.

Dal Lake, McLeodganj
The Church of St John-in-the-Wilderness

This church was built by the the British in 1852 and is surrounded by big deodar trees and is surrounded by marble gravestones. This again is an interesting area to go to by walking.

Henna Trade on the Path

Wild Flowers

Wild Flowers

Trek to the Falls near Bhagsunag

Bhagsunag is again about 2-3 km walk from the town. This has become almost a mini-town in itself and is quite commercialized. The Bhagsunag temple, though supposedly very old (more than 10,000 years as the local put it) but there is not much to see from the architecture point of view as most of the complex has been remade with bathroom tiles!

The Waterfall

The walk to the falls and the fall itself, which is massive, is worth it.

The Natural Way to Chill Cold Drinks in Remote Places

Even Goats Need Shelter from Rains

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Kinnaur & Spiti

Had the opportunity to travel to Kinnaur and Spiti few years back. The photos that I had taken that time were from an ordinary non-digital click-and-shoot type camera. As I was revisiting the photos I thought of posting some of them and therefore scanned them to upload.

Ki Monastery in Spiti

Ki is the largest gompa (monastery) in Spiti located on a scenic conical hill about 14 km from Kaza town which is the administrative headquarters of the Spiti province. More than 300 lamas of the Gelugpa sect reside here. The gompa is located at more than 13500 feet from sea level.

Due to lack of land resources even now in most families only the eldest son retains the land and the younger sons are sent to various gompas to lead a monastic life. In the case of daughters also the eldest daughter is married and gets all her mothers jewelery as part of the wedding gifts. Most of the younger daughters are also sent to the gompas as nuns.

Spiti has some of the highest villages in the world

Kibber (13700 feet approximately) and Gette at about 14000 feet are considered highest villages in the world. The famous Ladarcha festival is held near Kibber every year in summers.

A typical kitchen-cum-living room

The temperatures in winters can dip to below minus thirties (centigrade). Therefore all homes have a constant fire burning and has their living rooms and kitchens as one unit only.

Even now some families in Lahaul as well as Spiti follow the polyandry system wherein only the eldest sons gets married and the wife is considered to be a wife of all the brothers in the family. The system has its origin in the scarcity of arable land in the area (it being a cold desert). To avoid any fragmentation of land holdings this system prevailed though recently the system is on the decline. All rights in this system go to the eldest son and the off springs of the wife are considered as children from the eldest son.

Spiti valley and river

Spiti is the main river of this area. It has its origin in the Kunzam range. A major tributary, Pin river, also joins Spiti river on its right bank besides several other smaller tributaries. . The Spiti river finally merges in the mighty Sutlej river at Khab in the Kinnaur district.

Mud Towers in Spiti

Huge mud-tower formations could be seen at various locations in Spiti. These are a result of natural erosion process taking place.

Spiti River with Mud-Towers

Spiti Valley

There is scarcity of arable land in Spiti. Wherever there is some soil formation which is suitable for agriculture Spitians make use of that area for cultivation whatever be its height