Category Archives: Travel & Adventure

Chicago: Museums, Planetarium and Aquarium…Cultural Ecosystem

img_20161228_131242840We journey through some of the museums, planetarium and Aquarium in Chicago. Chicago is known as the windy city. The name is a misnomer since although the city is known for high winds but its name comes from the fact that statesmen and politicians from Illinois were know to be a a bit long winded in their speeches… as a matter of fact even I am a bit long winded and our profile matches. Love Illinois considered by many as the great cultural microcosm of America. Continue reading Chicago: Museums, Planetarium and Aquarium…Cultural Ecosystem

Dude Has Landed…United States of America & University of Michigan, Ann Arbor…Go Blue!!!

13882353_796951093781301_1746736691650152929_nIts been sometime since I wrote on my blog here. Well its time to start with a bang. The dude landed in United States of America this month…The Quintessential Country of Our Times…A country which has led the world in innovation, academics, entrepreneurship and philanthropy for about a century. Continue reading Dude Has Landed…United States of America & University of Michigan, Ann Arbor…Go Blue!!!

Bhaja Caves Near Lonavala

IMG_20151115_161902My recent trip to Bhaja Caves. They are caves near LonavIMG_20151115_161848ala and very old Buddhist caves dating back to 2 BC. The bets way to go to these caves is to take NH4 the old highway from Pune to Mumbai. There are two caves very similar to each to each other Bhaja and Karla caves. if you are travelling from Pune to Lonavala then you will come across a junction from where on your left is Bhaja caves while on your right is Karla Caves.If you travel towards Bhaja caves  the you will have to park your car and walk up about 100 steps to the caves. The caves are really good with good vibrations. I had met a friend of mine after 21 years and we decided to visit Baja caves which is en route to Lonavala.

The view from the caves is majestic. These caves are very old and is quite an achievement considering the architecture  IMG_20151115_161639 went around the place and practiced Mindfulness and meditation. There are number of IMG_20151115_153242small caves where the monks must have meditated and practiced mindfulness and self awareness for years. We did not have much time so we could not visit Karla caves and I plan to visit. In the end I understand that for Indians such places are not spiritual places but places of leisure. This is my feeling after visiting all the spiritual places of Lord Buddha.

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IMG_20151115_152251Above roof of the main cave. On side entrance to small caves.

It is very sad that Indians have forgotten or are misled about Lord Buddha’s life and teachings. But then there is always a new beginning.

Look forward to my trip to Karla Caves which are very similar to Bhaja caves.

 

 

 

Attaching a video of Bhaja caves but the recording gets distorted after 45 seconds.

 

 

 

Footsteps of Buddha: Kushinagar: Parinirvana

20150320_121615All conditioned things are impermanent. Strive on with diligence ( for your liberation)” Last words of Buddha.

Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sama Sambuddhassa 

 Kushinagar is one of the most important places for anyone on the path of Enlightenment following footsteps of Buddha. The best way for a backpacker to go to Kushinagar is to take a bus from Gorakhpur. It is in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India and touches Bihar. Remember you can go to Lumbini from Gorakhpur. Kushinagar is a very small place and about 2 hrs by bus from 20150320_081339Gorakhpur. This is from my trip which I took sometime back. Continue reading Footsteps of Buddha: Kushinagar: Parinirvana

Bodhgaya: MahaBodhi Temple; Final Days

12227658_669371696539242_3836734087721995221_nAfter we came back from Nalanda, we all ( Fred, Sarah, his mother and myself ) went to MahaBodhi temple to pay our respects. Side Pic the idol inside the temple.  Fred’ mother was wearing expensive shoes and we can forgotten to deposit the same in the shoe counter. As we left behind the shoes at the open shoe stand near the temple, I told Fred’s mother not to worry. Nothing is lost from such a holy place and we were right. 10408797_666315300178215_6011010915472759802_n

Soon Fred left for Varanasi with his family and we exchanged pleasantries. I was so happy to meet such an intelligent person and lovely couple and felt a close connection with his mother. Wishing them a safe journey, I continued my regular visit to MahaBodhi temple. Soon a new guy came in to stay in the dorm. I learnt his name was Cameron and he had come from America looking for peace and spirituality to India.

Continue reading Bodhgaya: MahaBodhi Temple; Final Days

Venerable Xuanzang: Essence Of An Exemplary Explorer & Monk

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Venerable Xuanzang” I will rather die going to the west than living in the east”

” A country which knows its true history, is a country which stays together” Nish The Dude

Sometime in 7th Century BC 

A monk with oriental features was walking with alacrity through extreme harsh conditions. There was extreme calm and serenity on his handsome face beguiling a true grit determination to find the answers he was looking for.. a journey of truth which he had undertaken which will take him through Afghanistan, Pakistan to India..The land of Lord Buddha. He had decided to take this impossible journey to find out the true teaching of Lord Buddha and also find answer to many questions which still remained unanswered. He was deeply motivated by the travels of the great Chinese monk Faxian and motivated by Emperor of Taizong of Tang Dynasty in China. Continue reading Venerable Xuanzang: Essence Of An Exemplary Explorer & Monk

Nalanda: Mother of All Universities & Rajgir

IMG_20151028_144915Nalanda is the First Residential International University which was officially set up in the 5th century although it had been operating for the last 1000 years.  Nalanda is near village Bada Gaon and comes on the way to Rajgir. was set up according to Legend by Sariputta, the chief disciple of Lord Buddha around roughly 500 bc. Sariputta belonged to Nalanda and took his nibbana when he left his body here after taking permission from Lord Buddha. Venerable Sariputta’s mother was residing in Nalanda and he had gone to take care of his mother before he took his Nibbana. Continue reading Nalanda: Mother of All Universities & Rajgir