September 11, 2012

Company of loved ones, dark clouds covering whole of the sky, long drive, what else can one ask for on a weekend! Inadvertently, if the cam goes off, that's certainly you wouldn't appreciate. :( Desperation gives way to creativity, and there we were clicking the pics with the strength of all our senses put together. 

From Ozar Ganpati temple, we headed to Ganpati Teample at Lenyadri Hills, which is a series of 30 rock-cut Buddhist caves near Junnar Taluka, approx 90 km from Pune. This place is also known as "Sulaiman Pahar (mountain) or Ganesh Pahar". These caves have been created in 1st - 3rd century AD as a Buddhist monastery. Group of 30 caves contains two large shrines - chaitya griha (Cave 6-14) and one small chaitya. Other caves were created as dwellings for monks - viharas. Most viharas consist of verandah, central hall and cells arranged around the central hall. Although of smaller dimensions when compared to Ajanta, Ellora, Bhaja caves

Later on, one of the Buddhist dwellings was turned into a popular shrine of Hindu god Ganesh, which is one of the Ashtavinayak shrines at the Cave 7Some also name as Shri Girijatmaj Lenyadri GanapatiIt is said that in this particular cave Devi Parvati performed tapascharya for twelve long years for the gain of a son. After her long tapascharya, Lord Ganesh himself came before her. It is said that Lord Ganesha’s childhood took place in the Lenyadri mountains. It was his playground. So the name of the idol ‘Girijatmaj’ comes as ‘Girija’ meaning Devi Parvati and ‘Aatmaj’ meaning Son. Lenyadri carries an ancient myth which says that when the great Pandavas were living in agyatvas during their 13th year of exile, they sculptured these caves in just one night. 

How to reach Lenyadri 

Lenyadri Hill and Temple Map
By road from Pune: On the Pune Nasik Road passing through Chakan, Rajgurunagar, Manchar, Narayangaon to Junnar one can reach Lenyadri Ganpati. Junnar is the town closest to Lenyadri. Maharashtra state Transport buses also ply from Mumbai and Pune to Junnar. The distance between in Junnar to Lenyadri is 5km and this can be covered either by autorickshaw, car or jeeps that are easily available.

One can go by any vehicle to the base of hills further to which you have approx 300 stone cut steps arranged in ten flights, to take you to the top of the hill. The Palkhi or Doli (human carriage) service also offered 200 INR per person to the needy people till the top, that is one of the source of employment to locals. It is recommended to have water bottle while going up, as there is no shop up or on the stairways. As soon as we started climbing, little shower welcomed us, and after moving more up, strong wind made it harder to walkup, though enjoyable.

The place looks really eye-catching during monsoon season and ask us to be there for long. This holy place is encircled by a series of hills on all sides, and Shivneri Fort can also be adored from this place. The temple and the neighbouring caves are in possession of The Archaeology Department of India. The entry fee (darshan) is charged as Rs. 5 for the pilgrims and tourists.

So be it the quick trek, visit to the holy place, discover the history of caves in India, or a family or friends group tour, it attracts all. Anmol, Meenal, Anshul including me enjoyed the day so far, and next moved toward Bheemashanker Jyotirling.

September 4, 2012

Quote of the post: "The place for walkers, runners, skaters, cyclists and commuters where people of all ages and groups celebrate Seattle's rich maritime culture." - Quote about Lake Union, Seattle - Sachin Kumar Gupta 

Leaving the Pune (India) Monsoons, yet again arrived to the Emerald city of Seattle in the Summers. Take the break from the hustle and bustle of the city and stroll to Lake Union, a freshwater lake in Seattle joined by waterways to Puget Sound and Lake Washington. This unique gem has many sightseeing parks, gardens and trails in this region. Lake Union Park offers people of all ages and abilities a wide variety of ways to get out on the water and to immerse themselves in Seattle's rich maritime culture. The sight of seaplanes running throughout the day make this place eye-catching, and wouldn't let it away from your eyes. You can enjoy Seattle flight-seeing excursion, or scoot in and out of Lake Union, to the famous places like San Juan Islands, Orcas Island, Blake Island, or British Columbia. Kenmore Air and Seattle Seaplanes have their seaplane base and offers these services.

Lake Union Seattle Map
Lake Union shores are lined up with lovely houseboats colonies, commercial and private docks for owners and renters of tugboats, tour ships, sailboats, kayaks, yatchs, and canoes. Everyone’s favorite chick flick, “Sleepless in Seattle houseboat" can also be cherished. Adore "George Washington Memorial Bridge" while doing any marine activity. Enjoy the views of Downtown Seattle from Lake Union, and admire the Seattle's landmark Space Needle

The Gas Works Park site offers grassy hills for kite lovers with its beautiful views of the city. This old  park has tables, fire grills, the children’s play barn, and a picnic shelter. It is the site of former gasification plant with existence of ruins and pieces of old plant. It is the venue for summer concerts and Seattle's major Fourth of July fireworks show
Location:  2101 North Northlake Way, at the North end of Lake Union

Other parks ring the lake, clockwise around the compass from Gas Works which is nearly north: North Passage Point Park, South Passage Point Park, Fairview Park, Terry Pettus Park, and South Lake Union Park. A variety of restaurants with cuisine to meet every appetite, shops, salons and a maritime museum are available here. Chandlers Cove, Daniel's Broiler, Duke's, Joey, BluWater Bistro, Jillians Billiard's Club, RockSalt Steak House and China Harbor are to name a few.

*** Things to do at Lake Union Seatle *** 

Ramble around the Lake Union docks and relax at the parks.

By Seaplanes, Experience the most spectacular views of the Emerald city and the unique thrill of flying off the water, in and around of Seattle.

Have a glimpse of "Sleepless in Seattle" Houseboat and floating homes line the east and west sides of Lake Union.

Come down to the Center for Wooden Boats (CWB), a nautical museum on the shore, with historical boats, sailing events, classes and workshops. Visitors also participate by attending events such as the annual 4th of July Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival, regattas, boat shows. Every Sunday of the year, there are free public boat rides on Lake Union through CastOFF! Program. Come down in person to sign up as early as 10:00 a.m. for the 2:00 p.m. sail. Please note: space fills up quickly!

Visit Naval Reserve Building (Armory), situated at the water's edge, is now home to the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI). *Opening Dec 2012*

Practice and enjoy Dragonboating at South Lake Union at Kenmore Air. First 3 practices are FREE! It is a low-impact, full body workout for people of any experience level. Anyone can be a paddler.

Enjoy Wading Pools and Sprayparks at Lake Union Park. [Opens on sunny days or temp to be 70 degrees or more]

Relax and enjoy a stress-free commute by Mini-Ferry from Lake Union Park to UW  and vice-versa.

During eve, taste your favourate food at any of the wooden deck of lake shore.

Snap with the "George Washington Memorial Bridge" in the background.

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