Temple of the Emerald Buddha - Amazing Thailand

This series is based over my reflections upon visiting Thailand.

Ranthambhore National Park - Aircel Save the Tigers Initiative

Tiger Conservation is one of the most important priorities for us in the 21st century. Aircel Save the Tigers Initiative invited your author to observe the steps taken by them to tackle the issue. Read on to know more..

Hill Fort of Kumbhalgarh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Do check out our weekly series covering the best destinations in India and the World in 'Picture of the Week'

The Immortal Kumbh Mela - Mahakumbha of 2013

Believed to be the largest congregation of mankind in the world, read my series of posts to know how it feels like to be amongst a magnitude of people

Guru Dongmar Lake, one of the highest in the world

Few destinations have the ability to change your life; Sikkim being one of them. Check out the series 'Sikim Soujourn' to find out why ?



Friday, January 16, 2015

Picture of the Week #118 - Wat Arun (Const 17th Cent CE)

Picture © Rohan A Singh
Wat Arun used to house the famous Emerald Buddha statue until it was shifted to its present location, at the Wat Phra Kaew in the Grand Palace Complex in Bangkok, Thailand

Monday, January 12, 2015

Swami Vivekananda - The Traveler

Swami Vivekananda (Source - Wikipedia)

Swami Vivekananda was a monk and a philosopher. He was born on 12th January 1863 CE (in Calcutta) and today the world is celebrating his 151st Birth Anniversary. Amongst many of his famous deeds, his introduction of Hinduism at the Parliament of World's Religion in Chicago in the year 1893 CE is remembered across the world by many. It was thanks to the hundreds of conventions and lectures addressed by him, in the west, that the Hindu concepts of Yoga, Transcendental Meditation e.t.c. were embraced warmly by the people of the west. He founded the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission, both named after his guru.

Vivekananda Rock in Tamil Nadu, located 50 metres off the mainland of India, is the spot where Swami Vivekananda meditated in the winter of 1892 and attained enlightenment. A memorial, seen in the pic, stands to commemorate that incident.

The reason why he features in Path Rarely Taken - The Travel Blog is because he, as a wandering monk traveled across the lengths and breadths of India (from Ayodhya to Ernakulam, from Srinagar to Kanyakumari, from Lahore to Sri Lanka and across America and England) for five years from 1888 CE to 1893 CE to understand the religious and (the prevalent) social norms of those times and to give lectures. He didn't travel because he had some business to do, he traveled because he wanted to 'see' unlike others who travel to see only what they want to see; a salient feature of a true traveler !

An illuminated Vivekananda Memorial, on Vivekananda Rock at nighttime.  

He travelled by foot and by the means of railway (with just a couple of books, a staff and his water pot along with him) and even though the purpose of his travels were religious in nature (just like Hiuen Tsang and Fa Hien) he had an open mind, an open heart, the curiosity to know, the intelligence to understand and the wisdom of not judging anyone. These qualities, I personally believe, are present in only those people who are true travelers by heart !

Path Rarely Taken - The Travel Blog pays respect to his eminence, Swami Vivekananda (a true traveler), on his 151st Birth Anniversary !

Friday, January 9, 2015

Picture of the Week #117 - Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Tamil Nadu

Picture © Rommel A Singh

January 12th 1863 was Swami Vivekananda's (born Narendra Nath Dutta) birthday and this year the world will celebrate the 151st birth anniversary of this iconic Philosopher who introduced Hinduism to the modern world ! Located off the coast of Tamil Nadu, India; Vivekananda Rock is located at the tri-junction of Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Palk Strait. Swami Vivekananda attained enlightenment after meditating on this rock, in the year 1892 CE. Accompanying Vivekananda Rock out in the Ocean is another rocky outcrop upon which stands a giant statue of the great Indian poet Thiruvalluvar.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Picture of the Week #116 - Phra Mondop, Bangkok

Picture © Rohan A Singh

Friday, December 26, 2014

Picture of the Week #115 - Baavan Deori, Kumbhalgarh (1464 AD)

Picture © Rohan A Singh

The year of 2014 has been a roller coaster ride for me, especially the days of July and August. From experiencing the high of visiting Thailand (my first foreign trip thanks to TAT) to being forced to deal with a severe emotional loss as a result of my beloved granny departing the physical realm for her final journey, within a fortnight of me returning. In a state of bereavement i had to lead a group of travelers (as a part of Roots Travel Group) to Kumbhalgarh, the fortress of Mewar rulers.

This particular picture is of Baavan Deori (Baavan means 52) a temple located at a distance from the main tourist sections of the expansive Kumbhalgarh and at a location where mobile signals aren't available. It had started to drizzle and we were contemplating whether to head back when we saw the shikhars of this temple (at a distance) and we decided to dash through the rain and checkout this isolated temple which had a charm of its own.

Travel helped me, in a way, to come to terms with my loss and my visit to Kumbhalgarh will always be special in my heart !

Friday, December 19, 2014

Picture of the Week #114 - Phra Sri Rattana Chedi (Golden Stupa) (1855 AD)

Picture © Rohan A Singh
Located in the Grand Palace Complex in Krung Thep (Bangkok) this holy stupa was covered with golden mosaic tiles, on the orders of King Rama V of Thailand.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Picture of the Week #113 - BhagsuNag Falls, Bhagsu

Picture © Rohan A Singh