Tag Archives: tourism

Jodhpur, the blue city in Rajasthan

Many a traveler on the tourist trail leading from the Taj Mahal into the desert state of Rajasthan goes to the ‘pink’ city of Jaipur and then very often is headed for Pushkar, Udaipur or Jaisalmer further west.

Jodhpur_Rajasthan_4

What about the blue city of Jodhpur? What’s wrong with it?  I often wondered. Is it not recommended enough by guidebooks like the ‘lonely plant’? are people really rushing their way through this most beautiful part of india? it is probably a combination and it’s a pity anyway, i would say. More than once people told me they arrived in the morning and then take the train in the evening again. Those are the moments I praise myself for having all the time in the world (let’s not talk about the money)

20140310- (1)

jodhpur_blue_city_19

Contrary to Jaipur everything is in walking distance here and condensed around and under the Mehrangarh fort. It was easy to spend two weeks in this gorgeous atmosphere spinning between the blue houses, wandering around the tiny streets, photographing ‘the guard’ at the fort (among many other characters I stumbled upon in the alleys) and going to Ramesh (‘a real Bombay barber’) for my regular shave and face massage. (watch the video at the end)

Jodhpur_blue_city_9jodhpur_blue_city_7

jodhpur_blue_city_18

jodhpur_rajasthan_12Jodhpur_blue_city_2‘the tailor’

jodhpur_blue_city_3‘7.04 PM’

jodhpur_blue_city_17

Jodhpur_blue_city ‘Jamil’

jodhpur_blue_city_20

jodhpur_blue_city_16

jodhpur_rajasthan_15

jodhpur_rajasthan_14

Jodhpur_Rajasthan_10

Jodhpur_Rajasthan_5

jodhpur_blue_city_10

Jodhpur_Rajasthan_2J M C W 34 P 77

Enshrined‘Enshrined’

Jodhpur_Rajasthan‘the golden girl’

jodhpur_rajasthan_19

jodhpur_rajasthan_18mehrangargh_4

mehrangarh_8

 ‘the bush at the fort’ & ‘the guard at the fort’

mehrangarh_2

mehrangarh_7

jodhpur_blue_city_6

jodhpur_blue_city_8

jodhpur_blue_city_15jodhpur_blue_city_14jodhpur_blue_city_13jodhpur_rajasthan_8Jodhpur_Rajasthan_17

jodhpur_blue_city_5

images available through mail@stinophoto.com

The temples of Angkor

Angkor, in Cambodia’s northern province of Siem Reap, is one of the most important archaeological sites of Southeast Asia. A Unesco world heritage site,  it extends over 400 square kilometres and contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. They include the famous Temple of Angkor Wat and, at Angkor Thom, the Bayon Temple with its countless sculptural decorations.

Bayon_temple_5

Angkor_temple_6

Ta_Prohm

With over two million visitors each year, what strikes me most is that Angkor can still  give the traveler a true explorer’s feel. Of course taking your time and going well off the main trails helps a lot. I rented a bike for three days to explore the huge area. To get kinda lost and be fully alone amidst ruins peeping from underneath the centuries old trees. immersed in the mystical atmosphere…

angkor_siem_reap_2

Angkor_temple_7

Angkor_temple_4Angkor_Cambodia_3

Angkor_Cambodia_2Angkor_temple_5Angkor_temple_9

Angkor, the largest religious monument in the world was recently in the news because people regularly lower their pants for nude pictures. They might very well have confused Angkor with the temples of Khajuraho in India, where the sexual practices at the time are depicted rather vividly.

Bayon_temple_4Bayon_temple_3

Angkor_Cambodia_1

Angkor_Tom_3

Angkor_Tom_4

Angkor_temple_3

angkor_temple_8

angkor_siem_reap_1k

 

Bayon_templeimages available through mail@stinophoto.com

Lumbini, birthplace of gautama the buddha

Even though not felt as utterly urgent, Lumbini has been on my list for many years as I had been on a pilgrimage to the most important sites associated with the life of the Buddha in India, but I never made it to Nepal (apart from a quick passage through Kathmandu on my way to Tibet).

Now that I have been Trekking The Annapurna Trail, Lumbini was conveniently on my way out of Nepal and back into India. It’s situated on the grassy plains of southern Nepal and the climate here is pleasantly warm in november. A few months ago it was unbearably hot here as I heard more than a few people utter sighingly.

It was very weird to approach Lumbini by bus as even two hours before the actual arrival sign posts said we were in Lumbini. I was headed for the Korean temple, the only place where non-nationals can reside. And all my encounters with Koreans had been great so there we went, me and the cycle rickshaw driver in the quiet of dusk flanked by trees and the lovely smell of dewy grass.

Even though many rent bikes to explore the huge area I did it all on my two feet the next day. Also to test my brand new real fake comfy walking sandals. Pretty much every buddhist country has a temple and/or monastery here. Even non-buddhist countries like Austria, France and Germany and it has to be said (and who would expect it – not me) the German temple is simply stunning, adorned with the most exquisite art and wall paintings. in-cre-di-ble…

I did not enter the grounds where the actual spot is of Buddha’s birth as it was always flooded with people. just circling around it gave me much more peace and quiet and it was even better to soak in the specail vibe here coming from the legacy of one of the most revered people that ever walked the earth. Even though Kushinagar (the place where he passed away) really moved me much more I gotta say.

Siddharta (prince) Gautama’s life was very much associated with trees. His mother gave birth under a tree, he found enlightenment under the bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, gave his first sermon under a tree in Sarnath. I enjoy photographing the statues of baby buddha surrounded by the trees here.

Lumbini is also the playground for Nepal’s school youth who naturally are more interested in fooling around with each other than connecting with their heritage. but I was no different their age so I willingly play along as once again they wanna go on the photo with me looking at me as if I were a movie star and verily, I realised in the end how annoying is must be  to really be one! So I count my blessings and appreciate how luckyI am to just simply be me…

 

Lumbini_Nepal_2Lumbini_Nepal

Lumbini_Nepal_4

Lumbini_Nepal_7Lumbini_Nepal_3Lumbini_Nepal_8

Lumbini_Nepal_6

Lumbini_Nepal_9

sidharta_gautama_1

Lumbini_Nepal_12

sidharta_gautama_2

Lumbini_Nepal_20

baby_buddha_3

sidharta_gautama_5Lumbini_Nepal_16

Lumbini_Nepal_15

Lumbini_Nepal_10

Lumbini_Nepal_17

myanmar_temple

buddhist_art_3

baby_buddha_2

baby_buddha

 

Lumbini_Nepal_11

buddhist_art_2

Thai_Temple

Lumbini_Nepal_22

Lumbini_Nepal_21

buddhist_art_4

Lumbini_Nepal_13

 

images are  available through mail@stinophoto.com