Himalayas

A Trip to Dhanaulti Hill Station

It was in December 2012. Continual rains for two days lashed Dehradun and Mussoorie hills. The temperature plummeted to freezing point and there was a snowfall in the Dhanaulti. Dhanaulti is a hill station about 30 km from the popular hill station of Mussoorie in Uttarakhand State of India. It is situated at an altitude of 2286 meters, and is known for its quiet environs amidst the alpine forests of Deodar, Rhododendron and Oak. We planned to visit the place after 3 days of the snowfall. We did not expect to see any snow as we thought it would have… Read More »A Trip to Dhanaulti Hill Station

Mahseer Fish: The Tiger in Water

Mahseer is a fish belonging to carp family. It is found in the shimmering freshwater of Himalayan rivers especially Jhelum. Kashmiris prize this fish. Since Pakistan constructed Mangla Dam on the river in 1967, it became almost extinct on Indian side of the border. Scientific name of Mahseer is Tor. The name is composite of two words Mahi which means Fish and Sher meaning Tiger. It is a huge fish with size going up to 9 feet and weight more than 50 kilograms. It has a great strength and is very difficult to get hold on to. That is why… Read More »Mahseer Fish: The Tiger in Water

Ghaggar River: The Lost Glory

Introduction The rivers in India are of two types. The ones like Ganga and Indus are perennial in nature because they originate in Himalayas and are fed by melting ice. Others are intermittent in nature. Their catchment area is foothills of Himalayas and these flow in full glory only during monsoons in the catchment area in hills. River Description One such river is Ghaggar. It originates in the village of Dagshai in the Shivalik Hills of Himachal Pradesh at an elevation of 1,927 metres (6,322 ft) above mean sea level and flows through Punjab and Haryana states into Rajasthan just southwest… Read More »Ghaggar River: The Lost Glory

Goshawk

Those who live in Punjab must have seen the picture of tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh. He is depicted riding a horse with full regalia and a falcon sitting on his hand. The guru has in fact a title given to him as “Baajan Wala”. Baaz is the name of the falcon he is holding. The falcon is called Goshawk and Baaz is the female of species. Its counterpart male is called “Jurra” in the Punjabi. Also the female of the Baaz is much larger in size and esteemed for its preying prowess. The falcon was a prized possession for… Read More »Goshawk

Uttrakhand Floods: Shall we learn any Lessons

It has become a tragedy of epic proportions. The loss in terms of precious human lives, property and environment is bigger than suffered in many wars. The floods which occurred in June 13 coincided with an event called “Char Dham Yatra” in which many hundred thousands have gone to the religious places in the Himalayas falling in Uttrakhand like Badrinath, Kedarnath. Thousands died and many thousands were trapped as the floods smashed many roads to smithereens blocking the way to return. So many hotels and guest houses fell like house of cards. As can be seen clearly in the video… Read More »Uttrakhand Floods: Shall we learn any Lessons

Dehradun in Mythology

In the earliest legend, Dehradun was a part of Kedarkhand, the abode of Great God Shiva whose popularity in this region is reflected in the hills being called after Him as Shiwalik.  The place also figures in two mythological epics Mahabharata & Ramayana. It is said that Rama and his brother Lakshmana came here to do the penance after the death of Ravana at their hands. Five Pandava brothers also sojourned here while on their way to inner recesses of Himalayas. Another legend is connected with a little river called Suswa. After Indra made fun of 60000 pygmy brahmins for… Read More »Dehradun in Mythology

Some facts about Dehradun

Dehradun is the capital of Uttrakhand. Earlier, it was an important town in Uttar Pradesh state. Being in the hills it has milder weather than rest of Uttar Pradesh. So British moved to hill stations during summers like Dehradun, Mussorie and Shimla: all situated in the hills of North India and were cooler. It must have been a favorite city of the British as is evident from the fact that headquarters of a number of departments like Forest and Survey of India,  are located here. It is surrounded on the North by Himalayas and in the South by the Shiwaliks… Read More »Some facts about Dehradun

Shiva-The Most Adorable God

Shiva evolved from the fierce Vedic god Rudra with whom elements of non-Aryan fertility were merged. Shiva or Siva is a great ascetic. The great Yogi sits in meditation on the tiger skin on the high slopes of Mount Kailasha in Himalayas. Through his deep meditation the world is maintained. He wears his long matted hair (Jata) in a topknot with crescent moon is fixed and sacred river Ganga flows. His neck is black, scarred by the poison which was the last product of churning of the cosmic ocean and which he drank to save the other Gods. Snakes encircle… Read More »Shiva-The Most Adorable God

Tai Ahoms: The Easterly Kshatriyas

Indian subcontinent can be accessed on land and by sea from three sides. In the past, invaders entered it through West from the side of Afghanistan. It is protected from North by Himalayas which act as a formidable wall. The mountains which cover the India from North West to North East have been responsible for keeping the invaders entering from the North directly and also for creating the weather particularly the Monsoon which gives India respite from sweltering heat and helps in meeting the irrigation requirements and bestow bounteous crops to the region. Its snow capped mountains feed the perennial… Read More »Tai Ahoms: The Easterly Kshatriyas

Trees in Mumbai & Dehradun

The geographical locations of both the cities are very different. One that is Mumbai is sitting by the Arabian sea. Its importance is largely due to being a fine harbor. Thus it is a window through which India looks at the world. The city is hemmed in by the sea from all sides and hence has limitation in expanding in itself. So the population spills over to the mainland around it. Its weather is strongly affected by the breeze from the sea. Strong breeze breaks up at the noon time as the lighter hot air over the land is displaced… Read More »Trees in Mumbai & Dehradun