Saturday, July 2, 2016

Bandhavgarh National Park - Ruins of The Past

Situated in the cradle of  the Vindhya Hills a chain of mountains that lie to the North of India.  The park is situated in Umaria District of Madhya Pradesh. The erstwhile hunting reserve of Maharajahs of Rewa is now a protected area. 

Apart from dense tiger forests the reserve boats of ancient ruins that date two centuries back in history. The ruins belong to ruling Hindu Kings who left their marks on the mountainous tract. The park is home to many animals especially the Bengal Tiger that rules the ruins and the forests. Being a core of protected area no human habitation is allowed anymore.    

The ruins are in shape of idols, statues, caves, horse shelters, temples and gates. The fort lies atop the Bandhavgarh Mountain at 800 MSL. Now in rums some elements are still intact. The unique feature of the fort in ruin is the zoo-morphic statues of Lord Vishnu. Scattered along the tableau are statues of Visnu as Varah, Matsya and Sinh avatar. The Ram Janki Temples lies on the edge of the plateau overlooking the magnificent reserve.    

Hindu Temple
On the ascent to the fort lies Sesh Shaiyya or sleeping idol of Lord Vishnu on edge of the pool. Esoteric and fairy land like the pool is man made and ancient. Ferns and small shrubs decorate the surroundings creating a cool precinct that offered succor and shelter to thirsty and exhausted soldiers of yore. 

Fort Entrance
There are ruins all over and many can be seen on tiger safari at Bandhavgarh. The wildlife is enchanting and consists of tiger, leopard, sloth bear, dhole, deer, and bison. The number of hillocks create a mesmerizing topography making the park one of the most picturesque in India. 

Fort Ruins
In order to reach the destination one needs to drive 170 km from Jabalpur airport & rail head. Other ways of reaching Bandhavgarh are by rail. An overnight train halts at Umaria station 32 km from the park. The road network is well connected. 

There are many hotels in Bandhavgarh for accommodation near by in the buffer zone. They conform to different grades like luxury, deluxe, five star and budget. Rest houses are also available for stay but booking is accorded only to Government Officials.  

Reclining Vishnu
Prior booking of safaris are advisable as they are booked well in advance. The bookings can be made at  MP Online Portal. The hotels and resorts cane be booked using the websites.

   Images by Teerath Singh

Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Soulful Quest

Dr.John Matthai

It is said that a picture speaks a thousand words but sometimes the images stirs yourself...a never ending journey into yore. John Matthai is one such genius who never seems to be ordinary. Being a doctor, wildlife lover, music lover and artist he resorts to the camera to exude his hidden talents and personae extraordinary. 

Here is a presentation of his work that takes you on soulful quest in a land called India. Some of the images are frozen in time and enthrall you with their stillness. Some are action in needs a plethora of words in reckoning to describe....



Beraghat Boatiug

Madan Mahal Fort

Swamp Deer

On Narmada

Amer Fort

Agra Fort


DhuandharFalls Jabalpur

Monday, May 23, 2016

Gandhi - A Poem

The Mahatma a modern day prophet
An epitome of compassion extreme
A mercy petitioner for mankind and justice
An embodiment of tolerance and peace

A frail in loin cloth the naked fakir
Rusting specs and walking stick
Sole possession of an enigmatic messiah
A freedom fighter non violent he overcame the seize

An advocate of harmony and sanity beyond belief
He preached love for those who hate
A protector of down trodden in equality he believed
Savior of Harijans the people demeaned

An ascetic in quest of eternal truth
Renounced all pleasures but not the Karmic deeds
A life led simple to achieve greatest feats
Of exemplary conduct he was a Mahatma indeed

A saintly man with the spinning wheel
He spun magic to win freedom with zeal
The mighty throne brought to heel
The rulers and satraps humbled to reel

To pardon misdeeds and teach right
And make diminutive the mighty with false pride
On path of sainthood he was assassinated
Mahatma the global phenomena martyred 

Copyright Uday Patel

Krishna - A Poem

A celestial figure with flute on his lips
On bejeweled crown a peacock feather  tip
A necklace priceless on a golden  garb
The Lord blue black has a magnetic charm

Avatar of Vishnu the God Almighty
Preserver among the holy trinity
Descendant from heaven for emancipation of humanity
For conquest over sinner the evil sovereignty  

Krsna beloved revered and immortal
An incarnate enigmatic as earthly mortal
A virgin birth in an ordinary home
The savior arrived to cleanse the Earth impure

Born of Devaki and Vasudeva
Fostered by Yashoda and Nanda
The little cherub as he is known
Full of pranks the vivacious makhan chor

Krisna te 8th avatar mighty demon slayer
Lord almighty with names  galore
A charming lover of thousands of maidens
Paramour of Radha a love eternal

Architect of Mahabharat internecine
Epic battle between the might and right
The charioteer of Arjun warrior invincible
Master strategist a karmic preacher

Lord Krisna guide and savior
The blessed one an emancipator
Sro Radhe Gopal professor of love and kindness
The Lord Supreme all pervasive omnipotent  

A divine preacher of truth universal
All encompassed in Epic named Gita
The song of the Lord unravels
Existential philosophy and intrigue that entangles

Unto each consciousness Krisna enter
In believers sanctum he resides
A blessing for mind body & soul
A revelation of cosmic maze and sounds

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna the hymn to chant
The words that enchant and bless who rant   
Copyright: Uday Patel

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Hermit

Long flowing beard grayed with time
Deep sunken eyes set on a countenance of grime
A lean figure mysterious and mystical
The hermit elusive, revered, of inclination divine

Scant white robe tattered and torn
On a bronze body mellowed and worn
A withered look on a personae forlorn
Peripatetic always on the go, a wanderer

A life lived in solitude and devotion
Single minded obsession of attaining salvation
With no worldly possession and no earthly desires
The hermit dwells in remote forests in caves     

Spends ages in penance and spiritual pursuit
Always meditating and in oneness with truth
To attain enlightenment the final quest
The holy man on pilgrimage endless

At peace with oneself and worldly wise
The hermit preaches and is full of advise
The sermons and prayers for the pious in tow
Learned of scriptures an itinerant with know

A soul of simple means no wealth no creed
On meager doles and offering he feeds
Bare essentials are all that he needs
The hermit is a saintly character indeed

Poem By Uday Patel 
Photo Credit: Neeraj Vegad

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Himalayas A Poem

Like a silver lining in the clouds
Silent sentinels with shining tops
A glittering range of snow clad mountains
The scars of upheaval a spectacle astounding

A barren land of  profound delight
Beaming bright in the golden light
A gateway to heaven the abode of Gods
For millions a pinnacle where Shiva lords

From the depth of Tethys a wall incredible
Arose the highest and the most invincible
A startling emergence of Earthly crust
To lofty heights the Himalayas thrust

A geological formation massive as defined
Collision of land masses stratified
The movement tectonic a crash  inevitable
Eons past a timescale unimaginable

A cluster of icy glens and glaciers
An uninhabitable terrain of towering peaks
Source of rivers that flow asunder
To nurture the foothills and the plains down under
Himalayan region a zoo geographic magnificence
Wonder of the World the Everest insurmountable
Ever rising and indomitable
For the mountaineers a dream ascent

Himalayas a massive wall all snow white
Magical mystical mountain reaching yonder the blue sky
Like an apparition on the horizon
A no man's land an infinite spectacle

Poem By  Uday Patel

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Snake Charmer

A short emaciated man
Dappered in a white loin cloth
A bulging headgear he adorns
The snake charmer is a sight forlorn
With baskets slung over the shoulders
Full of deadly snakes to play
He makes a living the risky way
He squats besides a busy road
Seeking audience for his show
With a flute in his bare hands
Placed in between his quavering lips
He plays it with his fingertips
As he blows the flute begins to sing
To the right to the left the organ sways
Out pops the deadly snake the cobra
From a basket of twigs and hay
In wild frenzy he gyrates
With the magnificent hood fully inflate
To the left and to the right
Up and down hissing as he sways wild
The charmers eyes fixed on the reptile
The deadly fangs ready to strike
The onlookers begin to gather
Starry eyed and mesmerized
From a distance they enjoy
The spectacle that goes on and on
Finally the act comes to a stop
The snake gets milk as reward
And slithers back to his ward
Then the coins begin to land
Onto the snake charmer's waiting hands
A days job done well
The charmer bids farewell

Taj Mahal - A Poem

Taj Mahal - John Mathai
A saga of regal love enshrined
In annals of history eternally ascribed
A romantic interlude of passionate kind
Of a king and queen beloved entwined
King of a land besieged Shah Jehan
Of beauty and grace Queen Mumtaz Mahal

Taj Mahal at Agra an edifice memorable
Made of marble a cenotaph parable
The mausoleum a magnificent splendor
That enraptures all in awe and wonder

The wonder of the world Taj Mahal
A masterpiece absolutely symmetrical
Stands lone on the river bank Yamuna
A fascinating sight and setting  ethereal

The marvel white it glows in moon light
It is a dazzling spectacle of extreme delight
From all over the globe tourists arrive
To fulfill their dream and extol

The work of art incomparable
Intricate carving and aesthetics admirable
Studded with lapis lazuli and gems precious
A monument for one most adorable

By - Uday Patel

Friday, February 5, 2016

Indian Wedding Procession

A motley crowd a joyous occasion
A wedding procession on the go
Men and women in state of trance
Entangled in a chaotic dance
To the tune of the deafening sound
Loud and raucous a roadside merry go round
Fireworks sky rocket and crackers blast
A spectacle on the street marches past

On the road betwixt heavy traffic
A fashion parade live in public
Men women teen in a revelry unseen
Women in colorful sarees and lehangas
Decked full in gold and glittering jewels
Men in suits and kurti pajamas
Drunk brimful the friends of groom
Jubilant and wild the rowdy boys

The groom on the horse back
Suited booted decked up to the heel
Adorning a turban with flowery veil
Shy and lovelorn a glum figure indeed
He sits hunched a ride unbearable
A hero for the day but uncomfortable
Indian Wedding : Neeraj Vegad

Round and round the procession goes
As it circumambulates the wedding venue
Be it day or night for long the tamasha continues
The celebration keeps all on toes

Crescendo rises as the venue nears
Waiting in expectation the bride in tears

By Uday Patel 

It is my effort to describe India through poems for travelers and would be travelers. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Khajuraho: Magic in Stone

For centuries hidden in remote confines
Unknown to the World the marvels lost in time  
The temples lay desolate and untended
Many in crumbling ruins some desecrated
Discovered by chance a heritage was excavated
A treasure worthy an artistic delight most appreciated     

Descendants of Moon God the Chandelas
Mighty rulers the Rajputs of Bundela
The creators bold the dynasty personified 
Magic in stone the carvings as described
A magnificent creation of the art inclined
Sensuous forms of damsels divine
Of nymphs celestial & beasts intertwined
Of erotica in imagery the taboo eulogized  

The ancient temples of Khajuraho
An esoteric narrative of royal creation
On stones interlocked to perfection
In sculptures depicting sensual recreation
The impressive objects of art and veneration

Of divinity and Kama essential
An eternal truth existential
Reveal Tantrik sex in the treatise
Of procreation through pleasure one derives
With the chisel and the knife
The angelic figures have come to life

 Poem Copy Right Uday Patel
Photo Credit: Nandita Amin