“Pic of the Week”, March 17, 2023: Room with a view, Trincomalee

00 Amaranthe Bay Resort

The Amaranthe Bay Resort is located just north of Trincomalee on the Pillaikulam Aru river.  It’s a lovely resort in a quiet neighborhood and the view over the river is nice, especially at sunrise.  We spent a few days here.
As I was dealing with jet-lag at the time so I was up before dawn each morning.  I’d spend a good deal of that time looking out over the river.  There were lots of birds that awoke with me and birdsong at dawn is always something I enjoy.
I think there were some fishing nets strung across the other side of the river, as this man tended to something out there every morning.  But it was far enough away that I wasn’t …

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“Pic of the Week”, March 3, 2023: A Puppet Show in Jaipur


Often a few unexpected moments are what make a trip memorable.
As we were heading for a visit to the Palace in Jaipur, we noted a puppet show had drawn a small crowd to it.  We stopped for a few minutes and watched. Seemed the hero of the show was a snake-charmer who calmed a cobra that slithered on stage.  You can follow the actions of snake and charmer in the few images in the slide show below (images are placed in sequence taken).

(Puppeteer in Jaipur)

When the crowd thinned, one of the puppet masters emerged.  I like his turban.
(Click on thumbnnails to enlarge photos)

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“Pic of the Week”, February 10, 2023: Flutist, Yak & Yeti Hotel, Kathmandu

Spare Nepal 04-2002 (1) Yak and Yeti Hotel

The Yak & Yeti Hotel was, and remains, one of the premier hotels in Kathmandu.  It’s the hotel most people heading to the Khumbu and Mt. Everest stay at when their plane lands in Kathmandu.
Breakfast was outside ever morning and we were serenaded by this talented musican.  The beautiful music added to the enjoyment of our meal and of our stay.

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“Pic of the Week”, January 27, 2023: Sri Pathrakali Amman Temple, Trincomalee

00 Sri Pathrakali Amman Temple

Trincomalee is best known for its beautiful natural harbor and spectacular diving.  But there are some diversions in the town that are worth stopping to see.
The Patrakali Amman Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Kali.  It has an elaborate and colorful facade filled with hundreds of statues.   
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge)

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.All Trips / Asia / Food / India

The Meena Bazar, Delhi

00 Meena Bazar, Delhi

Meena Bazar is located in Old Delhi close to the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Red Fort. It’s an old sprawling market that’s impossible to completely take in during one visit. It seems as though most people shopping here knew what vendors they wanted to patronize, although of course there was a lot of browsing.
The Bazar was created during the Mughal era as a place for women from the Red Fort to go shopping (for clothes, jewelry, sarees, carpets, etc.). The market has grown significantly beyond its original presence inside the Red Fort and caters to all now, not just to women. It seemed to me that just about anything you might want, you could find for …

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.All Trips / Asia / Sri Lanka

A Visit to the Koneswaram Temple, Trincomalee

00 Koneswaram Temple

For most of the late 20th century, Trincomalee was at the heart of Sri Lanka’s long, bloody Civil War.  As you would expect, visitation to the area was limited and I’ve only been to the city once, this during my last visit to Ceylon.  It’s one of the nicer communities in the country and has a beautiful setting along the Indian Ocean.
Located high on a rock promontory (known as Konesar Malai) is one of the biggest attractions in Trincomalee, the Koneswaram Hindu Temple (a.k.a Dakshinakailasha).  The temple is built on an ancient Hindu site that dates to around the 16th century B.C.  A temple has occupied the space since at least the 6th century B.C., and it’s long been a …

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.All Trips / Asia / Sri Lanka

Sinhalese New Year Celebration, Sri Lanka

00 New Years, Polonnaruwa

Tomorrow, April 14th, is New Year’s Day in Sri Lanka.  Sinhalese Buddhists call it ‘Aluth Avurudu’, while Tamil Hindus name it ‘Puthandu’.  My last visit to Sri Lanka coincided with this celebration, which I thought I’d share with you today. 
The date and time of Sri Lanka’s New Year’s is determined by astrologists, but  always falls between April 12th and 15th (depending on the cycle of the moon).  It’s a celebration based partially in superstitions — a way to hope for a good harvest and prosperous year.  New Year’s is a time to put on some new clothes and visit friends, family or a temple, and to enjoy good food.  Parades are held, although we didn’t go to one.  Almost everything …

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.All Trips / Asia / Sri Lanka

Gal Vihara, Sri Lanka

00 Gal Vihara (2)

One of the most amazing sites in Sri Lanka is the Gal Vihara, which is located within the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  I thought the Gal Vihara was unusual and interesting enough to warrant a more detailed blog.   During my last visit I spent a full hour here, studying and photographing details of the carvings and just watching people.   
This has long been a site of Buddhist worship and teaching.  Gal Vihara (meaning ‘Rock Temple’) is an amazing collection of beautifully sculpted Buddha images carved from a massive granite boulder.  The scope of the carvings and their beautiful detail never cease to amaze me.  Hard to imagine the time it …

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