Go! Go! Goa

Goa is one of those must-visit places in India that every tourist needs to make a trip to. Why? I don't know. It is just that it has to be done. I had no regrets when the family made the trip in 2015.

Resorts pamper you with high costs and comfort. The Holiday Inn resort we stayed in wasn't a disappointment in this regard. They even charged for printing a sheet of paper. Well organized. The food, good Goan cuisine, was great. All the places in Goa are crowded. The resort had its own beach and that made life amazingly great.

We made an odd visit to a spices place which turned out to be a good visit. With a drunk tour guide walking tourists through all the spice plantations around, it was a cool experience to listen to weird stories from the guide topped with our fun exploration of the place around us.

The beaches are certainly worth visiting once. Unfortunately, my wife and I were pampered by amazing white sand beaches in the Monterey Bay area in California. Goa isn't that but is still good in its own way.

A visit to Gandhi’s place – Ahmedabad

A Spelling Bee competition that Shivani participated in took the family to Ahmedabad, Gujarat. It was a short stay and we made it to the Sabarmati ashram from where Mahatma Gandhi orchestrated a great many events for India's freedom.

Ahmedabad is a very clean and surprisingly green city given the high temperatures in summer and generally tough weather throughout the year. Overall, a good safe city, good people around and a wonderful place for a quick 2-day visit. We skipped the Akshardham temple as it was heavily crowded. But, it was a fabulous view from outside. There was also a unique underground stepped well in the outskirts of the city that we couldn't make it to.


A visit to the Basavanagudi Temple

I visited the Basavanagudi (The Big Bull Temple) with my family in 2013. An amazing temple with a grand architecture housing Nandi, the bull.

 Also, this temple complex, which is pretty crowded in the weekends, has other smaller temples. Dodda (Big) Ganesha temple has a giant idol of the Hindu God.

I was particularly attracted to a less visited temple of Hanuman. A temple only as big as the idol itself, it is perched atop the uneven hills around the complex. What is interesting is the reclining position of the idol elegant with white butter applied all over the body and a garland of leaves adorning the border frame of the idol. I had never seen an idol placed in such a position in any temple before. Worth a visit!

The Mystical Great Lakes!

Since 2001, the first time that I came to the United States, I’ve visited the Great Lakes on several occasions. Calling them as “lakes” is probably a great injustice to these mighty oceans. Lake Superior is my favorite and I’ve watched it from the Western Coast in Minnesota and the Southern Coast in Michigan. The lake has sparked my interest in the mystic creation of God, the hobby of collecting pebbles (rocks) and the history of the Native Americans. The picture in this post was taken by a good friend of mine from Business School. It is the untouched splendor of the amazing Lake Superior taken from the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (http://www.nps.gov/piro/). The sandstone cliffs and beaches provide a spectacular snapshot of nature’s beauty. This place is a rich source of minerals formed from millions of years of volcanic activity that created them in the first place, a reason why miners arrived at Lake Superior in the 18th century. Check this link to have a look at Miner’s Castle and Grand Portal Point in the Upper Peninsula- http://www.lakesuperiorphoto.com/miners_castle_collapse.html
Information on some of the amazing rocks that one can find near lake Superior, including the agates, can be found in this site – http://www.superiortrails.com/rock-hound.html. I feel lucky to have made this trip as part of a socializing event in business school called ‘MTrek’. It sure was an unforgettable experience. I shall talk exclusively about my interest in Native American history in a different post.