Wish fulfilling Divine tree–Kalpavriksha, Joshimath

There is a mulberry tree, said to be 2,500 years old in Joshimath. It is called ‘Kalpavriksha’ or the divine wish-fulfilling tree. It is said that Shankaracharya meditated in a cave under this tree, from the age of 11 years till 16 years of age. He received enlightenment and re-established the idol at the Badrinath Temple which had been immersed in the Alaknanda river by non-believers. He is said to be the avatar of Lord Shiva. There is a temple under this very tree today. There is a plaque which proclaims that the tree is 2,500 years old, but this fact seems to have eluded the world as the list of top 10 oldest trees in the world does not include this tree. Like most under explored places in India, this does not figure in the lists of ancient trees, though that list has trees under 2,500 years old. 

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It is worth a visit, if only for the serenity and peace that surrounds it. It never hurts to make a wish too.


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Spiny gourd- Momordica dioica

In our garden, a vegetable called spiny gourd or teasle gourd grows on a vine..it is called a fruit vegetable and cooked like bitter gourd……it is nutritious and used in traditional medicine . It is reportedly high in fiber and anti-oxidants, good for eyesight , anti-aging, anti-cancer, and good for diabetics as well…..


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Red and white fuchsias- our garden

Fuchsias are a delight……while they themselves droop, they uplift the onlooker….


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Sanasar, India

A place nestled between mountains, perfect for camping and adventure sports, well-connected by road, located in Jammu and Kashmir…I don’t see a downside, do you????DSC_0476 - Copy - Copy DSC_0464 - Copy - Copy DSC_0455 - Copy - Copy DSC_0444 - Copy - Copy DSC_0501 - Copy - Copy DSC_0507 - Copy - Copy DSC_0521 - Copy - Copy DSC_0459 - Copy - Copy DSC_0482 - Copy - Copy DSC_0445 - Copy - Copy

Prepare to take a vacation…

 


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Scorpion plant or Stinging Nettle

The plant called ‘Bichoo booti’ or the Scorpion Plant is so named because any contact with it makes the skin stings like a scorpion sting. This plant is also called the Stinging Nettle, and is found in abundance over the Himalayas. Surprisingly, the locals have successfully used it as a rich source of proteins, Vitamins A and C, Iron, minerals and fiber!!!!! They take the precaution of handling it carefully and soaking it for half an hour in water before cooking it, it’s wonderfully nutritious and is free…

As you can see in the pictures below, the plant is covered with bristles/ thorns that actually inject Histamine and other irritants into the skin like a million hypodermic needles. It causes intense itching, swelling, redness, pain and lasts for 1-3 days. Miraculously, everywhere this plant, a plant called the Dock plant or other leafy plants with tiny red flowers grow, which neutralise the effects of the Stinging Nettle!!! 

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The leafy plant shown below is also called ‘Spinach’ and is eaten along with the Stinging Nettle.

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The Bichoo Booti is used as food and for the production of a fibre like cotton or linen. The advantage is that the Bichoo Booti grows in the wild and does not need any care or insecticides / pesticides. It is truly a miracle of nature that the plant which causes an intense allergic reaction grows next to plants that can neutralise its toxic effects…….The Himalayas are a truly blessed place…


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Heair Catting…with She-airs !!!!!! ???

There is a shop..sorry ‘Shopp’ in Pahalgam, in Jammu and Kashmir, India, which offers ‘Heair Catting’…..it also proclaims that it is the best Shopp for the Heair Catting…….Interested, anyone?????

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I wonder if they use She-airs to Cat the He-airs ???? 🙂 


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Poison Puff Posing as a Power Puff

She sat puffing by a busy highway

As though vehicles were not enough to pollute her airway

The bidi in her hands was held skillfully

While she dragged on it liberally

When she exhaled a cloud of toxic smoke

It covered her like a shroud, a  cloak

Who are we to judge another’s choice

Maybe it’s her sole reason to live, to rejoice…..

I thought about  the smoke our homes and vehicles spew

I feel guilty at being one of the favoured few…….

The next day I cycled to work, instead of driving

Our environment needs reviving…..

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Origin of the Mighty Ganga River

The mighty Ganga or Ganges river is formed by the union of the Bhagirathi river and the Alaknanda Rivers at Devprayag in the western Himalayas.The Bhagirathi arises from the Gangotri Glacier at a place called Gaumukh at 12,769 feet.  The Alakananda is larger and longer, formed by melting of snow from the Nanda Devi, Trisul, and Kamet peaks. When we visited Devprayag, the Alaknanda was muddy, with a high silt factor as the rains had started. The Bhagirathi waters appeared green, while the Alaknanda was brownish. I feel blessed to have seen this union of the two rivers. IMG_5227 IMG_5225 IMG_5223

The Ganga river is considered holy by the Hindus, and is worshipped throughout its course. Apart from that, it is a mighty river that flows through the Himalayas, serving as a lifeline to millions of people before it flows into the Bay of Bengal. 

After the monsoon season, the water of the Ganga river is of a clear blue, a colour which is pure and clear.

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Orchids on a tree trunk

Somewhere on this earth

People know what plants are worth

When a tree falls, the stump is preserved

It is given the habitat it deserves

It provides life to greens and orchids

A delightful sight for adults and kids…..


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Red Admiral butterfly, Nagaland, India

Out of the corner of my eye I did see

A butterfly as beautiful as can be

It flew in a zig and a zag

As though it was trying to brag

It teased and tantalized 

I was totally mesmerized 

The name was impressive too

It posed, it settled, away it flew!!

 


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