A #Raahgiri Day

Having read so much I had to leave a Sunday free to experience a Raahgiri Day – an event that has recently been making the rounds on social media. The buzz surrounding Raahgiri Day was loud enough to reach my ears. Open Streets in the heart of Capital City of Delhi? Thousands of people? Every Sunday? I had to be there and learn more.

Raahgiri is one unique concept where you can walk, jog, run, skate, dance or do whatever you like without the fear of any cars or motor vehicle. A similar concept originated in Bogota, Colombia and the terms Cyclovia or Ciclovia(spanish word) in English also addressed as “Open Streets” means ‘BIKE PATH”. This event is also held on Sundays a day of healthy activities celebrated by the community in public streets.

Reebok Fitness Avenue

A fitness pavilion was setup by Reebok for the people. Everyone had a ton of fun during the workshop, it felt more like dancing to the beat.

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I guess that is what happens when you get a group of people together who love kettle-bells and movement and this gives them an opportunity to learn something new.

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You could see families with infants and toddlers, teenagers, adults, and seniors not as mere presence, but they were actively participating in Raahgiri.

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Raahgiri is not a festival, it is a movement—a short-term occasion for long-term change. We had children dressed in their school dress spreading the awareness.

Raahgiri has been inspiring people to come out of their shells and into the spotlight of their community.

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“It’s been a pretty steady crowd,” Ashok Mehta said. “I am an engineer by profession and I get rare chance to take time out, but I do like to ride. Raahgiri gives, me and my wife a time out of the daily busy schedule. ” I found that really awww and one romantic way to spend day together.

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Throughout the morning and early afternoon, friends and friends of friends entertained passersby with simple placard, many of whom they had apparently never seen or met.

A perfect place for the hawker to find buyer for these must-have toys.

The #SwachBharat campaign indeed had its impact on every individual. People were so keen to have the place clean.

_MG_9101No one waited for a safaai karamchari to come and do his duty. It was clearly an individual effort. Kudos to one such effort by our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

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The #selfiestick made its way for everyone to capture moments and stay crooned over social media.

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These were some amazing bunch of teenagers that were seen, enjoying and mapping way in the crowd for people to feel the enthusiasm.

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A well spent #perfect Sunday-Raahgiri-Day.

Picture Credits – Mohit Gupta

An epitome of sanctity – Tungnath temple, Chopta

There is one supreme God that cannot be fully known or understood.
The gods we talk about on earth and give devotion to are simply manifestations of that one supreme God

Tungnath temple

Hinduism has no single creed and recognizes no final truth. At its core, Hinduism has a background in which the forces of nature and human heroes are personified as gods and goddesses, that are worshiped with prayers and offerings. Hindu worship has an almost endless variety with color symbolism, offerings, fasting, and dance as integral parts. Most Hindus daily worship an image of their chosen deity, with chants (mantras ), flowers, and incense. Worship, whether in a home or temple, is primarily individualistic rather than congregational.

Tungnath temple

Tungnath has a rich legend linked to Pandavas, heroes of the Maharbharata Epic. It is said that, after the great war of Kurukshetra, pandavas wishes to atone for the sins of killing their brothers and brahmins. They were directed by Lord Brahma to seek blessings from Lord Shiva. The Lord, however was in no mood to pardon them and was angry. Taking the form of a bull, Lord Shiva hid from Pandavas at Guptkashi in the Garhwal Himalayas.

Panch Kedar

But Later Shiva’s body in the form of bull’s body parts re-materialized at five different locations that represents “Panch Kedar“, where Pandavas bulit temple for Lord Shiva at each location to worshio and to seek blessings and pardon. Each one is identified with a part of the body.

TungNath - Nandi

Tungnath is identified as a place where the bahu (hands) were seen: hump was seen at Kedarnath: head appeared at Rudranath: his navel and stomach surfaced at Madhyamaheswar and his jata (hair & locks) at Kalpeshwar.

Tungnath temple is an ancient temple built in the North Indian Style of temple architecture. Small in size and barely can accomodate ten people in the sanctum. The temple opens for worship after snow melt in june and remains open until October,. At this time the diety is moved ceremoniously to Ukhimath. As a part of the mystical Garhwal region, Tunganath conjure up the profiles of legendary tales and abundant beauty.

A delightful haven for trekkers, this place unravels the unparalleled beauty of the Gharwal countryside.  Though the trekking route is covered with brawny stones, the marvelous view of the highly embellished meandering pastures makes ones trek an awe inspiring one. As the trek progresses the meadows would make their way to pink, white and mauve Rhododendrons.

Tungnath Temple Trek

The idol of Tuganath is very much different  from the others. Here, the idol of the temple is made out of “Heart joined with one Arm on each side”. The other different shape of idol of Shiva could be seen at Kedarnath Temple, which looks like the back of a buffalo. Photography is prohibited inside the temples

Photography Rules

Tungnath offers something to every one, be it a hardcore devotee or an ardent nature lover or adventurous lots.

Trek Scenery

The route from Chopta to Tungnath is moderately steep and nicely paved. The greens of surrounding hills were carpeted with tiny yellow flowers. After walking for an hour the temple of Tungnath was visible. Tungnath literally means the lord of peaks & is considered one of the highest temples in the world, situated at 12073 feet its even higher that Kedarnath.

Tungnath temple at the height of 3680 meters atop the Chandranath parvat is one among the Panch Kedars. Tungnath temple houses some of the most captivating vistas in the entire Himalayan region. The summit of Tungnath is the source of awesome water. Since its a pilgrimage there is no non vegetarian food available and veg also is very expensive.

Tasty Taste Buds

The drive is amazingly beautiful, serene and refreshing. The entire road is canopied by lush green trees on both the sides with glimpses of Himalayan range and some exotic birds which makes the ride enchanting. There is no electricity in Chopta and mobile signal is very weak . They make use of Solar Energy and that makes it one of those Eco-Friendly place.

Solar Energy

….A three day trip to Tungnath trek, sometimes make me wonder my existence and purpose in that maddening city crowd.

A trip back in time – Purana Qila, Dilli

Purana Qila is one of most historic attractions of the Delhi Capital. Located in Old Delhi, the Qila is a must see for those interested in the history of the city and India.

Main entrance at Purana Qila
Main entrance at Purana Qila

From the road one can see the Fort standing on a small rise with the lake in front. Whenever I see the fort, I always imagined the scene beyond those walls.

But nothing prepares you for the immensity and the sense of palatial grandness when you go inside it. The ruins of the fort are beautiful in its own way.

Purana Qila, also know as The Old Fort was built in sixteenth century, on the banks of Yamuna. The historical significance of the fort date back, when Humayun built a new capital in Delhi and ordered the construction of the “Purana Qila or the Old Fort”.

The lake is used for boating. However, we chose not to indulge in Boating for the lake was filthy and full of garbage. There was no sign of cleanliness. And on top of which, we could see many people taking bath and washing clothes. Quite a phenomena.

The walls of the Fort are about 18 metres in height, traverse uptil 1.5 km, and have three majestic and arched gateways: The Bara Darwaza (Big Gate) facing west, which is still in use today;

The South Gate, also popularly known as the ‘Humayun Gate‘ (probably so known because it was constructed by Humayun, or perhaps because Humayun’s Tomb is visible from there);

Palm trees and the Humayun Darwaza inside Purana Qila
Palm trees and the Humayun Darwaza inside Purana Qila

and lastly, The ‘Talaqi Gate‘, often known as the “forbidden gate“. The gates are double storeyed built in red sandstones and surmounted by chattris.

The other two attractions at the fort site are:

Qila-I-Kuhna Masjid is a prayer hall and is fronted by five openings with horseshoe-shaped arches. The surface is beautifully decorated in marbled and otehr stones. Several small windows are seen that let the cool breeze sail through.

Qila-i-Kuhna Mosque inside Purana Qila
Qila-i-Kuhna Mosque inside Purana Qila

Sher Mandal is a double storeyed tower. Built with red sandstone and relived by marble. The interior are decorated with glazed tiles, and have painted plasterwork.

The Baoli is another structure that had survived the rough and tears of time and was an important source of water.

You can also see the engineer from Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at excavations sites inside Purana Qila busy findings artefacts.

Excavations Site
Excavations Site

These artefacts are then exhibited at the Archaeological Museum inside the Purana Qila.

Archaeological Museum inside the Purana Qila
Archaeological Museum inside the Purana Qila

Sound and Light Show is one place that you can get to hear a the history of the entire city of Delhi. The show has different show times. The show is closed on every Friday.

You can avail local buses, taxis and auto rickshaws from different points within the city. The easiest way to commute is Delhi Metro. And the nearest metro station being Pragati Maidan. You can hire an electic rickshaw and they can drop you at the Qila in max, Rs.10/- per person.

The entry fee is Rs.5/- and if you plan to carry a camera, you’d be charged Rs.25/-

Entrance Ticket
Entrance Ticket

Purana Qila is an enjoyable place for everyone The wide open spaces and lush laws just invite you to sprawl and spare a little time. We had a great time. I hope you all make a plan to visit and explore the historic heritage of Dilli and share your experiences with you.