Sunday, March 12, 2017

Can we remain in peace and bliss?


A common request I come across is ‘I want to remain in peace, but every small unpleasant thing that happens in life brings in restlessness and I can’t get even have a peaceful sleep.’ Inner peaceful state and having a good night’s sleep are very critical for maintaining our health.

Pendulum clocks

We all have seen the old pendulum clocks. It used to be very fascinating during childhood to watch the movement of the pendulum.


Let us consider the pendulum is just standing in the center. When we pull it to one side and leave, we have provided it some energy. Once we leave it, it will move to the same dimension to the opposite side. The energy for this movement was given to the pendulum by our pulling the pendulum to the other side. That means, movement to one side contains the inherent energy for movement to the other side. 


The role of inherent energy

Just for understanding purpose, let us consider that the area to the left of the pendulum is negative and to the right is positive.

This means if we act in any extreme negative way, we will act in an extreme positive way before coming to the balanced status. This is in relation to the Cosmic play, not in relation to a single life time. This creates problem in our perception and understanding, creating misery in our lives.


By the same token, if we have experienced extreme happiness in our lives, the same fact makes the manifestation of extreme sadness in our lives before we achieve the peace and bliss state. Remember, this may be spanning over several life times.


Are we doomed?

 Is it mandatory that we have to go through all sorts of extremes to achieve peace and bliss? Yes, it is mandatory if we consider ourselves as this physical body and are deeply attached to everything associated with the body, whether materialistic or relationships. 


Whatever is happening in this impermanent world is just happening in our mental emotional fields. Our inner core or heart center is not affected by this and if we can get in touch with it, we can experience peace and bliss in this very moment.

Difficult, but not impossible

Let us think of the pendulum again. You have pulled it to one side and left. As it comes towards the center, before t goes to the other side, you can just hold it and let it remain in the center , then slowly remove the hand. Now the pendulum is centered, isn’t it?

Same way, by  gaining proper understanding and regular practice, we can attain a state of peace and bliss, regardless of what happens in the world around us. There are many routes available today. We can get the understanding by reading appropriate books and listening to masters.  Daily practice of Reiki is another way to progress in this direction.



Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Self-love vs. selfishness

Our culture basically stresses on ‘living for others.’ Otherwise there won’t be popular songs like, “Jeena Uska Jeena Hai, Jo Auron Ko Jeevan Deta Hai” ( ‘Life’ is life of that one, who lives for others). I belonged to that school of thought.

Others see you as you see yourself


If everyone is of the same mentality, life will be so smooth and happy. But we know that is not the case. There is always a tendency to take advantage of the goodness of others. When one is thinking 24/7 that he/she is to serve others, can we really blame others, of different mentality, for extracting service from them?

It is important to realize that just like we give importance to others, we need to give importance to ourselves too. In case you are familiar with the notion that we are all souls with human bodies here, it is easy to grasp this. If you won’t take care of your body by giving yourself adequate time, who else will? When we consider ourselves as deplorable beings, we can’t blame others for disrespecting us.

The awakening


After spending a good number of years ‘living for others’, I was awakened by some jolts in life. I tried to understand who exactly I was. I could see a home maker, a professional, a wife, a mother, but who was the real ‘I’? Luckily Reiki came into my life to provide clear thinking. I could pick up the threads of my life and start to proceed in the correct direction.

Pendulum swinging the other way?


Now when I look around, it is painful to see that the life principle has gone to the other extreme. In the name of self -love, I see a lot of people turning extremely selfish. This has maximum impact on husband wife relationships.


Home is where we rest, rejuvenate and become complete again after spending draining time outside in the office, traffic, and with friends, some of who are always trying to pull us down from our spiritual path.

Between a man and woman, who is genetically endowed with qualities to be a home maker and a mother? Of course it is the woman, she can endure more physical pain, can bounce back from emotional pain better, and can do multitasking more easily. And I know this from practical experience too.

Don’t lose your fine qualities


It is impossible to bring complete equality between the genders, because they are not manufactured the same way. Each one should do what he/she is better at. If you think, ‘I will cook one day, then he has to cook the next day. I’ll bathe the child one day, he should give bath the next day’, it is not going to work out.

No, the life is not meant to be like that. Have enough self-love, but please donate some self-less love to your partner too. And a mother’s role is much more in building the character of the child, than a father’s. Let each one take up the responsibility that he/she is good at and do it consistently. If one is preforming the duties at his/her whim and fancy, it doesn’t work out!




Sunday, January 22, 2017

Oh! The flowers

Do you have time to watch flowers in your life? It is an awesome experience to look at their beauty, inhale the sweet fragrance, feel the tender petals and let the eyes soak in those divine colors!

While I was collecting flowers for my morning puja, as I looked at these flowers, something stirred deep inside me. See how the colors are arranged in these petals, and the stalks. Every flower of the same type is always having the same design. Who is doing this? The Universe?  God?



We are our own enemies


Whoever it is doing this, must be doing similar things for the human beings too, isn’t it? Or do you think we don‘t belong to the Universal grid? Whatever is needed for our survival is always provided by the same intelligence.
What I have seen in life is, things that are destined to come to us, will always come...provided we step out of the way. But due to our over anxiety, we create obstructions and in several instances I have seen clearly how people mess up their lives, by their own doing.

The two stands


We can take two stands- one is that everything is predestined, have total faith in that, which takes away the tension. By just keeping on doing our duties (karma according to dharma), we can just let the life unfold and enjoy.

Second approach is to think that you are your destiny maker. This has a problem because we take into account only this life, which is like mistaking the ending of a chapter for the ending of a book. Depending on the culmination of our previous lives, we decide the blue print of our life, before we incarnate. Unfortunately, it is not present in our conscious mind.

Our subconscious mind knows this very well and is always steering our life in the right direction.  By allowing the conflict between the conscious and subconscious mind, we just make our lives a burning hell!

The way out


So, what is the way out? We have to have total trust on either the Universal master mind or our subconscious mind, and just keep doing our duties. Whatever results come, we have to whole heartedly accept that it is just going according to the plan of one of the above. What is the result? Every moment will be filled with peace and bliss. Don’t you covet such a sate?


Friday, January 06, 2017

Reiki is a way forward

There was a distress call yesterday afternoon. “Madam, my life is in a mess. My business is not progressing, I am always stressed. I was searching frantically for a way out. From the net I read about Reiki and got your contact. Can Reiki healing help me in the situation? Will you heal me?”
I explained to him that he can get a healing, but a more useful way would be to get a Reiki attunement and do self-healing daily. I stressed that Reiki can help one in physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and economic areas of life.
“Can I come to meet you?”
“What for? You can get all details about Reiki on our web site. Go through it, if any clarification is needed, you can call me. Take a decision whether you want Reiki healing from me, or would like to get attuned. Then take an appointment.”
“I want to meet you to discuss the problems I am facing. How my employees are troubling me, how I am unable to sleep at night.”
“You are so much attached to the problems…”
“Yes madam, I want to discuss with you.”
“If you are clinging on to the problems, how can they leave you? First thing is to stop discussing them constantly.”

Are you discussing problems daily?

This is a very important aspect I have seen in people resistant to bring about life changes. Our thoughts and words are electromagnetic waves. Once we release them, they attract similar waves from around the Universe and gather enough power to retain the status.
Check for yourself. If somebody asks you ‘How are you?’, do you start describing in detail about your illness or the problem your family is facing? It is time to bring about a change.


It is a fact that half of the people you are discussing with, are happy inside that you are in problem. The other half is so engrossed in their own problems that they are not bothered. So what is the net result? You are working hard to maintain the status quo. Is it worth?
If you really think someone is capable of helping you out, then go ahead and open your heart.
Usually people discuss problems to get sympathy from others. They want affirmation that their life is hell and they are having maximum problems in the world. When someone approaches me with this attitude, I always remember Jacqueline’s words, “I am not here to polish your prison’s bars”

What’s the way out?

Well, there are many approaches one can take. I have found Reiki to be a very simple and effective way to tackle any situation in life. But one should be willing to do self-healing every day. After a period of time, when you look back, you will be amazed at the transformation in your life.
Reiki is an intelligent energy that brings balance in every aspect of your life. It is a way forward. You don’t have to dwell in the past. Past is gone. You have the power to change your present and thus the future. And Reiki is a powerful tool to help you accomplish this.




Sunday, December 11, 2016

Pristine beauty of Gujarat.


Having explored the lower part of Gujarat a couple of years back, we decided to tour the upper part this time (November 2016). During the road trip from Jaipur to Gujarat, we visited the Brahma temple in Pushkar, Rajastan, before entering Gujarat. Luckily there was not too much crowd when we reached the temple, and could spend some time and perform puja there.

Pushkar is often described in the scriptures as the only Brahma temple in the world.  Although now this temple does not remain the only Brahma temple, it is still one of very few existing temples dedicated to Brahma in India and the most prominent one dedicated to Brahma.

                                                                      Brahma sarovar
According to the Hindu scripture Padma Purana, Brahma saw the demon Vajranabha (Vajranash in another version) trying to kill his children and harassing people. He immediately slew the demon with his weapon, the lotus-flower. In this process, the lotus petals fell on the ground at three places, creating three lakes: the Pushkar Lake or Jyeshta Pushkar (greatest or first Pushkar), the Madya Pushkar (middle Pushkar) Lake, and Kanishta Pushkar (lowest or youngest Pushkar) lake. When Brahma came down to the earth, he named the place where the flower ("pushpa") fell from Brahma's hand ("kar") as "Pushkar".

Rani ki vav (Queen’s step well)


I had a spontaneous recall of a past life on reaching the Rani ki vav. I just didn’t feel like leaving that place!

Rani ki vav is an intricately constructed stepwell situated in the town of Patan in Gujarat. It is located on the banks of Saraswati river. Rani ki vav was constructed during the rule of the Solanki dynasty. It is generally assumed that it was built in the memory of Bhima I (r. c. 1022–1064) by his widowed queen Udayamati.


Stepwells are a distinctive form of subterranean water resource and storage systems on the Indian subcontinent, and have been constructed since the third millennium BC. Rani-Ki-Vav is now considered to be the queen among step wells of India. It was built in the complex Maru-Gurjara architectural style with an inverted temple and seven levels of stairs and holds more than 500  sculptures. The stepwell was later flooded by the nearby Saraswati River and silted over until the late 1980s.

When it was excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India, the carvings were found in pristine condition. The minute and exquisite carving of this vav is one of the finest specimens of its kind. There are more than 800 elaborate sculptures among seven galleries.Most of the sculptures are in devotion to Vishnu, in the forms of Dus-Avatars Kalki, Rama, Krishna, Narsinh, Vaman, Varahi and others representing their return to the world. Nagkanya, Yogini, beautiful women and Apsaras showcase 16 different styles of make-up to look more attractive called Solah-shringar.





Around 50–60 years back there were ayurvedic plants around this area, and the water accumulated in Rani ki vav was considered to be helpful for viral disease, fever etc.

Dholavira


It is one of the five largest Harappan sites and most prominent archaeological sites in India belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization. It is also considered as having been the grandest of cities of its time.

The site was discovered in 1967-1968 by J. P. Joshi ex. D.G. of A.S.I. and is the fifth largest of eight major Harappan sites. It has been under excavation since 1990 by the Archaeological Survey of India, which opines that "Dholavira has indeed added new dimensions to personality of Indus Valley Civilisation".

It was mesmerizing to watch these remnants and my fertile mind could very well imagine the grandeur of the place back then.

The city was constructed to a pre-existing geometrical plan consisting of three divisions – the citadel, the middle town, and the lower town. The acropolis and the middle town had been furnished with their own defense-work, gateways, built-up areas, street system, wells, and large open spaces. The towering "castle" stands is defended by double ramparts. Next to this stands a place called the 'bailey' where important officials lived. The city within the general fortifications accounts for 48 ha (120 acres). The most striking feature of the city is that all of its buildings, at least in their present state of preservation, are built of stone.


Bhujodi village


Bhujodi is a traditional crafts village inhabited by around 1200 people of the Vankar community of weavers, situated about 12 kms from Bhuj. Majority of the inhabitants are involved in textile handicraft production.

There is a private enterprise here that gives free space and food for artisans to come and sell their products at economical price. It was nice o know that artisans are being encouraged in this way. There were nice collection of saris, suit cloths and metal handicrafts there.

Banni grasslands


Banni grasslands form a belt of arid grassland ecosystem on the outer southern edge of the desert of the marshy salt flats of Rann of Kutch in Kutch District, Gujarat State. They are known for rich wildlife and biodiversity and are spread across an area of 3,847 square kilometres.

The word ‘Banni’ comes from Hindi and Sanskrit word ‘banai’, meaning made. The land here was formed from the sediments that were deposited by the Indus and other rivers over thousands of years. Old villagers from this region say that before the 1819 Rann of Kutch earthquake, the river Indus flowed right through banni and the local farmers reaped a rich harvest of crops like red rice and sindhi chookha etc., Red rice was the staple diet of the people of the region and it was even recommended by medical practitioners as a 'light diet' for ailing people. However, since the earthquake of 1819 the river Indus changed its course and now flows through Sindh in neighbouring country of Pakistan, effectively turning this entire region arid.

Monsoon rains each year forms several marshy wetlands which dot the Banni grasslands and the areas adjacent to it, all being seasonal in nature. These wetlands are located on the flyway of palaearctic migratory birds and play a very important role as foraging, roosting, resting and staging grounds for millions of waders, waterfowl, cranes and other feathered migrants that visit the area from August and staying until March every year. Thousands of flamingos in their breeding plumage, common cranes (Grus grus) and other wetland birds including hundreds of painted storks (Mycteria leucocephala) and Eurasian spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia) among others can be spotted in the larger of these seasonal wetlands of the Banni.




Watching thousands of all these birds was a unique experience and we got totally lost in time… and we lost our way!! There were stretches of land all around us, with only wheel marks to guide us through. We drove around for about half an hour, with no outcome. Then we saw some ladies under a tree. Tried to talk to them to ask the way out, but they didn’t understand our language. Then one lady took out a mobile phone and started talking. How could she charge her phone in this area, I wondered.

We moved away and drove for some more time. Luckily a small building came to sight and saw that a maulavi was teaching some small children there. He listened to our plight and told that even if he explained the route, we won’t be able to make it to the main road. He would try to get somebody to show the way. Unfortunately he couldn’t find anyone. So he cancelled the class, freed the kids and came with us. After about fifteen minutes drive, he showed us the main road and left us to walk all the way back! May God bless him.

While talking to him, we came to know that in those villages with hardly ten families in each, they have electricity and water supply. That gave me the answer how they could charge the mobiles. But that information made me feel so proud. If that is achievable in Gujarat (kudos to Sri Narendra Modi), we can achieve it in other parts of India too!

The White Desert: Rann of Kutch


The White desert of the Rann of Gujarat totally justifies the words, ‘Pristine beauty’.  There was something magical about the place; it takes you totally into its bosom. You feel the expansiveness of the place, of the outer Universe and the Universe inside you.



The Rann of Kutch is a salt marshy land in the Thar Desert in the Kutch district of western Gujarat. It lies between Gujarat in India and the Sindh province in Pakistan. It comprises of around 30,000 sq. km of land which includes The Great Rann of Kutch, The Little Rann of Kutch and Banni grassland.

The Rann of Kutch is famous for its white salty desert sand and is reputed to be the largest salt desert in the world.‘Rann’ means desert in Hindi. The government of Gujarat holds a three month long festival known as ‘The Rann Utsav’ every year starting from December to February. This is the main source of income for the locals around who welcome visitors from across the globe to savour in local delicacies and to witness the culture and hospitality of Kutch.

                                                                   Rann Utsav

We picked up a bit of salt from the ground and tasted. It tasted good, unlike the marketed varieties.

Awesome Gujarati foods



Yes, we got to sample awesome foods too! We made it a point to drink milk every day. Buttermilk was served in plenty with lunch, and the yoghurt was delicious. Gujarati thali was something that we really enjoyed. Kutchi dabeli, fafda, khaman dhokla, khandvi, all were sampled to our great satisfaction. 


Monday, December 05, 2016

Would it help?

This weekend I watched Steven Spielberg's “Bridge of Spies”. During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy.

Tom Hanks played the main character, James Donovan, who was tasked with the unenviable job of defending a Russian spy by the name of Rudolf Abel, played by the relatively unknown actor Mark Rylance. 

Throughout the movie, Abel faced an uphill battle because he was hated by both American and Russians alike as a spy who got caught on U.S. soil. Throughout his time spent in prison, during his trial and in the hostage negotiations Abel remained stoic and showed little emotion.

Each time it looked like Abel was out of options during one of these ordeals Donovan would ask, “Aren’t you worried?”

And every single time Abel would offer the deadpan response, “Would it help?”



That sentence, the way it was spoken and its deeper meaning went straight to the depth of my heart. An array of day to day situations played through my mind’s screen. In any situation where we have to take a decision, it can come from two sources.

One is your own decision, which will be based on your intelligence and previous experience. When the emotions are running high, it becomes difficult to think straight and take the proper decision.

Secondly, we should realise that before a problem comes into existence, its solution is already in the etheric atmosphere. So the correct decision is already there, to be downloaded into your mind. But a highly strung mind is so clouded that it is impossible for it to happen.


I got an experiential knowledge that emotional upheavals are definitely a disadvantage. We gain absolutely nothing by getting upset or worked up, but  there are a lot to lose!


Friday, September 23, 2016

Bali visit- a tour that turned to a pilgrimage- Part II

Part I - CLICK HERE

Gitgit waterfall, Pura Beji, Pura Ulun Batur and Besakih temple


Gitgit Waterfall, a beautiful tourist destination in north part of Bali is located in the plateau area with the height about 35 meters and it is surrounded by tropical trees.




Pura Beji was our next destination and I had the most profound divine and energy experience there. The energy was deep, sharp and penetrating. It is a temple rarely visited by tourists. It is located in the north of Bali in Sangsit around eight kilometres east of Singaraja. The temple was built of easily carvable soft pink sandstone and its walls are decorated with sculptures of snakes, demons, and devils.

Pura Beji is dedicated to Dewi Sri, goddess of agriculture. Dewi Sri, or Shridevi, the  goddess of rice and fertility, is widely worshipped on the islands of Bali and Java. The goddess is associated with the Hindu goddess Lakshmi as both are attributed to wealth and family prosperity.

Pura Ulun Danu Batur is the second most important temple in Bali, after Pura Besakih. Built in 1926, the temple is dedicated to Dewi Danu, goddess of lakes and rivers. "Ulun Danu" literally translates as "head of the lake".



Originally, Pura Batur and the village of Batur were located down in the caldera at the foot of Mount Batur, an active volcano. A violent eruption in 1926 destroyed both the village and the temple, except for the most important shrine, an 11-tiered meru dedicated to Dewi Danu. The villagers moved to the highest and oldest rim of the caldera, where they rebuilt their village and the temple.

After the temple visit we had an awesome buffet lunch in a hotel with a view of the Batur volcano.


 Next we moved on to the Besakih temple. Pura Besakih is a temple complex in the village of Besakih on the slopes of Mount Agung in eastern Bali.




 It is the most important, the largest and holiest temple of Hindu religion in Bali, and one of a series of Balinese temples. Perched nearly 1000 meters up the side of Gunung Agung, it is an extensive complex of 23 separate but related temples with the largest and most important being Pura Penataran Agung. The temple is built on six levels, terraced up the slope.

Luckily a sadhu explained facts about the temple to us and showed us the Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Durga and Lakshmi idols.

Snorkeling - beyond words


A whole morning, evening and the next day morning were spent in snorkeling at the Amed beach, which was a unique experience. Shoals of fish, small and big, in myriads of colors, and the corals all around us, it was really a dream world. The floor was covered with black and white pebbles and we saw a fish with matching colors. Periodically it was changing its position; only from its movement we realized it was a fish.

We met a tourist who told he has traveled half the world and had done snorkeling in famous locations, and he told Amed ranks first!

We stayed at the Dillons hotel.



At night I heard weird sounds, resembling loud croaking of frog or sound of a bird. I felt as if the sound was coming from below my bed, and was a bit scared. My husband got up and examined the room and assured me there was nothing in the room so that I could sleep.

One day we got up at 4.30 am and meditated sitting next to the sea. It was such a calming and divine experience!



Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang

Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang,or Lempuyang Temple is one of Bali’s oldest and most highly regarded temples, on par with Besakih. It is also believed to predate the majority of Hindu temples on the island. Definitely a highlight on any travel itinerary for the fit and adventurous, the main temple lies at 1,175m above sea level, up on the peak of the namesake Mount Lempuyang in East Bali.



The heights are reachable via a steep staircase of over 1,700 steps, with attractions along the way including several other temples. We didn’t climb all the way up, but could see the silhouette of the main temple after climbing a reasonable distance, and I could feel the expansive energy around me.

A visit to Tirta Gangga

Tirta Gangga is a former royal palace in eastern Bali, Indonesia, about 5 kilometres from Karangasem, near Abang. Tirta Gangga literally means water from the Ganges and it is a site of some reverence for the Hindu Balinese.

Strictly, the name refers to the water palace built in 1948 by the Raja of Karangasem, Anak Agung Agung Anglurah Ketut Karangasem. It is, however, the name widely used to refer to the general area which includes the water palace and the lush rural areas around. Tirta Gangga water palace is a maze of pools and fountains surrounded by a lush garden and stone carvings and statues.





The centerpiece of the palace is an eleven tiered fountain. The area around Tirta Gangga is noted for its rice paddy terraces.

Leaving Padang Bai for Ubud


We moved on to Padang Bai, thinking of halting there. But it was too crowded and the people were not as friendly as we had experienced so far. Padangbai is a small town in eastern Bali, near Candidasa. It serves as a ferry port for travel to Lembar on Lombok, The Gilis and other of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Besides the beach near the ferry terminal there is a beach just to the north known locally as the Blue Lagoon.

The Blue Lagoon Beach, also known as Padang Kurungan, was like a hidden paradise.


The beach is clean and water is quite clear so it’s easy to see what’s underneath. Blue Lagoon is a great beach for snorkeling. The coral reef is right up to the shore and is very pretty.

Instead of staying in Padang Bai, we went to Ubud and after a hectic search, got a beautiful place, ‘Semujan Bungalow’ to stay.



Its owner, Ms. Agung, a great devotee of Shiva, was a very friendly lady. And she invited us to attend the Kunningan ceremony in her house. We reached there in the morning and saw the extensive preparations made for the ceremony.



Being Hindus, we were allowed to pray in their family temple, and we prayed for our ancestors. Every Bali house has a temple, which will be more elaborate in large families. Every day offerings are made thrice a day in the temple. All Bali villages have two temples.

A massage before leaving


While walking through the streets in Ubud we located a massage center, ‘Tirta Wangi Spa’. We went inside, liked the ambiance very much, and fixed appointment for Balinese massage and Boreh scrub on the day before our flight back.



Boreh Bali is a traditional Balinese Body Mask that warms the body, opens the pores and improves circulation, promoting relaxation and the release of toxins while revitalizing the skin cells and exfoliating the skin, cleaning, replenishing and rejuvenating resulting in a fresher, smoother more refined appearance and an increased feeling of energy, clarity, relaxation and well being.  And what an experience it was! I felt cleansed and rejuvenated.


After the massage we were served ginger and lemon tea, along with many sweets and savories. Now we were fully prepared for our journey back!


-Making Bali coffee, that we enjoyed on every day of our stay, just before leaving for the airport.

Bali visit- a tour that turned to a pilgrimage – Part I

I heard about Bali the first time when I was in high school. We had a lesson, ‘Balidweep’ by S K Pottekkat. He had described Bali women dressed in similar clothes as in Kerala, balancing weaved baskets filled with sweets and other offerings on their head, walking to the temples. When I read that many sweets and savories in Bali were similar to Kerala preparations, I was filled with curiosity. He was good in describing the scenic beauty of Bali.

The time is yet to come.


I visited Jakarta a few years back to give a presentation in a Dental conference. Due to some reasons we couldn’t make it to Bali at that time which left a streak of disappointment in my heart.

In 2016 when we planned a trip to Bali, it was to enjoy the beautiful nature and to have some fun. But it turned out to be a great pilgrimage, with lots of cleansing and healing.

Jimbaran


We reached Jimbaran after twenty minutes drive from the airport in the late evening. The taxi driver was a very jovial person and gave us much valuable information on Bali. Their important festival Galungan was starting after two days and its ending, Kunningan celebrations would be ten days later. We were so happy that we were in Bali during such an auspicious time.

Galungan celebrates the victory of dharma over adharma. Ancestral spirits visit the Earth during that time. On the last day of the celebration is Kuningan, when they return to their realm.

Significance


Galungan marks the beginning of the most important recurring religious ceremonies. The spirits of deceased relatives who have died and been cremated return to visit their former homes, and the current inhabitants have a responsibility to be hospitable through prayers and offerings. The most obvious sign of the celebrations are the penjor - bamboo poles with offerings suspended at the end. These are installed by the side of roads, and it was such a beautiful sight as we were driving around. Some of them were very elaborate art works!



Dream @ Jimbaran




We reached the hotel that we had booked, ‘Dream @ Jimbaran'. The lady at the counter said she had worked in Kalangut beach (Goa) for three years. By now we were hungry and went out to have some food. We located a nearby warung, which is a type of small family owned business — often a casual, usually outdoor restaurant— in Indonesia. We ordered the fried rice, ‘Nazi Goreng’ as they call it, but it was a bit disappointing. Later during our trip we got real delicious nazi goreng though.

Here's the warung and the awesome food that we were served at a later date in Jimbaran:




‘Water Blow’ that blew us off




video

Next day morning after breakfast we went to the Water Blow in Nusa Dua that lets you witness the awesome power of nature as large waves from the Indian Ocean constantly crash against the jagged limestone edges on the peninsula’s south-eastern cliff. The crashing waves can reach up to several meters high. Time stood still as we were mesmerized by this unique sight.

It was time for lunch and we went to the Jimbaran beach and had vegetable curry (with coconut milk) and steamed rice. Sitting in the warm weather and having that delicious meal was a very soothing experience.

The trip in the evening was to Uluwatu Temple, or Pura Luhur Uluwatu, one of six key temples believed to be Bali's spiritual pillars. It is renowned for its magnificent location, perched on top of a steep cliff approximately 70 meters above sea level.



Legian, here we come


On the way to Legian we visited the Ground Zero, which is located on a very busy street in Kuta.

The 2002 Bali bombings occurred on 12 October 2002. Damage to the densely populated residential and commercial district was immense, destroying neighboring buildings and shattering windows several blocks away. The final death toll was 202, mainly comprising of Western tourists and holiday-makers in their 20s and 30s.

A permanent memorial was built on the site of the destroyed Paddy's Pub on Legian Street. The memorial was dedicated on 12 October 2004, the second anniversary of the attack.

We went to the ‘Lumbung Sari Beach Inn’ kept our luggage and walked to the ‘Poser’s pub' and had an awesome vegetarian lunch. The visit to Padma beach and watching the sunset was a unique experience. The changing colors of thee sea and the sky was spectacular.




Next day morning again we visited Padma beach, and it presented an entirely different beauty!



We spotted Lido2 for massage and chose Bali massage, which loosened up the muscles and was a healing experience.

Tanah Lot Temple


Tanah Lot Sunset Tours are the exciting Bali Half Day Tours to visit the temple on the rock with breathtaking view of Indian Ocean and spectacular sunset as a backdrop. Tanah Lot is a Balinese Hindu Temple on the rock and the seawater encircles it during high tide. There is a Holy sweet water spring here, in the middle of the sea! We got blessing from the pujari and drank from the sweet water spring.




We could see the magnificent view of sunset in the late evening.


One can find the holy snakes dwelling the cave in front of Tanah Lot Temple with small donation to see them directly.

Taman Ayun Temple


Taman Ayun is a Hindu temple which is generally regarded as one of the most attractive temples of Bali. It is strategically located beside of major roadway between Denpasar to Singaraja. It is set on the land which is surrounded by a big fish pond. This beautiful temple building has multi storied roof and Balinese Architecture.

We got inside a warung for lunch and to our surprise and delight, got tender jackfruit preparation with rice and then ripened jackfruit also.


 I noticed that the owner lady was watching TV program which was dubbed version of our ‘Naagin’.



We ended the day with a  visit to the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, or Pura Bratan. It is a major Shivaite and water temple on Bali. The temple complex is located on the shores of Lake Bratan in the mountains near Bedugul. Water temples serve the entire region in the outflow area; downstream there are many smaller water temples that are specific to each irrigation association.

Built in 1633, this temple is used for offerings ceremony to the Balinese water, lake and river goddess Dewi Danu, due to the importance of Lake Bratan as a main source of irrigation in central Bali. Lake Bratan is known as the Lake of Holy Mountain due to the fertility of this area. Located 1200 m above sea level, it has a cold tropical climate.

From the sea level, now we were in a hill station, and got a beautiful place to stay- in Panca Sari hotel.




For Part II...CLICK HERE