Missed my Camera – Cellphone came Handy


The weather these days is too good in Delhi – the sky looks amazing towards the evening. Today was one such evening. The sun looked amazing but by the time I could get time out of my calls, it had already set. Then, after the calls got over, it was time for the tea break – outside the office, across the road. And that’s when I could manage to get some photographs of the sky as it looked amazing. The photographs were clicked with my phone camera as I was not carrying my regular camera.

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In and Around Chopta


Here are some photographs from In and Around and on the way to Chopta.

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I have to go there once more as the clouds, even though they added a new dimension to the photographs, took away a lot of the light and without proper light, it is not as much joy to click photogrpahs.

What is there in Chopta ?


When in and around Chopta ( elevation of 2680mts above sea level), one can do two beautiful treks.

  • The first trek is to Third Kedar of Panch Kedar Tungnath which is about 4.0 – 4.5 trek km from here.
  • Another 1k.m from Tungnath leads to Chandrashila Peak (About 4000mts MSL).
  • The second option is do a trek to Deoria Taal.

On a clear sunny day both these places offer stunning views. Unfortunately for me, when I visted, it was cloudy.

Chandrashila is the summit of Tungnath . It literally means “Moon Rock”. It is located at a height of about 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) above sea level. This peak provides a spectacular view of Himalayas,especially Nandadevi, Trisul, Kedar Peak, Bandarpunch and Chaukhamba peaks.

 Deoria Tal (Also spelled as Devaria’ or ‘Deoriya) is a lake located about 3 km on an uphill trek from the villages of Mastura and Sari, on the Ukhimath-Chopta road in Uttarakhand. At an altitude of about 2387 meters, it has heavily wooded, lush green surroundings with snow covered mountains (Chaukhamba is one of them) in the backdrop.

I did get some views of the valley from Deoria Taal, but my visit to Chopta remains incomplete as Chandrashila was cloudy. May be it is an invitation to visit one more time. Till then, the planning will ontinue.

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An Evening in Chopta


It was a beautiful evening with the sun setting in the west and the colors of the sky forcing me to take out the camera and try to capture and store the colors of the evening for posterity. The colors of the evening can never look as good in a photograph as they do in the sky.

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Flowers, they bloom everywhere in Chopta


Chopta is not only about the peaks but visual treat abounds in the greenery, the flora and occasionally, if you are lucky then you might be treated to some fauna also. In continuation of my attempt to inspire you to visit this place, here is a collection of some pictures that I could capture of the flora around here.

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The beauty of this place is awe inspiring. But whilst I ask you to go there, I also call upon you to keep this place as it is. Carry your trash back or dispose it properly. Do not litter. As, I read at one of the signboards at the camp I was staying in – Leave nothing back, only footprints.

A visit to Chopta – Some Himalayan Peaks Captured


On a break away from the humdrum of busy, hectic, noisy, no-time-for-self life in Delhi, last weekend was spent in Chopta. It is located at an elevation of 2680mts above sea level. Chopta is rich in varied flora and fauna. Chopta is situated amidst thick forest of pine, deodar and rhododendrons

Chopta offers amazing views of the imposing Himalayan range including Trishul, Nanda Devi and Chaukhamba. I captured some of these peaks on my trip there.

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The idea of putting up these photographs is to excite you to go and visit, these small hidden wonders in India and appreciate what we miss out in our daily hustle-bustle. The peace, the quiet, the beauty of nature, the simplicity of the people – how they manage to smile amidst all the hardships that life has to offer.

Weekend Visit to Khurja


Ever since I learnt throwing on a potter’s wheel, I’d been fascinated by the art. Its amazing how potters  in no time give shape to something that was just clay.

It is also during my exposure as a pottery student that I  came to know about the various methods of firing pots. So, to feed my craze for pots and the likes, I finally went to Khurja this weekend.

Khurja is around 90 km from Delhi and lies in the Bulandshar district of Uttar Pradesh.Primarily known for its pottery factories, Khurja supplies ceramics (also some bone china) all around India and is even a base for exporting to other countries.

Being in U.P., I was initially wary of the crazy traffic I’d get while going there and in order to bell that cat, I left early morning.

With sandwiches and cinnabons packed for the journey, the 2 hours drive got covered without any problem. The route is simple: one needs to take NH 24 and take the first exit to G.T. Road (NH-91 I think). The drive to Khurja from there is pretty much straight. Khurja is well mapped on NH-91 so after crossing Sikandrabad, the milestones will guide you all the way to your destination.

Decorating the base

Painting the pots

Headed towards the source itself, it’s no surprise that the place has kilns and factories one after the other. The best part was that we got to see how the pots get made! Pots here are basically made from moulds, covered with various glazes to give the color and then finally fired in HUGH kilns.

Inside a factory for making pots

A batch of pots ready to be fired

The pots are fired in kilns for as long as 16 hours, where these kilns guzzle gallons and gallons of Oil.

Some factories have whole sale shops and their so called emporiums setup  as well. I agree with the tag emporium after I saw a shop having 4-5 levels, just for ceramics products. The magnitude of place gives you a high after you’ve been inside for a while. With so many pretty objects, I felt like buying everything…. let’s just say I splurged! All worth it though.

Klin for firing pots

Kiln for firing pots

Pottery at Khurja

End product!

The trip gave us an bonus when we saw this huge place selling bonsais and pots. The pretty plants just drew us in and got us talking to the people tending to the place. Orignally setupin 1961 for pottery , It was 10-15 years back that the owner’s decided to make plants for passion: Bonsais. There were such amazing bonsai’s and plants all around… jade, ficus, cheeku, cactus etc.

Cactus flower I

Cactus Flower

Cactus II

Cactus

Both plants and bonsai pots (pots made specifically for potting bonsais) here are for sale. However, there were 2 bonsais that were for display only. These were as old as 35 years and when asked how much they would sell for, we were given a whopping figure of nothing less that 3.5 lakhs!

It was nice learning about the history of the place and how things work there and after spending almost the entire first half of the day there, I returned home with all smiles!

Follow the link here to view more pictures from Khurja