Tuesday, January 15, 2008

अंगकोर वत; Angkor wat ; Mother of all temples in the world

Angkor temples, which spread for 40 miles around Cambodia's northern city of Siem Reap, are all that remain of a 'lost' people. It is also rightly called “Mother of all Temples in the world” The first thing that strikes you about them is the overwhelming sense of mystery: elaborate, multi-storied stone temples pop out of the jungle, each one with its own unique architectural style and history something more fascinating in reality than Indian Jones movie or the Tomb Raider video game (that Niral mastered once upon a time ). The most striking and best preserved is Angkor Wat, with its carved reliefs (bas-relief) and jagged towers.

I have been fascinated to with all the reminiscence of the lost civilization I have seen places like
Chichen Itza, Machu Pichu. However Angkor wat has been the place, I found myself most qualified to learn. The place has full of galleries, carvings based on epics of Ramayana, Mahabharata, Hindu and Buddhist mythology. I have also found a vast amount of data about the bas-relelief ( carvings) in books and on-line reference. The 300+ paged picture book for free download at http://theangkorguide.com// is also one of the very valuable resources for a serious tourist।

There were so many amazing temples to visit. What a huge archeology park ? The three most magnificent temples are Bayon, Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm. To begin to a get a feel for Angkor you will need at least three days. This will give you time to properly view the major temples as well as an array of some of the more ornate smaller complexes further out such as Banteay Srei.

Angkor Wat is considered by many to be one of the greatest monuments ever constructed। Like the Taj Mahal or the Pyramids, with its soaring five towers and beautiful bas reliefs, few people fail to be in awe of the sheer grandeur of these ancient temples.

We visited Angkor Thom and many places today. In comparison, Bayon is far more intimate, built around 1200 by Jayavarman VII, the most illustrious of the Angkor leaders, from a distance it looks more like a mess of decrepit ancient rock, yet, as you near, Bayon takes shape to reveal 54 huge faces of Avalokitesvara staring down at you from all areas. 54 faces symbolizes 54 stats of th empir at that tim. There is definitely an other-worldly feel to Bayon, every turn revealing yet another gigantic disdainful stare from the ancient god with slightly curving lips, eyes placed in shadow by the lowered lids (they) utter not a word and yet force you to guess much.

Finally, of the big three is Ta Promh. Located close to Bayon, here the ancient ruins have deliberately (and questionably) had little restoration, and the awesome effect of the jungle can be seen, as thick powerful roots thrust from the earth and rip huge sections of the temple walls apart. Massive stones lie scattered like building blocks to leave narrow passage ways and corridors which act as light relief from the searing heat. There is definitely a feeling of discovery at Ta Promh unlike any of the other central Angkor temples, as we climbed through the rubble and roots to unearth another secret passageway or statue. Ta Promh brings you closest to replicating the atmosphere that the first French explorers must have experienced 140 yrs ago.

Finally we show pricing show of Apsara dancing. Do NOT MISS to click the link below to get the perception. http://www.angkorwatshow.com/show_preview. (see the last pictures at http://picasaweb.google.com/TusharPhotos/AngkorWatTemple )

You may see the pictures of Angkor wat temple and th show at:


Angkor Thom, Bayon, Ta Phrom at:


Each picture deserves at least a paragraph of annotation. However I am sending them even with out the captions! the It is almost blastphamous to send such pictures with proper annotation. I am rushing du to lack of relaible , fast internet her and lack of tim .

I will update the picturs with captions or prferablly at a different site where I can dscribe better.

Tushar ; Jan 15th 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

Doc, Lock and Peacock

One of the very unique and special experiences in this trip to Ahmadabad, India was meeting a truly renaissance couple named Dr. Hiren shah and his wife Dr. Namita shah.

Dr. Hiren Shah is a practicing successful pediatrician running his own hospital. He has many rare and demanding hobbies. One of them is to collect the locks ( along with , clocks and peacocks). Dr Hiren Shah was the first Indian Guest ever invited to International Puzzlers Party in Australia last year. He has been attending several international conferences for the mechanical locks and puzzle solvers symposiums such as one at Velbert, Germany 2003. He is amazingly passionate about his hobby. His wife Dr. Namita Shah is also a practicing physician ( OBG-GYN) and full time mother of the couple’s three kids. Her support and dedication to her husband’s hobby is even more impressive !

Together the couple has made their house a live-in Museum. The house is built with old-styled wooden tick doors with the carvings, Zarokhas (balcony), pillars, verandah, chowk, with unique and antique artifacts, Indian decorative vessels, decorative collectibles, souvenirs collected from their trips around the world along with the masterpieces of extensive lock collection. Dr. Hiren shah has several other serious hobbies like traveling, photography, presentations, creative word-plays. These additional hobbies impressively supplement their principal hobby of collecting the locks, puzzles, clocks. Being busy professional, parents the time management is a challenge as well. The couple stretches the day and manages to find the time in the “25th hour” Heat and dust of Ahmedabad also introduces extra challenge in the maintenance of the House + Museuem = “housem”

I was originally introduced to the couple by an e-mail from my sister who visited the couple's house and I heard their radio talk at Sydney, Australlia in Gujarati. The strong fascination after hearing this made me write a small rhyme out of my excitement. (below). Meeting this renaissance couple in person, I found myself even more stunned and spell bound.

Many bright individuals lock a part of themselves away. It's a bit sacred. Here is the couple for whom the locked up part is the lock it self. ! In their busy lives they have tuned their clock to generate the precious 25th hour . This 25th hour is dedicated for their cultivated passions for the locks .

More amazing thing is the fact as precious is this passion nurtured in the 25th hour, they have not locked up their passion for the locks in hiding that no one can find it . They shared their passion with us with full enthusiasm and energy. Their passion and dedication for their hobby, reiterated the fact that combination of attitude, dedication, perseverance can make the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart and lead to higher pleasures of success.

You may take a partial virtual tour of the “Houseum” at http://picasaweb.google.com/TusharPhotos/Houseum?authkey=JeLqlZ0S47M

Here is my early response after hearing about the “houseum” on Sept 30 2007.

Doc, Lock and Peacock

Fascinated by the enchanting radio talk

the unique story of Doc, Lock and Peacock

twist and torque, poke and provoke

solves any puzzle by the keystroke

this is not a game for ordinary folk

It takes one with the "25 hour" clock

The "housem' with a chock

has no match on the block

is bound to invite a tourist flock

but dealing with the dust is no joke

The trickiest lock is the wedlock

secrets are locked in this padlock

like movie mystery of Hitchcok

ask the key who found his lock

the solvers is the real 'Sherlock'