Tag Archives: Mountains

365 Places: Wayanad Forest

Day 181: Wayanad Forest and Dare Nature, Wayanad, South India En route to Kochi, we met our friends along the way and they took us to this magical place high up in the mountains – Dare Nature.

Wayanad © Di Ball 2014
Wayanad © Di Ball 2014

Dare Nature is a place for both adventure activities and for relaxation and meditation. We had a magical time enjoying the beautiful surroundings, fantastic food and good company. Here are some of the pictures from our stay.

There was also some challenging activities at night – fire walking and walking on broken glass. These activities were part of a motivational workshop for MBA students and we we also invited to participate. After getting my toes chewed by fishes earlier in the day, I graciously declined. Here are some great pictures of the fire walking and glass walking challenges:

If you are in South India and looking for something very different, we can definitely recommend spending some time at Dare Nature. Thanks Sajee for being such a wonderful host. We had a great time!

Us mob at Wayanad © Mahin Manu 2014
Us mob at Wayanad © Mahin Manu 2014

Details How to get there From Kozhikode: Kozhikode- Thamarassery – Old Vythiri, from here your take a right turn-travel up- almost 7 kms of which approximately 2 kms – off road. From Bangalore: Bangalore – Mysore – S Bathery – Kalpatta- Old Vythiri, from here your take a right turn-travel up- almost 7 kms of which approximately 2 kms – off road. Contact Dare 5000 Nature Campz & Resorts Vythiri, Wayanad Kerala, South India Pin: 673576 Tel: +91 8606500033 +91 8606500032 +91 9447951192

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365 Places: Rishikesh

Day 44: Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Today we return to the realm of places of desire. Rishikesh is a place where I would love to go, partly because of its connection to the hippy trail and partly because of its location, nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas.

From An Unforeseen Rishikesh Aarti, Sarada's passage to Navdanya, http://lightwaves.cc/?p=11196
From An Unforeseen Rishikesh Aarti, Sarada’s passage to Navdanya, http://lightwaves.cc/?p=11196

Rishikesh is also known as a spiritual epicentre and nicknamed “the world capital of Yoga”. Apparently, there are numerous yoga centres that also attract tourists, and that is an interest for us, as we would love to go to a retreat for a couple of weeks. Mr Wikipedia says “It is believed that meditation in Rishikesh brings one closer to attainment of moksha, as does a dip in the holy river that flows through it.”

To expand, moksha is a central concept in Hinduism and means emancipation, liberation or release. In eschatological sense, it connotes freedom from saṃsāra, the cycle of death and rebirth. In epistemological and psychological sense, moksha connotes freedom, self-realization and self-knowledge. (From Wikipedia, primary sources listed below)

Image credit: http://www.indiantravels.com/Uttarakhand/Rishikesh
Image credit: http://www.indiantravels.com/Uttarakhand/Rishikesh

Rishikesh arguably became famous to the western world when the Beatles went there in the late 1960s to stay at an ashram. Other musicians who later went to Rishikesh to meditate include the Beachboys and Donavan.

We have been talking about a trip to India starting in Rishikesh and travelling down to Kerala, staying with some friends along the way. Aside from the fascinating spiritual context of Rishikesh, we are drawn by the Ganges and the stunning mountain backdrop. It seems like a wonderful starting point for exploring India. What do you think? Any hints?

Image Credit: http://www.indiantravels.com/Uttarakhand/Rishikesh
Image Credit: http://www.indiantravels.com/Uttarakhand/Rishikesh

References
John Bowker, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0192139658, pp. 650

T. Chatterjea (2003), Knowledge and Freedom in Indian Philosophy, ISBN 978-0739106921, pp 89-102; Quote – “Moksa means freedom”; “Moksa is founded on atmajnana, which is the knowledge of the self.”

E. Deutsch, The self in Advaita Vedanta, in Roy Perrett (Editor), Indian philosophy: metaphysics, Volume 3, ISBN 0-8153-3608-X, Taylor and Francis, pp 343-360;

Jorge Ferrer, Transpersonal knowledge, in Transpersonal Knowing: Exploring the Horizon of Consciousness (editors: Hart et al.), ISBN 978-0791446157, State University of New York Press, Chapter 10

Arvind Sharma, (2000), Classical Hindu Thought: An Introduction, Oxford University Press

Bushwalking near Canberra

Walk to Yankee Hat Painting
Walk to Yankee Hat Painting

Canberra is surrounded by some very beautiful bushland and mountains, making bushwalking a popular weekend activity for locals and visitors alike. There are lots of walks you can do, particularly around Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Namadgi National Park south of Canberra, as well as Duea National Park to the east. Some of these walks have views that are nothing short of spectacular, that show off the beauty of this mountainous alpine region of Australia.

There are a couple of favourites that I would like to share, walks that offer fantastic views, are a little challenging and one which has significant cultural value. These walks also only take a couple of hours – perfect for a Saturday or Sunday morning.

Booroomba Rocks
Booroomba Rocks

Booroomba Rocks located in Namadgi National Park has one of the most rewarding views, looking northward towards Canberra. In an earlier blog, I provided this summary:

This is a really enjoyable walk, a bit steep in places, but the view at the top is well worth it, apparently it is ranked  #9 of the 104 attractions in the ACT according to Trip Advisor. The pathway is mostly shaded, with lots of diverse vegetation, including some very large, burnt out gum trees. Most of the way there are stone steps with some timber ones, so it is pretty safe under foot. The granite boulders along the walk are truly spectacular.

 

Burnt Tree
Burnt Tree

Another quite different walk in Namadgi is the trail that takes you to Yankee Hut Paintings. The rock paintings are the only currently known Aboriginal art sites in the ACT. The Yankee Hat art sites are located in the Gudgenby Valley, nestled in a group of boulders located at the foot of Yankee Hat Mountain. Here are some of my comments from my walk:

The walk is a lovely and relatively easy 3.5 km distance each way from the car park – walking around the valley to the foothills where the paintings are situated. There are many scenic views of the mountains, lots of interesting boulder formations and creeks, not to mention many kangaroos, plus we also saw dingoes chasing rabbits near the paintings.

This is a nice walk if you like walking mainly on the flat, there is not much upwards walking, with the exception of about 15 minutes slight incline to get to the paintings.

Boulders on the way to Yankee Hat Paintings
Boulders on the way to Yankee Hat Paintings

These walks were the inspiration for an art exhibition in 2013, at the Belconnen Arts Centre titled Finding Balance: Mura Gadi. Some of the prints are still available for sale, contact us for enquiries.

Useful resources: You can find my walking tracks recorded on Every Trail.