Monday, April 25, 2011

Parvati Valley

In our last couple of weeks in India we stayed in beautiful Parvati Valley in Himachal Pradesh. It had been 9 years since I'd been to the Himalayas and I was really committed to going up there while in India this year. It's such a healing experience to be up in those mountains, surrounded by the immensity of nature's power. We were mainly based in Manikaran, a temple town with many hot spring baths where we had a good soak twice a day, sampling the different baths around town. From Manikaran we took a few day and overnight trips to different places in the valley - Kasol, Tosh and Malana. There are so many photos, I can't post them all here, so please visit my Facebook India 2011 and mobile uploads albums for more.

Shiva Temple, Manikaran on the banks of the Parvati River. Notice the steam rising on the left where the hot spring water meets the river.

View from Tosh

Natural slippery-slide in Tosh

Walking back from Tosh
Malana village, a bit over 3000m
Malana school

Parvati River

View from Tosh

Varanasi 2011

Since blogging just after Saraswati Puja I've been neglecting this blog in favour of quickly uploading my mobile phone snaps to Facebook. Very sorry about that! So here's a quick wrap up of my 7 weeks in Varanasi.... This year wasn't exactly my best trip to India, with a bit too much low grade sickness resulting in a lot less practice and music in general. A lot of my energy this year was focused on obtaining Indian government certification for my tabla imports to clear Australian quarantine. While in U.P. I had a quick trip to Kanpur and a couple of days with a friend in Lucknow, who put me onto someone back in Varanasi who is continuing to work on this problem on my behalf. Anyway, on with the photos...

Baha-ud-din Dagar performing on rudra vina in Ganesh Mandir

Japanese folks in Benares gathered to pray for speedy and safe resolution after the massive March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Miyagi-ken.

My good friend Jimi Miyashita also dedicated his concert in Ganesh Mandir to relief from suffering in Japan and around the world.

On March 17 we had the 7th annual Ashu Babu Memorial Concert in honour of my late guru-ji. This year I MCed in English.

The main performer was tabla solo by Subhankar Banerjee. Brilliant stuff, so much practice.

A couple of days after the memorial concert was the festival of Holi, where the whole town (whole country for that matter becomes waterbomb and water pistol battleground. Here's the aftermath on one shopfront in Dasaswamedh.

Just a couple of days after Holi my guru-ma (wife of my late Guru-ji) passed away suddenly. I took this photo at the burning ghats to remind me of that moment.