Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Brush with Paradise

I love rains but the humidity which invariably accompanies the rainy weather here, sucks the life energy out. Tired and exhausted by heat and humidity I planned an escape to the hills. About three hours drive from Saharanpur is the scenic hill station of Mussourie. Located in the heart of mighty Himalayas and at an altitude of about 2550 meters, it is aptly nicknamed ‘the Queen of the hills’. Driving up the sinuous roads and dicey curves, one can feel the change in air and gradually changing vegetation from deciduous to coniferous type. Greenery greets the sight all around, on the rocks, on the rooftops, even on the tree stems ‘Awe’ is the emotion which predominates when one looks at the mighty, looming figures of some of the tallest peaks of the world but for me the best part was the sight of beautiful fuchsias, hydrangeas, begonias, blooming merrily all over, without any significant effort on the grower’s part! Remarkably these succulents-Aeoniums were omnipresent here, although I logically associate them with places having hot dry weather unlike Mussoorie. It is a heady feeling to be at 3000mts above the sea level and my little one could appreciate that as she enjoyed the rickshaw ride. These cycle rickshaws are ubiquitous all over India and are a very popular means of local transport here, even in hills. The grit and stamina of hill people is legendary, as these people fight the daily vagaries of a life on hills. Tourism has brought better living conditions for them but has also eroded their rich and vibrant culture. Thankfully, there are virginal hills, as yet untouched by large scale human invasion and there the colors of a tribal hill culture can be seen in their pure natural state Inspired by their traditional attire my little one decided to try one herself and the result…not bad… what do you say? Roaming around in the relative tranquility of the hills, I came across shops displaying their beautiful wares. There were lanterns in exciting colors with some intricately carved and decorated pots . Then there were Brass idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses invoking reverence and love. A leisurely stroll, down the road and I find this ‘weeping willow’, reminds me of the whooping willow of Hogwarts of the Harry Potter fameFew kilometers away from the main town authorities have very sensibly designed a garden; known as ‘Company Baag’ (‘Baag’ is Hindi for garden). To be there is an aesthetic experience par excellence. Cool air of the mountains, laden with the aroma of fresh blooming flowers, fill the nostrils and the view of the town and tall coniferous trees takes the breath awayThe Dahlias seemed to be smiling at me for the look I had; like a mortal lost somewhere in the paradise! I had to have the pleasure of enjoying a boat ride in this artificial lake 2500 meters above the sea! Like all good things my brush with paradise had to come to an end. My angel agreed for one last pose before we return to heat and humidity, worries and work… but then that is life and we are fortunate to be living it…

19 comments:

A wildlife gardener said...

Wonderful post with superb photos, angelic daughter to melt the heart, heavenly scenery - all beautifully described. Thank you for sharing your holiday with us :)

Marie said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful trip to "The king of Himalaya" vith me. I live in Norway and here we have a lot of rain, and heat is never a problem. You have a real nice blog and I will definitely come back and read some more. You are welcome to visit me on my blog. The text is in norwegian, but there are a lot of pictures. If you write a comment and ask questions I will translate. Well my english is not to good, but I hope you can understand.
Have a nice weekend in India :o)

Wicked Gardener said...

What a beautiful area! It is hot and humid here now too, so I can appreciate the desire to hit the road for somewhere cooler and drier. Your daughter is adorable! I wish I was shopping with you. I see some things in those pictures I would have loved to picked up!

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Thank you for a lovely journey! I wish I were there. I love the mountains and your 'Queen' certainly look great. All that lovely sky. I've been out sailing this weekend and that is great too, a lot of fresh air and again a lot of sky.

Annie in Austin said...

Mussourie looks like a fun place to relax and breathe, Green thumb - humidity combined with heat makes me tired, too.
The color of the costume on your little one makes her look like a marigold and dahlia princess.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

kate said...

It truly does look like paradise ... beautiful flowers, combined with incredible views and what a treat to see your daughter enjoying herself. She is adorable ... I love the last picture of her in her little red coat, though she looks great in the orange clothing too. The rickshaw ride must have been great fun as well as your trip on the lake.

Have a wonderful week, Green Thumb!!
kate ox

Andrea's Garden said...

I've told you I love reading your posts, haven't I? This must have been the most wonderful trip and I would have loved to come along and see all that with you. Your daughter is adorable. Best wishes from Germany, Andrea

Nicole said...

I've read of Mussourie in a couple Indian novels, and its more picturesque than I'd even imagine, though actually quite close in many ways to what I'd pictured, (to the credit of the novelists).
Lovely, well composed pictures really capture elements of your trip. That must be a wonderful thing about living in a vast and varied continent like India-each trip is like a different world! may I get to there in the next few years.

Limiano said...

Green thumb disse...
Dear Jardineira,all photographs look incredibly beautiful.Do add some English text for the benefit of bloggers like me.
Happy Gardening.

5/7/07 19:28

See the International Garden Festival here www.festivaldejardins.cm-pontedelima.pt or here http://www.pi.com.pt/jardins2007/ing/index.htm

Enjoy

Regards

My Chutney Garden said...

What a lovely glimpse into a different world. I am reading The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai now and I can now put an image to the descriptions I've been reading about.
India looks so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.
Sharon

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Thanks dear Green Thumb for this wonderful peek into paradise.

It can be very humid here too but luckily it is usually not all that hot but when it is ......... oh dear, you get so tired by it all. So good thinking on your escape to the hills. The trees there are awesome!

The whooping willow from Harry Potter eh? ;-) Are you reading the last book too?

Of all the beautiful flowers you have shown us so far, the prettiest is still your little angel. ;-)

Stanley said...

Thanks for sharing this with us, I was born in Mussoorie and shall be making a first visit since leaving it in 1960

:-)

Becky~ said...

Such sweet photographs.
i always think of India as beautiful colors.

~Becky said...

and your daughter is a darling. She must bring you tons of joy.

Diana said...

Thanks for your kind comments about my new blog and my little blossom! I love your site. And I see you also share a passion for collecting different begonias. My favorite is the Angel Wing. I lost one in our rains this summer and I was so sad. Your little blossom is adorable, too! I'll keep checking back and will add you to my links!

Layanee said...

A lovely trip to take with you via your photos! It looks cool and inviting and your little one is enjoying her trip also! Thanks for the glimpse of your world!

Birgit said...

Dear Green Thumb, thank you for the wonderful and mystic pics. It`s a great landscape with wonderful people, where you live.
Greetings from Germany and a nice sunday, Love Birgit

primrozie said...

Hi Green Thumb. I think the bright colors of India are absolutely beautiful! Your little one is adorable and seems to be having a wonderful time.

I live in the USA ~ Pennsylvania. We have many forests here and mountains that we love to retreat to as well. Of course your Himalayas are more of a world wonder!

I also enjoyed your post on natural medicine.

Jardineira aprendiz said...

Your little girl is so lovely! And every time i read or see photos of your beautiful country i get more and more fascinated about it! I started to be interested about India some 14 years ago, when i started to practice yoga. But we don't have much information about the real India in here, internet seems to be the best way to learn about it, although it is a limited way to know such a rich culture.

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