Sunday, November 29, 2015

An active volcano of Mount Batur at Kintamani, Bali

October 2015

Kintamani is an hour drive from Ubud. As you climb up the rad towards Kintamani, changes in weather is clearly felt. The temperature drops with greenery at every direction. At Kintamani, you are already at 5000 feet and it feels good if you are coming from hot and humid Bali lowlands.

Mount Batur and lake
The attraction of Kintamani is Mount Batur and Lake Batur. Mount Batur is an active volcano with the signs of its last eruption in year 2000 is still visible.  Adjoining the mountain is Lake Batur, the widest in Bali.

Signs of volcanic eruptions from Mount Batur
Many restaurants are lined up along the road that offers nice view of the mountain. We had our lunch at one of the restaurants that had “vegetarian buffet”.

View of Mount Batur from restaurant

Trekking to Mount Batur is a popular activity. Trekkers normally start early in morning to reach the summit before sunrise. It takes about 2 hours to reach the top. It is convenient to stay in Kintamani if you are trying to climb the mountain. Else, you have to start very early (2AM!!) from your hotels in Ubud or Kuta. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Hidden beauty at Gunung Kawi, Bali

October 2015

This is an amazing place at the bottom of the valley with memorials cut out of the rock face. The statues carved are dedicated to the king Udayana and his family. It is believed to be constructed in 11th century.  

It is required to walk down more than 300 steps to get down the valley. The route goes along the rice fields to reach the bottom of the valley. Here you reach the river Pakerisan river. The monuments are carved on either side of the river. The beauty of the place is enhanced by fountains and temples.

This place is about 30 minutes driver from Ubud. Since we went during mid day, it was quite a walk in hot sun especially while climbing up!!

Chaya and Tanu sipping coconut water to escape from heat!!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Goa Gajah, Bali

October 2015

The name has nothing to do with our “Goa”. It simply means Elephant cave!! It is a small cave with some simple carvings. Interestingly, there were no elephants in Bali. The ones seen are imported from outside.

Goa Gajah entrance
It is very near to the town of Ubud. From parking lot you need to walk down for a short distance to reach the cave.

Temple complex seen while climbing down to the cave
Sarong, the traditional dress is required to enter into the complex. Either you can purchase (as it is needed for other temples also) or get it free for rental as part of entrance ticket.

With Tanushree wearing Sarong

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tanah lot, a beautiful sea temple in Bali

October 2015

Tanah Lot is one of the sea temples in Bali. Located on an offshore rock, it is a great tourist attraction due to its location. People wrong during sunset time resulting in a fair like atmosphere.

There are many vantage points to view sunset. The one I shot was not at Tanah Lot but at the nearby temple Pura Batu Bolong.

Interestingly, we came to know that the part of the rock is artificial. It is because that the rock started to crumble few decades ago and had to be restored with artificial rock support!! Standing in front of the temple, it is hard to believe that there is an artificial “thingy” in it.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Snoqualmie falls in Washington, USA

7th November 2015

Snoqualmie falls is a 270 ft waterfall about an hour drive from Seattle. 

My first visit to this waterfall ended in an anti climax. It was my last day in US and I wanted to visit this falls. Leaving from Office in the evening, I directly drove to the falls. But I missed freeway “exit” twice and ended up in Seattle downtown. Strange things do happen!! 

Sometimes life gives another opportunity. I was in Seattle again after a month.  This time I drove to falls without missing route. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Taman Ayun - A glimpse of Balinese temple architecture

October 2015

"Taman Ayun" literally translates as beautiful garden. As name suggests, it is situated in a nice park!! Constructed by Raja of Mengwi in 1634, this is known as family temple of Rajas.

It is about half an hour drive from the tourist places of Kuta and Ubud.

A nice place for photography under good lighting conditions!!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Bali surfing experience

October 2015

Surfing is one of the popular water activity in Western world. But it is not a famous sport in India. At least I haven’t seen any activity in Indian beeches. Either the waves are not good for surfing or there is not much interest in that sport. But I was always excited on seeing surfing videos on Television and internet. When I started research on Bali, I came to know that it is famous for surfing. An activity to learn surfing was added in the itinerary of Bali.

With surfing instructor
There are many surfing classes in Kuta area of Bali. I took 2 hour course at Legian beach near Kuta. The first lesson was on the sand. I was taught about the techniques of lying down and then getting up on the surf board. Then the instructor took me to the sea. I was bit scared when I had to face high waves but soon got used to it. Very soon I understood that surfing is not an easy game!! It takes quite some effort to synchronise with the waves and balance the board. Initial few times, I just fell down from the board.

Gradually the success rate increased and I started enjoying the sport. It helps a bit if you know Surya Namaskar. The process from lying down to getting up the surf board resembles Surya Namaskar!! 

It is good to know bit of swimming if you want to surf as you enter into sea without life jacket.

Though I planned to surf for 2 hours, I was tired by 1.5 hours. It is not easy. You need to take the surf board from the shore to waters against the wave and do “Surya Namaskar” while surfing to the shore. And this happens in hot sun. A lot of energy is spent in this process. But it had lot of fun.

My wife took a video of surfing from the beach. It is a not a dramatic one but good enough for me!!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Padang Padang beach, Bali

October 2015

It is a very small but amazingly beautiful beach. Though visible from the main road, we had to get down some distance through a narrow rocky path to reach the beach.

The beach is quite rough but is very famous among surfers.

Visit to this beach can be combined with Uluwatu Temple.