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Friday, 09 August 2013 11:15

Pavagadh - A Perfect Weekend Getaway

Pavagadh – the religious and historic hill

Pavagadh is a picnic spot 46 km away from Vadodara, having religious as well as historic importance.

It is known for its Mahakali temple that draws thousands of pilgrims every day. Pavagadh, along with the neighboring village of Champaner, is now an archaeological park and has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 2004.

Pavagadh is of religious importance to Hindus as well as Muslims. The Kalika Mata temple is believed to be one of the 51 Shakti Peeths. The journey from the bottom of the hill till the top where the temple lies can be covered in an UdanKhatola or on foot. The UdanKhatola at Pavagadh has been in operation since 1986 and takes around 6 minutes to cover the whole climb. The hill is very steep and climbing it on foot takes well over one hour, but gives an opportunity to revel in the natural beauty and pristine sceneries. The total distance of the journey on foot is about 5 km and takes you through a jungle footpath and steps. The total height of the hill is 1523 feet or 550 meters, and it lies 762 meters above the sea level.

At the summit of Pavagadh, the temple has large fortifications and an open chowk in the front, with two altars for sacrifices also incorporated in the temple premises. There are also an array of lights laid out all around the temple, specially meant for special occasions and festivals.

The idol in the inner sanctum is only the head of Kalika Mata, the mukhwato that is painted in red.

A little above the Kali temple, lies the SadanshahPirDargah and there are various folk tales and stories about the Dargah. It is said that Kalika Mata had once got furious and tried to go down into the Earth in her fit of rage. But that would have meant destruction of the Earth, and a Muslim saint held her by her hair and saved the Earth. That is why, only the head of the Goddess is there in the temple, while the rest of the body is believed to be underground. Symbolically, it is the same reason why the dargah lies above the Kali temple.

 At the foot of the hill are two beautiful lakes – TeliyaTalav and DudhiyaTalav. 

There are also various monuments like Jama Masjid, Jami Masjid, etc. A ticket of Rs.20 per person has to be purchased and the same holds valid for all the monuments.

The remains of Raval Palace also make an interesting spot. The palace remains are located at Machi,a village at the base of the Pavagadh Hill.At Machi, one can also find various rest houses, holiday homes and small hotels.Pavagadh is accessible by bus as well as by car. During the monsoon,the place becomes all the more beautiful as the entire hill gets enveloped in clouds. It makes for a great picnic spot and ensures a fun-filled as well as spiritually fulfilling day. 

 

 

Friday, 09 August 2013 08:29

Chennai Express Movie Review

You can catch the train but only for “general class” treatment. Let’s dive directly into the nity-gritty of the things…

There is no doubt the Chennai Express will be commercially hit because of festival release and tag mark of Shahrukh Khan & Deepika Padukone. But this Rohit Shetty’s version of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge is an average mindless pure Bollywood masala movie.

The movie has impressive start, especially when Shahrukh meets Deepika in train, but as the movie progresses there is nothing exciting. There is an overdose of Tamil dialogues, climax was OK. One can say it’s a paisa vasool average entertainment with comedy, drama, love story, action and flying cars.

Shahrukh Khan is the brand of the movie. He acted well and acted very well (overacting) in some comic parts. Deepika Padukone is fantastic in her south Indian avatar. Her appearance, accent, expressions are fabulous. I think, she is the best thing to happen to this film.

Music is entertaining. ‘Titli’ and ‘Kashmir Kanyakumari’ are good visual treat. ‘1234’ was ok and ‘Lungi Dance’ was great tribute to Rajnikant. Direction of Rohit Shetty is as usual like his all movies.

Overall, CE is one time watch pure bollwood masala type movie. So for this weekend, you can catch Chennai express for the “general class” treatment. Though it’s Shahrukh Khan’s movie, you cannot expect A.C class treatment.

Our Khidki gives 2.5 out of 5 knocks for this movie.

Tuesday, 06 August 2013 09:06

Saharsh NGO, Baroda

We live in the 21st century where the smallest act of human kindness is considered to be charity. Why? Isn’t it our responsibility to give something back to the society? Don’t we owe anything to the very society we live in? Are we so tied up in our personal hustle-bustles that we’ve forgotten about the people who are longing for a tiny ray of hope to shine in their lives? One small act of kindness, is it too much to ask for?

For any up-and-coming nation the development of the less privileged children is the key to evolution. Education is simply the essence of a society as it passes from one generation to another. Saharsh, a city level developmental organisation, takes the initiative of doing their bit by addressing the need of education for the under-privileged children. Saharsh believes in giving something back to the society in joy.

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who begin to prepare from today, but several children in India are just waiting for that one chance. All dreams can come true, if you have the courage and willingness to chase them. The only dream Saharsh is of seeing the less privileged children of the society educated. Education isn’t just about being literate but it is about learning.

Saharsh essentially focuses in incorporating all children, teaching with co-curricular activities, and helping them to craft their future. Saharsh provides vocational training to support the learning process for those whocannot be enrolled back to school. Every child is gifted; they’re just helping to reveal their packages at different times. Saharsh is helping the differently abled by building their self-confidence and encouraging them to face the challenges that lie ahead.

Saharsh invests for the brighter future of city, state and the nation. In four years time Saharsh has supported 40 children for their education from 10 different schools. Being associated with a number oforganisations and give their expertise, has helped Saharsh teach nearly 80 young kids in different trades from various slums and villages near Vadodara.

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention”; over the years Saharsh has grown through individual donors who are now the face of the organisation. Stand for Saharsh by volunteering and putting in all your strength to let dreams become a reality. Saharsh is contributing in kind as everything adds up to a bright joyous smile on faces.

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