colours of Vindhyachal

by - 11/28/2014

Our latest trip to Varanasi had two main objectives...spending Diwali with family and 'Mundan' of our daughter. For those who don't know what Mundan is, its the ceremonial shaving of the intrauterine hair of a child i.e the first shaving of the head of a baby. That is of course necessary to stimulate healthier hair growth. In some communities, it is done without any hue and cry. But in North India, its a big ceremony embellished with offerings and rituals and preferably a pilgrimage.

The day our baby was born, it was her grandpa's wish to get her Mundan done in Vindhyachal. That place has seen this ceremony of almost all his family children and hence his grand daughter's too.
Vindhyachal is a very famous pilgrimage site in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Situated on the banks of the beautiful Ganges, this place is studded with temples. Not to forget, the Vindhya mountain ranges encircle it from all sides. So most of the temples are situated atop the hills and require plenty of toiling hard to reach there.

After the Mundan ceremony of our baby (what a relief) we were relaxed enough to enjoy the place. We first visited the river Ganga which is really wide there. I chased around a baby goat which has been my favourite pastime since childhood. The narrow alleys to the temples were studded with quaint shops selling all kinds of items. Some shops had exclusively temple items while others had toys, jewellery, make up etc.

After climbing uphill for about half an hour, we reached Ashtabhuja temple. Ashta means eight and bhuja means arm. It was another form of Goddess Durga. The view from there was magnificent. The river ganges was surrounded by the lush green forests of Vindhya hills on all sides. There were monkeys everywhere with even one of them chasing me for my sunglasses!! I am really scared of these primates!!

It was almost late afternoon and we did not even have lunch. So we drove to a secluded plain area in the hills. It was filled with small ponds and date palm trees. We spread our mats and gobbled all the tasty morsel that we had packed from home. By the time we were done, the sun had almost set. With a long day and our daughter being bald, it was one exhausting yet fruitful day.

The lovely Ganges in the background...

All these have been tied in lieu of the wishes granted from the Goddess Durga at Ashtabhuja Temple...

Almost every shop sold such colourful dupattas...

Such a colourful shop!! It sold almost every kind of trinket!

the sun had almost set when our picnic got over...

picnicking among date palm trees...
playing around with a baby favourite pastime since childhood!! This one was so young that its cord was not yet shed off!!
Various offerings to the God or prashad. ..from left...incense sticks and flowers, coconut, sweets and puffed rice and sindoor or rori. 
Holy scarfs, flowers for offering, a man playing drums. ...

beautiful coloured stoles...these dupattas are for the offerings to Goddess.

Kurta: Biba
Pearls: Chandrani Pearls
Bag: from Mauritius
Bracelet: Forever21

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  1. Gorgeous colors. Your pants are so fun!

  2. beautiful pictures!♥ you look amazing as always!:)

  3. You look marvelous! I had no idea that you guys shaved the heads of your babies. I think it works cos everyone had beautiful hair. Happy Sunday pretty!!


  4. A lot of fantastic colors. Perfect look


  5. Dr mandira u rock!! Gear up to write a book travel diaries...All the best ...ask Dr manoj to take u to more beautiful locations;) so that one can enjoy and imagine all beauty of the place by your blog only :)