Friday, 7 September 2012

Travel Time

The Theory of Relativity couldn't have been explained better than this.

Get this.

You may think - a road is a road and distance is distance and that it takes the same time to cover the same distance - no matter which road you're on. But I'll have you reconsider your theory shortly. Let me show you how.
Let's look at some of the popular roads of India:
1. Bandra-Worli Sea Link Road - a bypass through the sea.
2. Khardong La Road - one of the highest motorable roads in the world.
3. Stilwell Road - once the most expensive road in the world.
4. Grand Trunk Road - one of the oldest roads in the world.
5. Magnetic Hill in Ladakh - one of the strangest roads in the world.
6. Hyderabad-Bangalore Highway - one of the easiest roads in the world.
7. Rohtang Tunnel Road - the longest tunnel-road in India at 10,200 feet elevation.

Geography. Landscape. Weather conditions. Speed limit. Magnetic forces. Unforeseen and uncontrollable forces.  And the driver's disposition towards driving. All contribute to the variation in driving speed and experience.

Now picture this....
1. Bandra-Worli Sea Link is an 8-lane cable-stayed bridge road which is 5.6 kms long and serves as a bypass to the Mahim Causeway, through the sea and is built to reduce travel time by 20 minutes between Bandra and Worli. Though the road may facilitate 60-km drive-speed, the traffic-congestion still brings the vehicles to a grinding halt for more than 15 minutes at both ends. It is one of the best roads in the world and still can't expect to reach on time.

2. Khardong La Road is perched atop a 17,600-feet high mountain in Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir. Speed is secondary on this road - safety comes first. With all the perennial snow and ice mountains, finding a road beneath the sheets of snow is top priority.

3. Stilwell Road - also called the Ledo Road, was named after U.S. Army General Stilwell and was built during the World War II as an alternative to the Burma Road which was cut by the Japanese Army. In terms of construction costs, this road was once the highest in the world! It's the zigzag that will make you dizzy if you attempt speed on this road.

4. Grand Trunk Road - one of the oldest and longest roads in the world which connects Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. This route was first initiated during the Mauryan Empire  and was renovated and extended during the 16th Century by Sher Shah Suri of the Muslim Sur Empire who took control of the Mughal Empire in 1540. Now this road would be ideal for high-speeds in most parts of its entire length.

5. Magnetic Hill in Ladakh - thousands of curious tourists visit this area to check this strange behaviour of this mountain/hill which is 27 kms west of Leh in Jammu & Kashmir. Tourists who visited this place at 11,000 feet altitude, have reported that this hilly area has magnetic properties which are strong enough to pull vehicles uphill. If this theory is fake, then why do aircrafts increase their altitude while flying over this area? As it is this hilly landscape is not speed-friendly and then this magnetic force which has a mind of its own?
6. Hyderabad-Bangalore Highway - they say you can drive on this road with your eyes closed. There is some reality to that - though should be attempted literally! This is almost a straight road that runs north to south without any deviations. During the day, you would barely see any traffic on the road. And the highway is 4-track road. You can easily cover this 570-km drive in 7.5 hours during the day in a car as opposed to the 12-hour drive in the night. Well.....I did!

7. Rohtang Tunnel Road - the current longest road tunnel of India which is at 10,200 feet altitude under the Rohtang Mountain Pass in the Pir-Panjal Range of the Himalayas on the Leh-Manali Highway. The tunnel is 8.8 kms in length and is supposed to reduce driving distance of 60 kms between Manali and Keylong.

By this theory, you ought to know better than to apply the same formula of distance, time and speed to all geographies alike!
Pix courtesy: Wikipedia, Placeforholidays,, team-bhp, walkthroughindia.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi is also popularly called as Vinayaka Chavithi or Vinayaka Chaturthi. This festival is celebrated on the birth day of Lord Ganesh, the first son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. Ganesh is revered as an avatar of both Shiva and Vishnu. Vinayaka Chavithi is celebrated in the month of September on Shukla Paksha Chaturthi in Bhadrapada masam (as per Hindu calendar). 

The festival is celebrated for 11 days. This festival is celebrated all over India especially in Mumbai and Pune in MaharashtraBanglore in  Karnataka, Chennai in Tamilnadu and Hyderabad and Vizag in Andhra PradeshOn this day, Lord Shiva has declared that his son Vinayaka as superior to all the Gods. This festival celebrated with full enthusiasm and ardor.

khairatabad Vinayaka At Hyderabad

There is an interesting story regarding the birth of Lord Ganesh as per the Indian Mythology. Goddess Parvathi (wife of Lord Shiva) created a small kid’s idol with sandalwood paste which she uses for her bath. She gave life to this small idol and made him to guard her door while she is taking her bath. Lord Shiva came to meet Goddess Parvathi, Ganesh who didn’t know Lord Siva didn’t allow him into the place. Shiva became angry upon Ganesh and cut off the head of child and he entered his house. After he came to know about the kid from Goddess Parvati  he fixed a elephant head in place of Ganesh head and gave him life. From this day Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as birthday of Lord Ganesh.

Lord Shiva And Goddess Parvathi with Ganesh

Ganesh Chathurthi Puja

On this holy day people bring Ganesh idols and pray to the idols of Lord Ganesh both in the main streets and in the houses. These idols are made from plaster of paris or with mud. People pray to these idols from 1 to 10 days. On the 11th day of this festival, these Ganesh idols are submerged in to lakes, rivers or the sea. This 11th day of the festival is called as Anant Chaturthi. In the procession on the way to submersion of the Idol’s people raise slogans and chant “Ganapati Bappa Morya, Pundhachya Vashi Larshi Laukar Ya” (Ganesha , come again early next year) in Maharashtra , Ganesh Maha Raj Ki, Jai ( Ganesha, victory is yours) in Andhra Pradesh etc....

Ganesh Idol immersed into River

Ganesh Idol immersed into River

Lord Vinayaka

On this day people decorate the idols with flowers, sandalwood powder, kumkum, grass, leaves, fruits of the season etc. Special sweets like laddoos and modakas which are favorite of the God’s are prepared and offered to God. God is worshipped with 21 blades of Druva Grass, 21 modakas, and red flowers. On this day no one should see the moon because the fable in the Indian mythology. On his birthday Lord Ganesh crammed his belly with modakas and was riding on his mouse. The mouse seeing a snake faltered and Lord Ganesh fell down and his belly which was crammed bursted out spilling all the modakas. Ganesha stuffed all the modakas back into his stomach and tied his belly with the snake. By seeing this the moon in the sky starting laughing heartily, which annoyed Ganesh and he cursed moon that anyone who looks moon will invite bad luck. Since then people refrain from looking at the moon on the festival.  Lord Siva revoked this curse on request from the God’s  and altered it, with whoever see the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi.

Ganesh Chathurthi Recipes

Vinayaka Chavithi: Modakas


"Ganapati Bappa Morya, Pandhachya Vashi Larshi  Laukar Ya"

                             'Bolo Ganesh Maha Raj ke Jai'