Visiting World Wonders: The Dawki River

Let’s talk about the Dawki River today.

For the previous post in the series, click here.

Hello everyone! Today’s world wonder is a natural one and a pretty obscure one at that! I seriously doubt that you would have heard about this place before reading this post unless I told you or you have been there yourself. If you have, kudos, you’re a chosen one. Pick up your prize on your way out. I am proud to take you, virtually to the magical and mystical Dawki River, about 82 km. away from Shillong, the capital of the north-eastern state of Meghalaya, in India. What is so magical about this place, you ask? Join me and read on, as we go together to this gorgeous river in north-east India.

I first saw a picture of the Dawki river on a travel Instagram account in 2018. It was a photo taken by a drone and it made it look as though a boat was floating on nothing, literally and it was just suspended mid-air. Me being quite the cynic was convinced it had to be edited. There simply was no way this place was real. Then I googled it and saw many more similar photos, still not fully convinced but closer to convinced than not. Then I spoke with my parents about this seemingly, incredible place and one thing led to another and we ended up planning a vacation to North East India for the winter holidays of December 2018.

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December finally came and we here in Shillong at last, after a long day of travel. We were finally going to Dawki! Northeast India is very beautiful, but nothing had me as excited as this fantastical place that I had only seen photos of. We drove out of Shillong and soon our driver told us that we were here and we had to climb down from the road to the valley where the river was through stone stairs. I still couldn’t see it, not properly with all the greenery and thus began climbing down, almost jumping in excitement. Suddenly, the trees parted and in my line of sight, in a very storybook moment, were the emerald green waters of the Dawki River and a tiny boat floating on nothing, looking every bit as breathtaking as I had imagined and then some.

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The Dawki River is smack dab on the India-Bangladesh border. One bank of the river is in India and the other in Bangladesh so tourists from both countries visit it. It is still kind of unknown and is not a widely renowned place, which may be why its beauty is so well preserved and relatively untouched. It is very clean, so much so, that you can see the rocks at the bottom of the river i.e. about 15 ft. deep down, as though they are right next to you. The sunlight bounces off the water, making it look clear as air and the water reflects the green on the mountains around it, making it look the gorgeous emerald green colour that we see. There are tiny wooden colourful boats available to take a ride around the river and these add to the beauty and charm of the place.

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We also ended up taking a boat ride which was a wonderful, unimaginable, breathtaking experience which I mostly spent marvelling at the beauty that I was blessed to be witnessing and awed by the grandeur of the place. It was the best experience of my vacation, one of the best experiences of my life and for once, no words are enough to express just how entrancing and magical it was and is. I hope that the pictures I am sharing speak a thousand words, and speak the right ones because god knows I am not talented enough to do that. I absolutely recommend visiting this extraordinary river in the northeast corner of India to be humbled by the magnificence of nature and to be reminded of the magical world we live in.

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THIS POST’S QUESTION: Have you been to any place that you thought was ‘magical’? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

 

The Best Ecotourism Ever!

Lets talk about what I liked the most about Singapore and Malaysia.

On my recent vacation to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  there were many wondrous, new things I saw. Some exotic, some beyond description. What struck me the most was, despite being cities and urban and  modern, a major chunk of the tourism was dedicated to the flora and fauna of the islands and bringing together nature and technology in a perfect harmony by using technology to make the experience comfortable for both visitors and the animals.

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A white peacock I caught posing at Underwater World.

These were truly wonderful and are what sets these places apart, which is what I feel the point of traveling to a place is.What’s special about it, what cannot be found anywhere else. What is uniquely its own and is what it boasts of. So, this post is an appreciation, a dedication and a review all rolled into one for the ecotourism at Singapore and Malaysia.

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Tulips at the Flower Dome Conservatory.

Some of these places were:-

  •  River Safari, Singapore.

A wonderfully executed collection of the river ecosystems of the world, of animals that thrive in and around rivers.

  • Night Safari, Singapore.

A greatly efficient safari that shows you the night time wildlife in rainforests. A great animal show called “Creatures Of The Wild” takes place here that should not be missed.

  • Underwater World, Sentosa Islands, Singapore.

A beautiful aquarium world, which takes you in the oceans around the islands and the beautiful aquatic life here. A fun “Seal and Dolphin Show” takes place here that is definitely a must-watch.

  • Jurong Bird Park

Probably one of the oldest bird parks, Jurong is a bird watcher’s heaven. Here you can be one with the many winged messengers that dot the skies and the ecosphere around the islands and other places. An exciting “High Flyers Show” with many exotic birds is one of the best things to attend here.

  • Gardens By The Bay ,Singapore

This complex includes three waterfront gardens, two beautiful cooled conservatories called the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest, the Supertree grove with many other gardens is one of a kind and truly amazing. The various flower scents mingling, the scenic view of the whole city and the beautiful sea make it a wonderful place to be at, especially in the night.

  • Singapore Zoo

Singapore’s beautiful national zoo, which the aforementioned night safari is a part of. It boasts of many species of animals.

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Looking at all these animals and birds of various different kinds, coming in different shapes, sizes and forms coexisting together makes for a experience that teaches you two things.One,  how much the little things we do is threatening the very existence of this animal world and two, a lesson in unity. In the light of the many issues plaguing the world today, its a lesson we still have a long way to learn.

All pictures have been taken by me.

 

The Best Rainbows Ever!

Lets talk about the time I saw two rainbows together and one of them was round.

Rainbows are, to put it in one word, fascinating. A break from the usual monotony of blue in the day and dark in the night, a whole spectrum of 7 colours  to observe, these days they’ve become a rather rare phenomenon. I have,in my life seen a total of 7 rainbows, three slightly visible ones,2 huge ones over the city and 2 together in the midst of snow capped hills and brown mountains,next to the sparkling blue waters of a lake and one of them was round. It is definitely the best one I’ve ever seen and currently also the most recent.

In the summer of last year, my family and I went to Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India for a trip. I saw many wondrous and exotic things there but today, I limit myself to the coloured wonders, the two rainbows. We went to Pengong Lake, the world’s highest saltwater lake situated at 14,000 ft. above the mean sea level and were going to spend the night there, at a camp. We went through an absolutely breathtaking road, covered and surrounded almost wholly with and by snow. Eventually, from the distance we saw Pengong Lake,its blue waters glittering in between the mountains, a jewel in the cold desert.

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The road to heaven.
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The view from the road at 17,000 ft. above mean sea level.
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The first glimpse of the lake.

 

Believed to be what remains of the Tethys sea today, this beautiful blue saltwater lake was extremely enchanting, a marvel for the human race, who’ve come so far and yet are nullifying their effects by a tenfold. We had fun on the lakeside, enjoyed the view and admired the water birds who made crow like sounds(I haven’t been able to find their names out) and retired to the camp. The next morning, we went to the lakeside again and saw, to our wonder, two rainbows in the sky. One was fainter and the other, around the sun, like a ring. It was absolutely picturesque. The water too, was a different shade of blue that it was last evening. In that moment, I knew that if heaven existed, it had to be right here, right now in this place that fills me up with so much peace and happiness in amounts I thought I wasn’t capable of feeling.

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The unnamed water birds.

 

I tried to capture the halo that is, the round rainbow (As I later found it is called) but couldn’t, due to the fact that I didn’t have the appropriate camera lenses. I read up on halos, much afterward and this is what they’re defined to be:”A halo, also known as a nimbus, ice bow or gloriole is an optical phenomenon produced by light interacting with ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere, resulting in a wide variety of coloured or white rings, arcs or spots in the sky. Many halos are near the sun or moon but others can even occur elsewhere in the sky.”

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The fainter rainbow in the sky.
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One of my numerous attempts to capture the halo, in bits and pieces if I had to ,to take it back with me.
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Another attempt.
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The best possible capture, which doesn’t even begin to show the actual beauty of the halo.

I feel glad, blessed and so lucky to have been able to behold this wonder of nature, this specimen of, or testament to its beauty, this captivating,alluring view. I would if given a chance, in a heartbeat go right back to Pengong Lake, the land of beauty and grace, where the gods descend and nature is having a celebration of life itself.

The Best First Time Parasailing!

Let’s talk about the first time I went parasailing.

I think everyone has dreamt of flying ; floating high up in the skies with the birds and up above the clouds.(Except maybe if you have a fear of heights) And we, human beings, happen to be such gifted and delightful creatures that we made aeroplanes and helicopters to achieve the same. We refuse to be satisfied by just sitting inside a machine and experiencing it, we keep trying to make it better and more real and thus we developed adventure sports like parasailing and paragliding. This is the one admirable quality about us, we want to make everything possible, the indomitable human spirit, just refuses to believe that impossible is a word.

We recently went to a quaint little coastal village in Maharashtra,India by the name of Shrivardhan .It was a beautiful,peaceful place right out of your imagination.The beaches there were so picturesque,so clean,so empty, so delightfully perfect the thalassophile in me was on cloud 9. Here, I had the wonderful opportunity to experience parasailing at the beach for the first time in my life.This was putting everything I love together; the beach,the ocean,the skies and the adventure, making it quite memorable.

It was an out of the world experience, so blissfully exhilarating! I could see the ocean extending indefinitely and kissing the skies at the horizon on one end and the coconut tree forest and the little village amidst the hills on one.I felt on top of the world(Literally!) and was humbled by the power and beauty of Mother nature,yet again.I’ve said this before about a sunrise I saw but this sentence of mine is the only way to express what I felt,yet again.”It made me feel so meaningless,so small,so powerless,I’d say it left a humbler person in its wake.”I felt that little mixture of emotions yet again,the one I’d felt at that point as I floated higher and higher, a mute observer to the glory of nature.

All pictures are clicked by me , are unedited and are of different beaches around the village.

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Flying. As close as it gets.
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Almost invisible in the vastness of the sky.
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We saw this beautiful scenic view of the Arabian Sea while traveling.
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Roads with hills on one side and the sea on another,so heavenly.
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I was trying to capture this little flock of birds that flew past the sun but couldn’t. They’re to the left of the sun if you look carefully.
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“The clouds lit up to bid farewell to the passing sun. For at that instant, they, the scattered ones, were one.”

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Sunrise.

Let’s talk about the best sunrise I’ve ever seen today.

I believe that almost everyone talks about sunsets. Everyone has seen loads of really beautiful sunsets in their lives. I have, too. But sunrises, at least for me, are special. They require actual effort and dedication. Getting up in the early morning and prepping just to see the rising sun peek above the horizon signalling the start of the day, making creatures all big and small begin their day, witnessing something that powerful makes me feel honoured.

In my 16 years of existence, I’ve seen 7 sunrises total.4 because I woke up too early at home,1 in a early morning flight, one in a desert as a child and one in the Himalayas. Of these, one is my absolute favourite and that’s the one I’m gonna talk about today.

The sunrise I saw in Tiger hill in Darjeeling, India, nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, in front of the third highest peak in the world, the Kanchenjunga was quite possibly the best sunrise I’ll ever see. I went to Darjeeling with my family and we woke at 4 to witness nature’s glory.

All pictures are unedited and clicked by me. Even though they are undoubtedly, heavenly they don’t even closely capture the beauty of the scene. It was, for the lack of a better word, magical.  Looking at it, I felt an emotion that I simply cannot transcend in words. It was an amalgamation of all the emotions, of all hopes, of all dreams that mankind has ever had. It made me feel so meaningless, so small, so powerless, I’d say it left a humbler person in its wake.

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All you could see was hilltops above the clouds.
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In the distance, Mt.Kanchenjunga in all its glory.

 

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The horizon tinting orange, then yellow to welcome the sun.
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Gift of the gods.
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The clouds looked as though they were threatening to spill over, one little push and they’d all fall out.
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Mt.Kanchenjunga,the third highest peak in the world.
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Slowly, the sun rose, multiplying the beauty of the scene manifold.
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The rising sun too bright in its eyes.
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Finally, the moment was over, the sun had risen, like it did everyday, but I,I wasn’t the one I was yesterday.