Monday, February 23, 2009

When in Manali...

When in Manali - get familiar with local stuff.
Angoora (rabbit wool) shawls. It's possible to see busy looms weaving away if you visit on week-days.
The finest of these shawls can easily pass through a finger-ring, and cost upwards of Rs 80,000.
One of the older factories at KulluThe shop at Naggar palace, where Subhash cheerfully shared secrets of the different varieties of shawls and cautioned "Take care to look for genuine local produce, not bulk items shipped up from factories in the nearest cities"
Another showroom on the way to Manikaran
The traditional headgear Manali native - of late, the sunglasses are part of the costume. Several ladies like Bimla carry a set of costumes including traditional jewellery for couples to try out. (Be wary - rates vary from Rs 10 in the late evenings to Rs 250 to the gullible non-native)We are dismal shoppers, but very happy to watch the items on offer, and gave in to some fascinating palate-ticklers at a cooperative outlet on the main street at Manali.Sun-dried apple - can be used along with other vegetable preparations, we were told.
Apple pickle - once I got over the taste of mustard oil that is a favourite in North India, I didn't mind the mildly sweet flavour.
Lingri pickle - Lingri is a fern variety and is a popular local vegetable. We initially saw only 1/2 kg bottles; at our third visit, the lad finally consented to part with smaller packs.
Handmade jute-and-wool footwear (Rs 60 a pair) Take a leisurely world tour here

Friday, February 20, 2009

Luxurious tresses!

The yak's hair is of much use in Central Asian regions. See the source -

The duster-like Chauri used in Sikh temples (Gurdwaras) is a fan made of yak hair.

Camera Critters

View other critters here

Monday, February 16, 2009

Under a white blanket in February - Snow Point, Manali

You still enjoying white winters? or warmer climes?
Here are pictures of my first-ever view of snow brand new!

Finally! Got to see snow in winter. Manali had had the season's heaviest snowfall (about 3 feet) early February, and the road to Solang Valley (14 km from Manali, on the route to spectacular Rohtang Pass), was blocked, nay, jammed. The highest we could reach was Snow Point (that was high enough, thanks!).
Looks as though cotton grows in apple trees in winter?
The snowfall was rather unexpected, and all kinds of vehicles were taken by surprise.

This is where work on a ropeway is underway.My son was keen on making a snowman - he did, too - can you make out the sprawled figure?
Take a world tour by visiting other My World Tuesday Number XVIII posts

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sunbathing in winter

Manali, nestled in the Western Himalayas, 'enjoyed' season's heaviest snowfall early February, a day or two before we reached the town. That's when - just below the lowered snow line - we got to see a lot of winter sunbathers.

Enjoy more creature shots

Camera Critters

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Chinar's shade and shades

Weekend Snapshot -
Here are winter and summer shots of a Chinar tree located at a defense base in Srinagar, India