Munnar is a small hill-station in the Indian state of Kerala. Famous for its tea and spice plantations, Munnar (and the Western Ghats region in general) provides many fine views like this.
The petal arrangement of this flower is rather unusual. Normally, the petals of a flower are smaller and concentrated more closely together. In this case however, the yellow petals are abnormally large, and spread out relatively loosely. Due to the large size of the petals, the internal part of the flower is in the shadow, and seems to be getting enveloped by the petals. Also, interestingly, the petals form a sort of infinite staircase. If you start at any petal any go anti-clockwise, you will notice that you will only have to climb, never descend. Naturally, the reverse is true if you go clockwise. This is another feature of this flower that makes it unique and engrossing.
Fast flowing rivers such as the one in the photograph are massively powerful. They can get through almost any obstacle, carve out whole valleys and alter entire landscapes. Millions of litres of water flow at breakneck speeds through the river valley, racing to get to the plains as quickly as they can. Almost no fish can live in this part of the river – the current is simply too strong. The power and weight of the river is an inspiring reminder of the Forces of Nature
The river in the photograph is the River Kosi, in the Himalayan foothills. The river passes near the famous Jim Corbett National Park, and is an important geographical feature of the area. It flows pretty fast in this area, and this is evident from the large, rounded boulders on the river backs. Besides being important to the nearby landscape and wildlife, it is also important to the people living in the area. It generates a lot of income through tourism, fishing, hydroelectricity, etcetera. Though not as large or popular as the Ganga or Yamuna, it is nevertheless a spectacle of the scale of nature.
This photograph was actually taken on the way to the actual destination, which was Jim Corbett National Park. Often, the journey can be as good, if not better, than the actual destination.
Agra is full of old monuments dating back to the time of the Mughal dynasty. Everyone knows about the Taj Mahal, but there are several other structures worth recognition.
One such example is the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah. Not far from the Taj Mahal, this Mughal structure is often regarded as the rough draft of the Taj Mahal. It features some very intricate inlay work, not worthy of being called a ‘rough draft’. Also, unlike many of the carvings at the Taj Mahal, most of them at this Tomb are still intact. This is largely down to the relative lack of popularity of this Tomb compared to the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal receives millions of visitors every year, so it is naturally more susceptible to damage. This Tomb however, passes under the radar of most tourists, so the burden on it is less.
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