#Skywatch Friday – 34

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With the first week of the year 2017 drawing to a close, I think most of us are still reeling under the load of work, whilst recovering from the hangover of the last weekend, as we bid farewell to the year gone by.

Nonetheless, I’m thankful for the short but wonderful break we all had, to wash away the blues and turbo-charge our minds and bodies that should last at least for a while. This year too, as every other year, we were off to see one set of parents who reside in Ahmedabad.

Since it was an evening flight, the time was perfect for a special skywatch shot, that I had been planning to take. I was ready to grab a shot of the sky from up there. What I wasn’t prepared for at all was the breathtaking view of the sky at 33,000 feet. The colour gradient across the horizon, almost looked an artist’s palette ready to be splashed upon a canvas. Right outside the aircraft window, a beautiful evening transformed itself into twilight and then, merged into the dark night.

This was the sky at 33,000 feet above the ground!

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Over the week, we not only got to spend quality time as a family, but we also met up with a few close friends, filling each other in with our everyday stories and events of our lives. We savored the winter sun, did the customary zoo trip with our Young Man by the famous Kankaria Lake in the heart of the city and also attended a wedding reception.

Now, looking back, I’d say, the highlights of the trip would undoubtedly be the three heritage tours we took later in the week. First in line was the exquisitely carved and extremely well-preserved 11th century Sun Temple at Modhera, on the outskirts of the city of Ahmedabad.

The next day, we visited the magnificently opulent Laxmi Vilas Palace, the royal residence of the Maharaja of Baroda, two hours’ drive away.

But the biggest surprise of all was Sarkhej Roza, one of the most elegant and unique architectural complexes of Ahmedabad, built in a true amalgamation of Hindu, Jain and Islamic styles. This place is associated with a venerated Sufi saint, Shaikh Ahmed Khattu Ganj Baksh, endowed with miraculous powers, in whose honour the mausoleum and the mosque was built, sometime during the 15th century. It was my first ever visit inside a mosque complex and yet, I felt so much at peace once inside this monument.

The last two shots of the ‘jali’ or the perforated windows, reflects stunning geometric patterns on the walls, as the evening rays sunlight filtered through them.

The last shot was taken through a hole in one of those perforated windows, to capture the view of the other end of the monument. Everyone seemed to walk around the mausoleum, admiring the beautiful windows, taking quick shots, but in perfect silence. It was a quiet afternoon well spent in a place of repose and meditation for all.

And, with that visit, our vacation came to an end. As you can see, in the short span of seven days, we had packed in a bit of everything! In spite of all the short trips in and around the city, we found plenty of time to relax and recharge ourselves, before we returned to our usual routines, ready to usher in the New Year.

So, tell me, how was your Christmas/New Year break? Vacation or staycation? Either way, I’m sure you had a great time, taking it easy and unwinding with family and friends before ringing in the New Year.

Wishing you everything wonderful in 2017. My cherished wish for 2017 is all about living fully and I hope you do so too.

As always, it would be wonderful if you left a little note to say something about this post or the pics in the comments below. In turn, I promise to visit your blog or website and leave a note too.

Until next time! Have a great weekend ahead. 🙂

(Linking this with #Skywatch Friday, where sky watchers post beautiful sky shots from different parts of the world.)

swftom

16 Comments
  • Maliny Mohan

    Reply

    Good to know you have had a wonderful vacation, Esha. And you brought back so many mesmerising picures to cherish those memories! My new year was spent in the hospital, as is the case with any year, but yes, I did have fun on my own, by keeping up with my writing and reading. I hope the year is treating you well so far 🙂

    • Esha M Dutta

      Oh, yes, thank you Maliny. Since we stay away from parents, this time of the year we usually go down to see them and spend time with them, at least with one set of our parents. Glad to know that you kept up with reading and writing esp the book that is scheduled to come out. I wish you goodluck for everything you’re hoping for in this year. May all your wishes come true.

  • sunainabhatia

    Reply

    Wow….stunning pics especially the last two……Good you had a nice time Esha….I spent time grating ginger and mixing it in honey….:P…..my son has been sick for the past few days…..recovering now……

    • Esha M Dutta

      Thanks a lot, Sunaina for your kind words of appreciation. I am sorry to hear about your son being ill. I hope things are a little better now…the weather must be terribly cold there, right? I’ve not been regular with blogging this year as I’m still running short of time and opportunity to sit down and concentrate on blogging or writing for that matter. Do take care and sending across plenty of positive vibes for the little one to recover soon. Hugs <3

  • Rajlakshmi

    Reply

    In a week you visited so many historically rich places. Beautiful captures. The skyshot steals the show though. Its great to spend such a lovely time with family.

    • Esha M Dutta

      We made full use of every opportunity to make short trips that came our way. Thanks for your appreciation, Raj. Yes, truly enjoyed the break and time with the family too.

  • deepagandhi

    Reply

    Lovely pics with nice description. Thanks for this virtual trip 🙂

    • Esha M Dutta

      Thanks, Deepa. Glad to see you stopping by here 🙂

  • Me Otherwise

    Reply

    It’s such a beautiful place. I have been to Ahmedabad but never been here… Lovely clicks of the place and the sky from the aircraft.

    You have visited gujrat at the right time, the weather would have been pleasant.

    • Esha M Dutta

      You are right. Sometimes, more than the place I guess we need to have the eye to find beauty in all the unlikely places. Trips like these have often taken me to many little known places. Winters are the best time to travel in Gujarat. There’s so much to see there for tourists. Do plan a trip there sometime. 🙂

  • Parul Thakur

    Reply

    Gorgeous shots. All of them and I have been checking them out on FB and IG – loved all.
    I also wish that for all of us. Living fully. Infact, I made some plans and I am going to stick to them. More later but just about living the moment so I am with you. 🙂

    • Esha M Dutta

      Thank you so much, Parul. I’m glad to know that you’ve made some plans too for this year. Well, I pray and wish that all your plans fall perfectly in place and that 2017 turns out to be one of the best years of your life.

  • Menaka Bharathi

    Reply

    stunning pics, lovely place to visit. I was just wondering when was the last time we left for a vacation. Hmm, its been a long time now. Hope 2017 takes us to places

    • Esha M Dutta

      Thank you so much, Menaka. A vacation may not b to a far away place. Even someplace close is equally good. It’the mind that needs a break from the routine, so you must plan a trip sometime. The family bonding always gets a boost during such times. I wish 2017 finds you going to places and enjoying yourselves.

  • shalzmojo

    Reply

    I loved the heritage sightings of this city and have now bookmarked a trip to this city ASAP. Will prob check with you for the tour details pls

    • Esha M Dutta

      Thanks, Shalini. So glad you found those heritage sightings good. They are really awesome. Gujarat has a lot to offer to the tourists, that suits every budget. The best time to see Gujarat is usually in winter as the weather is perfect in every way. Summers are totally avoidable. If you need any information let me know. I’ll be happy to share the details.

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