#Day 84 (Driving in the mountains…)

Mountains loom large and dominate not just our physical landscapes but our cultural consciousness as well. Cultures from across the world have their own folklore revolving around local mountains and summits…stories and myths that are represented in their arts and literature. We Indians through centuries have revered the mighty Himalayas as the abode of Gods, a place where the great sages retire to perform penance and meditate upon the mysteries of the universe and in the last couple of hundred years we have also begun to see them as places to go to for relaxation and rejuvenation. Historians would have us believe that this new concept originated with the Mughals who built their beautiful summer palaces around Srinagar. They were followed by the British for whom “hill stations” became a necessity to escape the scorching summer heat of our plains. Beginning with Simla they have been known to have set up nearly eighty hill stations around the country and in the process began the evolution of a network of roads that traverse the lower Himalayan range and today allow us our much coveted “driving holidays” in the Himalayan foothills.
From childhood, journeys negotiating the many slopes and twists and turns of mountain roads have been an important part of life for me. Mountain journeys come with their own trials and tribulations…the discomfort of motion sickness while sitting in a vehicle as it winds its way around hairpin bends being the least of them! Yet there is an air of expectancy, of excitement every time one drives through mountain roads. At one place you marvel at human engineering that cuts through hard rocks and builds these paths, at another you shake your head in awe at mighty forces of nature that simply sweep away these attempts as puny with contemptuous landslides. Your senses are on high alert for the road constantly changes with the landscape. Then at the end of it all when you take a break, the serenity of the surroundings fills your heart with a strange peace and you know despite the hardships you will return again and again… image

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About sunsur81

A gatherer of thoughts...exploring myths,metaphors and expressions of life...
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