Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mono Lake - Mirror Lake of Tufa

043/366 Mono Lake, California

What you get to see in the pic is off Calcium Carbonate formation - a type of lime stone.
Lake bottom contains calcium rich springs, which bonds with carbonates in lake water.

These are called "Tufa". These constant formations stop when water level recedes.
If one observes lake water carefully, one can see fresh water swirling up like vegetable oil in Salty water.
These are delicate and fragile formation.

Mono Lake is huge and spread over 150 sq km.
360 degree view of Mono Lake can be seen here:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Saranath - Buddha's first sermon

042/366 Saranath - Buddha's first sermon

Saranath, located just 10km away from Varanasi is considered to be very important place in Buddhist trail.

Here in this place, Buddha chose to deliver his first sermon in deer park.
In religious language, he set in motion the Wheel of Law ("Maha Dhamma Chakka Pavattana Sutta" in Pali Language or "Maha-Dharmachakra Pravartan Sutra" in Sanskrit).

Saranath is said to be origin of shloka 'Buddham sharanam gacchami'.
Emperor Ashoka visited this place around 234 BC, and erected a stupa here.
Tallest Stupa seen in pic is 'Dhamek Stupa' is said to be built in 500 CE to replace an earlier structure
commissioned by the great Mauryan king Ashoka in 249 BCE, along with several other monuments, to commemorate the Buddha's activities in this location.

This place is also famous for Ashoka Pillar, which has Indian National Emblem (4 lions standing back to back).
But original pillar broke off over the period but this sculpture is still preserved in Saranath museum.

This museum contains many beautiful sculptures/artifacts.

Saranath is referred with various names in history namely Mrigadava, Migadāya, Rishipattana, Isipatana.

More info: