An Unforgettable Scuba Diving in the Andaman

Adventures are part of life and it is the exhilaration that makes it so unforgettable. Though, they tend to excite us; they cannot do away with the probable risks involved. And, when you live through those experiences, they only leave you wiser. One such escapade I took up during a trip to the Andaman Islands along with my partner-in-crime.

It was the month of December when I landed at this place of bright sunshine. I had an ardent desire of indulging into some scuba diving fun. And, there was no spot better for the scuba divers than hitting the sun-kissed beaches of Havelock Island. The recreational sport is not just about an idea of fun but it takes a lot of courage to go inside the deep waters.

You are required to be calm and composed inside the sea and relieving yourself from all kinds of anxiety before taking the plunge. So, before experiencing the ultimate, if I was a restless soul, taking up the water activity only made me better. Though, we all know that a lot goes on behind the curtains before the final show.

Once all the physical and breathing exercises were practiced under the guidance of a professional diver, the clock was set for my accompanying group. Wearing the rubber costume with the special glasses, we got the breathing equipment on our back and put on the artificial webbed feet. As I walked towards the deeper trench to witness the surreal, I felt a new confidence descending upon me.

Still, my heart started pounding over the upcoming situation. I was breathing heavily as soon as I put my feet into the cold waters with all the necessary water sports gear on. Although, I had a bit of trouble equalizing the air pressure in my ears as I felt sharp pain, I was soon lost in the aquatic life surrounding me.

I found myself swaying to the music of the ocean waves, as a swarm of colourful fishes marched past me. Clutching tightly to the breathing apparatus with my teeth, I was soon oblivious to the uneasiness when pointing towards the seahorse and octopus. I was moving like a log of wood without feeling any weight in the underwater silence.

At last, when I came out to the shore, the anxiety had vanished and it was refreshingly peaceful as my heart was beating in place.



The Bold and Revered Konark Sun Temple

If you are a traveller wandering in Konark, all roads may take you to one of the architectural splendours in India, The Sun Temple. This place carries an air of mystery as the Sun God seems to have descended on earth exuding the matchless aura while riding his huge solar chariot. Even the time stops here to pay obeisance to the presiding deity sitting atop his chariot with 12 pairs of wheels, which depict the 12 months of a year. The seven horses pulling it refer to the seven days in a week.

The Kalinga style architecture takes you back in time when you explore the temple complex including natamandira (the Dancing Hall), bhogamandapa (the Hall of Offerings) and jagamohana (the porch). It is not just a wondrous place of pilgrimage but a masterpiece that has been intricately carved with details. Here, you will seek solitude to understand the unspoken language of stone and to hear the silent music that reverberates through the timeless ruins. The sweet melodies playing in the air can turn any tourist into a poet and make him scribble verses showering praises on the magnanimity of the carvings, which are scattered all over the temple walls.

This travel destination is an eclectic mix of spirituality and sexuality, which are juxtaposed in such a manner that there is merely a sign of vulgarity as the holy site is full of images sculpted with Kama Sutra lessons. Most likely, the imposing structure gives away a message that conveys the pure bliss experienced by a soul during its union with the divine. The monument exterior consists of the life-size sculptures of voluptuous women who strike seductive poses symbolizing an indescribable charm and delicacy that cannot be mistaken for feebleness. The seductively posing figures mark the overlap of erotic art and the spiritual atmosphere, which leads to an amazing contrast. The art work was a bold and innovative move in the 13th century when sex was a forbidden subject and which continues being a well-kept secret even today.

This revered spot is inscribed with colossal statues comprising deities, humans, mysterious beasts, floral designs and aquatic monsters. Call it a place of worship for Hindus, a site to explore for historians, a humble muse for poets or an unending inspiration for art lovers, Konark Sun Temple seems an eye treat for all.

A fine instance of craftsmanship belonging to the reign of King Narasimhadeva, this magnificent monument was once known as Black Pagoda, owing to its dark appearance and the frequently occurring shipwrecks along the coastline, which is in the vicinity. The splendid edifice was gradually eroded and buried under the sand but later on, it was reinstated to its present form during the British era.

The British archaeologists restored this stupendous piece of architecture that continues to enthral the tourists till date. Though, the turbulent sea waters and the fierce winds played havoc with the ageless structure; still, it withstood the test of time to tell tales of the popular legends associated with its construction.