The estimated population for these birds is 10,000 to 1,00,000 and is said to be on decline. Therefore I was fortunate to get this series of pictures on my last visit to a nature reserve in Himachal.
I am not overly fond of visiting temples. This particular temple was in the ruins of an old fort, some 20 kms away from my home. A chance drive today till the Fort Area revealed to me more than I was prepared to take in. An unmarked road led us up the hill to the ruins of the fort.
A board outside the fort by the Archeological Survey of India, announced that there was a fine & imprisonment for any defacing or causing harm to the monument, but nothing about its historical relevance.
Monkeys greeted me at the entrance of the fort area. Further inside a secondary school was housed in the structure. Barren land and a couple of tourists were walking around, probablly finding something worthwhile to do with their evening, just like we were as well.
An old man was folding his rug after a seista in a nearby temple. He seemed to live there, but could again not give me much about the history of the monument. Some kind of faint artwork covered all the four walls around me.
It was then that I saw. Beautiful intricate paintings covered the walls of the temple from top to bottom.It was like a story, but which I could not decipher.Centuries had chipped the paint off the walls. Some of which had been left there had been repainted over by coats of distemper, proudly by a local painter. Some of which was left on those walls is documented below.
In my belief, it could have been some of the finest work that I have seen so far. (My benchmark being the Miniature gallery of the National Museum in Delhi). But sadly now, what remains is a faint picture of the glory of the Art form.
Keylong is one of those explored remote town situated in the northern part of Himachal enroute to Ladakh. The road from Manali leads to Keylong through the famous Rohtang pass which was once the silk route. Pines and firs give way to a rocky, barren landscape with just a carpet covering on the hills to account for the greenery, interspersed with a few trees. Quiet, poetic, romantic and serene. This route is open only for a couple of months each summer.