Thursday’s missed photos from Shimla and Kufri…Jakhoo Temple…


This giant 108-feet-high idol of Hanuman was unveiled at Jakhoo Hanuman temple in Shimla on November 4, 2010.

“Jakhoo Temple is an ancient temple in Shimla, India dedicated to the Hindu deity Hanuman. It is situated on Jakhoo Hill, Shimla’s highest peak, 2.5 km east of the Ridge at a height of 2,455 m above sea level. Each year, a festival is held on Dussehra. Before 1972 the festival was held at Annadale.  


According to the Ramayana, Hanuman stopped at the location to rest while searching for the Sanjivni Booti to revive Lakshmana. A giant 108-feet-high idol of Hanuman was unveiled at Jakhoo Hanuman temple on 4 November 2010. 

At 108 feet, it surpasses the statue of Christ the Redeemer, which measures at 98 feet, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The cost of construction was Rs 1.5 crores (US $209,711.31). The public unveiling was officiated by Abhishek Bachchan. The temple is accessible by foot, horse, taxi or rope way. 
The great statue of Hanuman is larger than Christ the Redeemer in Rio.

The Jakhu Ropeway is an aerial lift that links a point near the centre of Shimla to the temple. It was developed by Jagson International Limited and opened in 2017.”


We realized, based on my computer crash and a poor Wi-Fi signal in Shimla, our posts are a little out of sequential order. Now that we have a better signal in Amritsar, we’ll attempt to get a caught up as much as possible.

With all we’d experienced on the Maharajas Express, it could take several more weeks to get caught up. With the lack of time with so many daily activities and again a weak signal on the train, we’ve yet to share many important and interesting experiences from the past few weeks.
The grounds at the temple are neatly kept but surrounded by monkeys. Tom had to wait in the car since monkeys in this area are known to tear glasses and sunglasses off the faces of visitors. Since Tom can’t see without his glasses, it made no sense for him to join me and Prince on the tour.

Over this next 47 days of touring in India, we’ll occasionally have an opportunity to share some of these missed events, all of which is important to us to have documented along with sharing it with all of you.


At our next location in Varanasi, my new Chromebook will be awaiting me when we arrive on Monday (on a flight from Amritsar). It will take a few days to set everything up which I will do in between our arranged tours. But, I’m confident it will all work out.

The exterior of the steep walkway to the statue. I stayed behind and batted off the monkeys while Prince made the hike to take the photos of the statue.

On Thursday morning, our guide Prince, picked us up at the Radisson Hotel Shimla for a day’s outing. The plan was to drive the the mountain town of Kufri to check out the scenery and head back to Shimla or more sites.


The drive to Kufri was again on treacherous mountain roads filled with trucks, motorbikes and cars all honking their horns simultaneously. Following any expected passing courtesies was out of the question. Everyone just took crazy chances.

There were monkeys everywhere at the Jakhoo Temple, most likely waiting for possible tidbits of food from tourists.

Prince, our highly competent driver, made us both feel as much at ease as possible under the circumstances. What a wild ride! That’s India, for you! One exciting moment after another while not only driving on the narrows road but also when walking.


Kufri was relatively uneventful other than the drive, with the exception of a few scenic overlook spots. We enjoyed people watching along the way as well as seeing the surprising amount of snow.

Even newer buildings maintain the integrity of the varying cultures of India.

On the return drive, we stopped to visit the above mentioned Jakhoo Temple and a few other temples in Shimla. As the day came to an end, we were happy to return to our hotel, freshen up and head to dinner in the restaurant. 


We’d both found items on the menu that appealed to us but nothing as spectacular as last night’s dinner here at the Ramada in Amritsar. Most certainly, we’ll have these same meals this evening, again with no cocktails since they are forbidden anywhere near the Golden Temple. 
The roads on the way to Kufri often included shops with colorful items for sale.

But the lack of a glass of wine or cocktail with dinner was a small sacrifice based on that wonderful meal shown in yesterday’s post here. Tom equally enjoyed his chicken fried rice.


We are looking forward to sharing tomorrow’s post after an indescribable day of touring here in Amritsar and tonight’s special ceremony taking place at the India/Pakistan border. Wow. That’s exciting! We’ll be back!!

Happy day to all!

Yesterday’s power outage…Taking advantage of having a car…Lots of sightseeing and photos…

During this rainy season, every blue sky is a treat.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

During a pelting rainstorm, this gutter pipe, stemming from the villa’s roof to a portion of the lawn, was spouting like a fountain due to the powerful rains.

While preparing yesterday’s post, Tom heard a loud boom that sounded like a transformer blowing out. Indeed, seconds later, we lost power along with the WiFi connection.

A school we passed in a village as we drove through the mountains.

Rather than panic and rush to the store to buy ice to preserve the food in the refrigerator and freezer, we decided to give it some time to be resolved. Based on the reading on the clock, it came back about three hours later while we were gone on a sightseeing expedition.

The trees are painted to avoid rot and insect infiltration.  There’s some debate about the effectiveness of this technique, but we’ve seen this done in many countries throughout the world.
We’d planned to stop for ice on the way back, unsure if the power had come back on, but Tom suggested he’d run back out if we still didn’t have electricity when we returned around 5:00 pm.  Why buy the ice if we didn’t need it?
We encountered many old tiny houses along the way.

Instead, he suggested, once we were back inside the villa and found we had power once again, that we’d start accumulating plastic bags of ice to store in the bottom of the freezer for just such a purpose. 

The greenery everywhere is breathtaking.

During the last power outage, we didn’t have a car to drive to town to buy ice, but we managed for 10 hours without it. If we keep our supply, we won’t have to worry when this occurs again…and undoubtedly, based on two occurrences in two weeks, this will happen again.

Fences made with unfinished logs are commonly seen in Costa Rica.


I guess the most challenging part of being without power is being unable to complete and upload the day’s post, the apprehension as to how we’ll preserve our food, and the anticipation of spending the evening before bed in the dark.

The sunny morning allowed us to takes photos with expansive views of the valley.

Now that we’ve decided to do the five-day car rental every other week and compact our exploring and sightseeing into these small time frames, it’s less problematic when we may not always be stranded when there’s a power outage. Without a car, the lack of power seemed to add to the inconvenience.

It’s not unusual to see welcoming signs when entering an area.


After picking up the rental car on Monday morning, we’ve made a point of getting out each day. Today, we have enough new and exciting photos from this week’s activities to upload over the next month with the experiences we so enjoyed in the process.

A corner shop in a tiny village in the mountains.

Yesterday was such a unique experience. We may share that story and photos over a few days, beginning tomorrow. It was one of the best production/farming tours we ever experienced in our five years of world travel. We can’t wait to share it with all of YOU.

Fence making not entirely completed.

We’re sorry for yesterday’s lack of a post. We could see from the stats that many of our readers continued to see if we’d ever been able to add a normal-sized post. We’d hoped to get started on it early this morning but at 7:00 am, we were out the door and on our way to the Friday Atenas Farmers Market.

We won’t have a car again until September 18th, although we already have plans about what we’d like to do. A few days ago, we’d written how I wasn’t quite up to hiking. In the past two days on specific tours, we embarked on two strenuous hikes, although only one hour each. I managed pretty well and was pleased to be able to participate.

Every road is bordered by lush greenery.

In time, I’ll continue to rebuild my strength to handle the possible eight to 10-hour hike to see the gorillas in Uganda upcoming in about eight months. The best way to do this is to get out and walk as much as we can. We’re working on it.

Here’s the photo from this morning’s trip to the Farmers Market, including the cost:

Included in this morning’s farmers market shopping but not shown in this photo are two giant free-range chickens and a small bag of fresh turmeric root which I’ll use to make a tea. The total we spent for all the items, including those not shown, was US $48.50 (CRC 28,058).
Have a happy, healthy day!

Photo from one year ago yesterday, September 7, 2016: (Since there was no post yesterday, we’re including September 7 and September 8, 2016, year ago photos.  See below):

Each morning when we walked in Bali, we’d seen this huge pig, but they hadn’t been in a good spot for a photo when the yard is shrouded in greenery.  That morning, we had a chance to see “a pig in the mud.” We howled. For more photos, please click here.
Photo from one year ago yesterday, September 8, 2016:
This was a working well at the home of a local in the neighborhood in Sumbersari, Bali. Click here for more photos.