Random Photo of the Day, May 24: Rani ki Vav Varaha

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A representation of Varaha, the boar Avatar of Vishnu. One of the hundreds of carving on the interior of the Queen’s Stepwell (Rani Ki vav) in Patan, Gujarat.

The story behind Varaha (which I suspect has undergone, literally, thousands of mutations over the millennia), is that at one point a demon took the Earth and hid it underneath the sea. Vishnu transformed into Varaha to go and save it. In the iconography, the Earth is personified as a goddess, Bhumi Devi, who you can see here raised up on his elbow.

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Random Photo of the Day, May 23: Root Bridges and Waterfalls

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An old classic. This is a particularly interesting spot near the village of Nongriat. The photo was taken during the monsoon season.┬áDuring much of the year, that waterfall isn’t even there. There are big advantages to visiting the Khasi Hills in the drier parts of the year, the most important being that it isn’t raining buckets most of the time. That said, from a purely aesthetic standpoint, the monsoon season is when the Khasi Hills are at their most iconic.