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Three photos of the Pushkar Temple on Pushkar Mandir Rd, Rishikesh, district of Uttarakhand, India. One of the most beautiful, colorful, and intricately decorated temples I saw in Rishikesh. It is listed as one of the oldest temples in the area.

Finding it was a bit  of a miracle. I had one of those “not to scale” maps that meant the street I was looking for could have been a couple blocks or a couple miles down the road! I simply followed my intuition and managed to turn down the right road; it was only a short walk from the Ram Jhula Bridge.

As I walked along, two boys on bikes said, “Hello!” I greeted them as well, and asked, “Temple?” They pointed further down the street I was on.

The street here is very narrow hence the slightly skewed photos. At the time I was there, the temple was closed and wouldn’t open for several hours, so I had to miss the interior.
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Pushkar Temple Rishikesh India
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com
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Pushkar Temple Rishikesh India
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com
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Pushkar Temple Rishikesh India
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Sri Bharat Mandir Vishnu Temple, Mayakund, Rishikesh, district of Uttarakhand, India. This temple complex was an easy walk from Triveni Ghat.

Below are several photos of the exterior relief paintings of deities.
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Sri Bharat Mandir Temple Rishikesh India
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com
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Sri Bharat Mandir Temple, Mayakund, Rishikesh, district of Uttarakhand, India. Exterior relief paintings of deities.
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Sri Bharat Mandir Temple Rishikesh India
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com
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Sri Bharat Mandir Temple, Mayakund, Rishikesh, district of Uttarakhand, India. Exterior relief paintings of deities.
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Sri Bharat Mandir Temple Rishikesh India
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com

I read this article today and this paragraph so beautifully describes how I feel when I’m out in Nature taking photographs!

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“Nature restores mental functioning in the same way that food and water restore bodies. The business of everyday life — dodging traffic, making decisions and judgment calls, interacting with strangers — is depleting, and what man-made environments take away from us, nature gives back. There’s something mystical and, you might say, unscientific about this claim, but its heart actually rests in what psychologists call attention restoration theory, or ART. According to ART, urban environments are draining because they force us to direct our attention to specific tasks (e.g., avoiding the onslaught of traffic) and grab our attention dynamically, compelling us to “look here!” before telling us to instead “look over there!” These demands are draining — and they’re also absent in natural environments. Forests, streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans demand very little from us, though they’re still engaging, ever changing, and attention-grabbing. The difference between natural and urban landscapes is how they command our attention. While man-made landscapes bombard us with stimulation, their natural counterparts give us the chance to think as much or as little as we’d like, and the opportunity to replenish exhausted mental resources.”

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Read the full article here: How Nature Resets Our Mind And Bodies at Daily Good: News That Inspires. I hope it will inspire You to get out into Nature!

Thousands of people bring decorated baskets of food to the Varanasi ghats to thank Surya the Sun God for sustaining life. This is the only Vedic Festival dedicated to the sun.
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It was during this festival that I had the opportunity to perform the immersion ritual for purification. I immersed myself three times and, after the third time, I had a rather profound rebirthing experience!
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Chhath Festival, Ganges River, Varanasi, India
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Two photos: Thousands of people gather on the Varanasi ghats to commemorate the victory of Krishna over the serpent Kaliya. A boat enters the circle in the water and a boy playing the role of Krishna jumps into the river.
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Nag Nathaiya Krishna Ceremony, Ganges River, Varanasi, India
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com
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Nag Nathaiya Krishna Ceremony, Ganges River, Varanasi, India
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Entrance to Sri Bharat Mandir Temple and museum, Mayakund, Rishikesh, district of Uttarakhand, India. On the grounds there is a museum of ancient stone carvings, some dating back to the Second Century.
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Entrance to Sri Bharat Mandir Temple and museum
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com
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View of the entrance to the Vishnu Temple. I, along with several others, waited for the temple to open for blessings.
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Entrance to Vishnu Temple
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com
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This is the detail of painted ceiling at the entrance to the Vishnu Temple. Note the beautiful Lotus, a common symbol in India.
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Sri Bharat Mandir Temple entrance
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Lakshmi Narayan Mandir in Delhi, India. The temple, dedicated to Vishnu and Lakshmi, was funded by the Birla family. There are many altar alcoves inside with pujaris (priests) offering blessings. (Narayan is another name for Vishnu.)
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Lakshmi Narayan Mandir Birla Temple
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Vishwanath Mandir or Hidden Shiva Temple in the village of Guptakashi (means Hidden Shiva) in the Himalayas, Rudraprayag District, Uttarakhand, India, is on the road to Kedarnath Temple.
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Vishwanath Shiva Temple, Guptakashi, India
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com
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Ardhnareswar Temple on the right is in Guptakashi (Hidden Shiva) in the Himalayas, Rudraprayag District, Uttarakhand, India. Ardhanareshvara is dedicated to the half-man half-woman deity representing the merging of masculine and feminine, Shiva and Parvati.
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Ardhnareswar Temple beside Shiva Temple, Guptakashi, India
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Two photos of the Shri Adi Badrinath Temple on Lakshman Jhula, Rishikesh, district of Uttarakhand, India. This temple is dedicated to Vishnu.
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Entrance arch, altar with statue of reclining Vishnu with Lakshmi in background.
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Entrance to Shri Adi Badrinath Temple Lakshman Jhula Rishikesh India
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com
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Closeup of entrance statue of reclining Vishnu with Lakshmi.
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Closeup Shri Adi Badrinath Temple Lakshman Jhula Rishikesh India
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Kalimath village is regarded as a divine place and shakti peeth on the river Saraswati in the Himalayas, Rudraprayag District, Uttarakhand, India. It is one of the `Siddha Peeths` of the region and is held in high religious esteem. The temple of Goddess Kali is visited by many devotees especially during the `Navratras` Nine Nights of the Divine Mothers. It is the only place in the world where there are temples to Kali, Lakshmi, and Saraswati, the three Divine Mothers.
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Kali Temple at KaliMath India
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com
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Kali Temple at KaliMath India
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com