Sandwiched between heaven and earth, crowned with sanctity, greened by acres of sacred groves, there is a place whose beauty is parallel to none. Sammed Shikharji transcends the superlatives of scenic beauty with its stunning scenery. What could be a better treat for the senses of devotees who take up this venerable pilgrimage in the Jain faith? This ancient tirth is considered the holiest since 20 out of the 24 Tirthankars attained Nirvana here. To revive the memory of this holy place of Jainism and to tell the story of Jain Saints in the form of pictures, Varun Joshi has come up with a coffee table book on the famous pilgrimage site of the Jains. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Sammed Shikharji, meaning vulnerable peak, is nestled on the Parasnath Hill in Girdih district of Jharkhand and it is believed that a visit to this sacred place destroys bad karma and eliminates troubles. The picturesque land is dotted with several temples, each important in its own right. The land of penance and nirvana, Shikharji is surrounded by the Madhuban forest and cradled by yawing valleys. This is where the 27km ascent starts for the pilgrimage. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe experience of the pilgrimage and the unmatched beauty that surrounds the holy place has been captured in its most pristine and exquisite form by photographer Varun Joshi in his book Shikharji. To have undertaken the arduous pilgrimage and come back with stunning shots is no mean feat! Each image in his book brings to life the elements at their glorious best – like the silence of the forests, the chill at the peaks, the smell of wood, the sacred air and much more. The pictures are rife with stories of grandeur, fortitude and the sacred. His book is the only book that has ever featured Shikharji so perfectly. The coffee table book which covers the age old temples, other monumental wonders, the greater thinkers and above all the unique tenants of the faith has been sponsored by the Jain body- Paras Foundation.Varun Joshi has several coffee table books to his credit, but he considers this book as the most enriching experience. The pictures are a mere reflection of what I saw there, but what I experienced cannot be interpreted in any image’, says the photographer who is scaling new heights with every passing book. The book is so popular among Jains that it’s 1,000 copies have been sold already and 5,000 more copies are under print. His previous coffee table books include Jainism (Digambar), Jainism (Swetambar), Hyderabad, Pushkar, Digah, Dilwara (Mount Abu) and Brij. A coffee table book on Telangana is also under publication.
MULTIPLE STAKES WINNERS BIG MACHER & ROUSING SERMON, UP AND COMING SAN ONOFRE HEAD SATURDAY’S CAL CUP SPRINT AT SIX FURLONGS
SPRINT IS ONE OF FIVE STAKES ON 10-RACE SUNSHINE MILLIONS/CAL CUP DAY CARD ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 19, 2015)–Grade I winner and defending champ Big Macher, along with multiple stakes winner Rousing Sermon and potential star San Onofre, head a deep and competitive field of nine older horses set to go six furlongs in Saturday’s $150,000 Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint.A bargain basement maiden $20,000 claim in his first start on July 17, 2013, Big Macher has rattled off six wins for trainer Richard Baltas, including a half length triumph in the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes four starts back on July 27, and a nose victory five starts back in the Grade II Potrero Grande Stakes April 12.A troubled ninth, beaten 4 ¼ lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 1, Big Macher came back to register a neck victory over state-breds in the seven furlong Cary Grant Stakes at Del Mar Nov. 23. Owned by Tom Mansor and Tachycardia Stables, the 5-year-old Beau Genius gelding has amassed earnings of $553,678 from an overall mark of 14-6-2-2.Second, beaten a neck by Big Macher in the Cary Grant, Jerry Hollendorfer’s veteran Rousing Sermon will try to even the score on Saturday. Although a highly accomplished two-time stakes winner, the 6-year-old horse by Lucky Pulpit would appear better suited at longer distances. Owned and bred by Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams, Rousing Sermon has a third place finish from just one try at six furlongs and is 30-5-7-7 overall with earnings of $756,342.A winner of his last four races by a combined 17 lengths, upstart San Onofre appears fresh and very dangerous for trainer Karen Headley. A 5-year-old gelding by Surf Cat bred by her father, legendary trainer Bruce Headley, San Onofre has a series of serious works on his tab, including a bullet five furlongs on Jan. 10 of 58.60–best of 87 at the distance.Owned by Matson Racing and out of the Native Regent mare Marrakech, San Onofre could prove the quickest of the quick with regular rider Mike Smith engaged. San Onofre is 5-4-1-0 with earnings of $165,040.The complete field for the Donald Valpredo Cal Cup Sprint, to be run as the eighth race on a 10-race program Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Big Macher, Rafael Bejarano, 123; San Onofre, Mike Smith, 118; Rousing Sermon, Elvis Trujillo, 118; Frensham, Mario Gutierrez, 118; Grazen’s Hope, Tyler Baze, 118; Follini, Edwin Maldonado, 118; Marino’s Wild Cat, Martin Garcia, 123; Frumious, Martin Pedroza, 118, and Spirit Rules, Iggy Puglisi, 120. There will be special early first post time on Saturday at 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10 a.m.
Sicis’ Butterfly Mosaic line flaunts a variety of motifs in brilliant coloursDoes a decadent soak in a bathtub sound inviting? How about splashing around in a semi-precious stone bathtub trimmed with gold that will set you back by a whopping Rs 1 crore? Carved out of amethyst, this opalescent soak,Sicis’ Butterfly Mosaic line flaunts a variety of motifs in brilliant coloursDoes a decadent soak in a bathtub sound inviting? How about splashing around in a semi-precious stone bathtub trimmed with gold that will set you back by a whopping Rs 1 crore? Carved out of amethyst, this opalescent soak pit from Italian bathroom major Baldi is the latest in washroom luxury.If you are game for more, browse through French brand THG’s Prestige collection of faucets that are accented with a rich assortment of coloured stones like quartz rose, rock crystal, red jasper, black onyx, malachite, tiger eye and lapis lazuli.The Rug Collection from the same label has elaborate patterns created from glass tilesSays Jean Noel Edouard, head, product design, Nagina Waters, a Delhi-based luxury bathroom store that showcases high-end brands like THG, Capponi and Baldi, “India is a land that’s traditionally associated with ornamentation. So, going for bathroom fixtures and fittings that lack detailing or colour result in a bland, antiseptic look.” He adds that the bathroom decor needs to be perfectly calibrated to one’s needs and sensibilities rather than being a blind imitation of the reigning Western trend. It is no secret that adornments for washrooms are now being held in high regard. A host of materials ranging from Swarovski crystals and artistic mosaics to precious metal and semi-precious stones are now part of the luxury washroom repertoire.A mother-of-pearl-inlaid vanity from CapponiCashing on this new-found love for extravagant adornments is Italian mosaic brand Sicis, that has retail outlets in Delhi and Mumbai. The label has launched butterfly-shaped mosaic art for bathrooms that impress with their eye-popping colours and shimmer. Nodding to an effervescent spirit, the line, titled Butterfly Mosaic Collection, is made of glass tesserae or pressed glass tile. Depending on the quality of design and installation, this range costs between Rs 3,800 and Rs 75,850. “Sicis gives the opportunity to experience the bathroom as a place of aesthetic and material well being,” says Andrea Azzarello, the brand’s spokesperson.Amethyst bathtub from BaldiThe new age bathroom materials take a cue from opulent decor schemes predominant in the rest of the house. Precious metals like gold and silver, now used in faucets and showerheads, reference accents in the living and bedrooms. Agrees Edouard of Nagina Waters: “Traditional notions of seclusion and privacy are slowly becoming obsolete. Guests are often given tours of designer bathrooms in this day and age.” To satiate a growing appetite for ornate finishes and textures, Nagina Waters has on offer gold, silver and even platinum leaf bathroom tiles from Italian brand Godiva Stone.Soap dispenser, toothbrush holder and soap dish from Baldi. Both Baldi and Capponi are retailed in India by Nagina Waters.Luxurious to touch and pleasing to the eye, Godiva Stone tiles are made of high-quality marble wrapped with a leaf of precious material. This leaf is applied on the tile by a manual process. For the truly inspired, customisation is taken to the next level with etchings on marble with decorative motifs, writings, logos and designs, as dictated by the patron.Indeed, the desire for one-of-a-kind washroom decor has paved the way for grander layouts and fancier materials. Staying true to the trend, interior designers too are pulling out all stops to offer an upscale product to their clients.A washroom created by La Sorogeeka has textured walls and a detailed chandelierA powder room created by Noida-based interior design outfit La Sorogeeka has its high ceiling embellished with white crystal, walls sporting crococeramic tiles with leather finish and a stone floor. Artists of the firm’s workshop have even created an engraved look for some of the walls. The final flourish is added by way of an exaggerated chandelier in black and white. “There’s a new approach to design now. And the powder room is a space showcased to all guests. It should be attention grabbing,” says Anjali Goel, CEO, La Sorogeeka.Gold-plated cotton ball holder from Bathline SensationsAccording to Varun Gupta, joint managing director, Bathline Sensations, a Delhi-based bathroom accessories label that dabbles in Swarovski crystals and metals like gold and silver, the aim is to raise the metal to the category of art. The Starlight Square series from its Acquaviva AG line creates a lavish look through its gold plated and Swarovski embedded gel dispensers, brush holders and cotton ball jars. To ensure a perfect finish, brass is coated with electrolyte, chrome and subsequently 24 carat gold or silver. Embellishments, clearly, have come of age in this country. With their glorious sheen and texture, state-of-the-art bathroom fixtures are now a must-have in every fashionable address.advertisementadvertisement