PEACE RUN

India 12 January: Panaji, Goa - Khopoli, Maharashtra

Peace Run in India - Maharashtra

We left early morning to Kudal in Maharastra to visit an institute run by Mr. Vivek Pandit, also known as Pandit Ji in his local town. Pandit Ji started this institue after getting inspiration from the teachings of Swami Vivekananda, one of a great scholar and spiritual teacher in India. He run this institute with his wife to almost every student in his town.

We were greeted by his family and friends who were eagerly waiting to meet us and to know more about our run.

Ahhh.. delighted to have our morning coffee.

Soon after we met the first batch of students from the morning session.

The instutue runs on limited facilities but the knowledge and education is found in abundance.

Students loved Mena's french accent.

Great way to start the day with Peace excercise.

Now its time to warm up and light our inner Peace Run torch with our song with....

...with beautiful smiles.

We then met some little gems and watched our Peace Run video.

Thanks to Pandit Ji for hosting us.

On our way Mena could not resist the opportunity to capture some Cow moment. These are known as Brahmin Cows in western countries.

After some long drive we halted in a village to strech our legs and...

...enjoy the raw sugarcane juice.

This time we added some Kokam fruit juice. We could not beleive that the price of each glass was just Rs 12 (about 20 cents).

A local veggie market.

This is called Pan leaves. It is eaten with various condiments as mouth freshner and it also has some spiritual significance.

A whole sweet watermelon soon became our lunch.

Now its time for some more snacks and Chai at a local tea house.

Passing through some of central India's ancient moutain range known as Sahyadri mountains near Khopoli city in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

Our european runners did not miss the opportunity to make use of this peaceful atmosphere.

Ashok the great.

This is called the Joy and...

... friendship yoga asana (posture)

then some inspiring Hatha yoga poses.

We soon arrived at Shri Gagangiri Maharaj's ashram which is situated at the summit of the mountain.

We climbed about 1400 stairs.

At the top we were greeted by some locals. Humans as well as...

...not so humans.

The top of the mountain had a temple that was made to do silent meditation.

Sri Gagangiri Maharaj was a yogi. He meditated for many years in a cave situated at the centre of this ashram. His teachings and philosophy have flowered through his close interaction with nature and people.

The local priest blessed us and our peace troch.

The local priest offered us a free stay and...

...meal at the ashram.