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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Introduction to Routers

A computer networking device which forwards data packets across a network toward their destinations, through a process of routing is known as Router. In companies and large corporations, a central computer system acts as a router to connect all of the company's computers to one network. This allows group participation and collaboration on large projects or just to connect all of the company's resources at one central location. It also aids in reliable communication between employees working on different floors in the building or in different countries.

1. Router is required to connect multiple networks, like your LAN to the Internet.
2. Routers store large tables of networks and addresses, then using algorithms to determine the shortest routes to individual addresses within those networks.
3. Routers not only facilitate intra-network communications, but also play a role in overall network performance.
4. Routers help in delivering the information faster.
5. Routers also protect LAN from Internet.
6. Router blocks any packet that has a destination address outside of the LAN. If the destination address is valid, the router could check the Packet for an error. If there is an error, the router could discard the Packet and send a message to the originating address.
7. Routers have address translation and filtering capabilities.

Apple iPod nano 8 GB Black (4th Generation) LATEST MODEL

With eight amazing colors, a new curved design, and great new features, iPod nano rocks. The Genius Playlist feature finds the songs in your music library that go great together and makes a playlist for you. With its built-in accelerometer, iPod nano is made to move. Give it a shake, and it shuffles to a different song in your library. Turn it on its side to flip through your album art in Cover Flow. And tilt, move, and play accelerometer-inspired games (games available separately). Watching movies, TV shows, and video is even more fun on the sharp 2-inch screen. And your photos (up to 7,000 of them) look great in portrait or landscape view. Available in 8 GB and 16 GB models, the 8 GB iPod nano puts up to 2,000 songs or 8 hours of video in your pocket.

Technical Details
* 8 GB capacity for 2,000 songs, 7,000 photos, or 8 hours of video.
* Up to 24 hours of music playback or 4 hours of video playback when fully charged.
* 2-inch LCD with blue-white LED backlight and 320-by-240-pixel resolution.
* Supported audio formats: AAC, Protected AAC, MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible, Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV.
* Supported video formats: H.264, MPEG-4; Supported image file types: JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PSD (Mac only), and PNG.

Apple iPod nano 8 GB Black (4th Generation) LATEST MODEL

1. A musical genius.
2. Find Your Music Faster.
3. Rock and Roll Over
Tilt or turn iPod nano on its side, and you'll listen, watch, and play in new ways. You can flip through your album art with Cover Flow. Or, vertically speaking, see more albums and artists on the screen at one time.
4. Shake Your Groove Thing.
5. Let the Games Begin.
6. Even Your Photos Rock.
7. The World's Biggest Small Screen.

Reduced Environmental Impact
The iPod nano embodies Apple's continuing environmental progress. It is designed with the following features to reduce environmental impact:
* Arsenic-free glass
* Brominated flame retardant-free
* Mercury-free
* PVC-free
* Highly recyclable aluminum enclosure

-Incredibly thin and light.
-Aluminum casing and glass screen offer excellent scratch resistance.
-Very competitive pricing.
-Accelerometer - this adds a few fun touches to operate without pressing buttons. -Screen clarity
-Simplicity of use.

-ITUNES - itunes 8 is dependent on quicktime! any quirks at all with it and your back to reinstallation.
-Average battery life.
-Everything is automated - when headphones are put in the jack, or dis activate the hold button it shouldn't automatically turn on.

Time for MRO! - Market Research Outsourcing

You’ve heard of BPOs and KPOs its time for some MRO.

MRO stands for Market Research Outsourcing.

With business becoming customer centric, the new talk of the market is MRO.

MRO focuses on understanding customer behavior towards selection of a particular product.

Sectors where MRO is becoming popular these days are –

Banking & Insurance




Some companies closely work with global market research organizations by conducting surveys through web & telephone, assembling & arranging the data etc.

These business sectors are deploying analytic solutions to improve brand performance, enhance sales volumes and risk analytics to control the default and bad debts.

Worlds smallest Transistor created!

The smallest transistor measuring a little bigger than a molecule has been created by the scientists. This remarkable achievement could be a turning point in the development of super fast computer chips.

A team at the University of Manchester has produced the transistor which is created using the world’s thinnest material called graphene. This transistor is one atom thick and 10 atoms wide, and is the first true electronic nanocomponent.

The transistor is the key building block of microchips and the bass for almost all electronics.

Graphene is a single layer of graphite which is found in the pencil and could one day replace the silicon. Graphene was discovered by the same team which is the first known one atom thick material.

Graphene unlike other known materials remains highly stable and conductive even when it is cut into devices one nanometer wide. It’s a super material and has many potential applications.

It’s a flat molecule which is one atom thick and is very stable and robust.

Since it is transparent research is going on to use the same in display technology.

Smaller the transistor better they perform. Transistors made of graphene show advantages at sizes below 10 nanometers.

Graphene has many advantages over silicon because it conducts electricity faster and further.

eXplore the eWorld!

In the world of computers we encounter a lot of words starting with 'e' which means electronic and it refers to the digital representation of the content.
Lets have a look at some of these eWords, and try to understand them in a very easy way...

e-paper - its a portable, reusable storage and display medium that can be repeatedly written on (i.e. refreshed) - millions of time.
Information to be displayed is downloaded through a connection to a computer or a cell phone.
epaper is used for applications such as ebooks, electronic newspapers, portable signs and foldable, rollable displays.

ebrochure - its like the brochure which explains the reader about the product, company etc, but the difference here is that ebrochure is a digital presentation style that consists of bullets, images, animations, graphics to inform the viewer (reader) about the product, company or service.

ebook - this is an electronic book which consists of variety of content that is published in a format that is small in size, portable and at the same time have all the features of a print version plus even there is an option of text being converted to speech.

eLibrary - its a virtual library that stores and delivers content that is exclusive, collection of articles, reports, features and tools. It can be seen as a personal online research centre. Its available for online reading or downloading.

e-form - a digital representation of a paper form. eforms can be filled out easily and even faster. It can automatically format, calculate, look up, and validate information for the user. And all this possible due to the programming associated with them. With electronic submission of completed forms one not only saves time but also eliminates the cost of errors.

e-outsourcing - term used for a business, where buying information technology products and services that could be furnished in-house from one or variety of sources on the internet.

e-services - these are electronic services which are very fast services. And they perform work, achieve tasks, or complete transactions where many business services can be provided for a business or consumer using the Web.

Rishikesh- Tapo Bhumi or place of Meditation!

Rishikesh is situated in the northern part of Uttarakhand in the laps of lower Himalayas, and is just 24 kms from Haridwar.

It is surrounded by scenic beauty of the hills and what makes this place so divine is that Holy Ganga River is flowing through it. Rishikesh is a believed to be a place for meditation which leads to salvation. There are many temples many of them are ancient along the sides of river Ganga.

Ashrams of Sadhus add up to the environment and feel of divinity and purity here.

Rishikesh is very famous for Yoga, and this is very much followed by foreigners, at Rishikesh people from different countries come to learn Yoga, meditation.

Big Celebrities come here to experience the divine life here. The famous Beatles visited this place in 60’s.

People from different countries come here to learn Hinduism, to spend more time with Lord. People who love rafting should come here and experience the adventure in the waters of Ganga.

Climate here is pleasant throughout the year as it is located in the foothills.

Highlights of Rishikesh –

Lakshman Jhula & Ram Jhula – These two are suspended iron bridge, which are a major attraction among the tourists.

Swarga Ashram - Here one can find numerous temples, it’s a place to shop and eat, Gita Bhawan is situated just across the Laksman Jhula and is famous for its paintings and statues from Hindu Mythology.

Neelkanth – According to Hindu Mythology Lord Shiva drank the venom at this place and henceforth this place is known as Neelkanth Mahadeo (Mahadev is the other name of Lord Shiva). It is situated 12 kms from Rishikesh and is one of the most revered temple.

Triveni Ghat – Daily in the morning and evening Maha Aarti is performed at this Ghat, people also take a dip here.

Other Activities –

River Rafting – People enjoy the adventure of rafting along the Ganga.

Rock-Climbing - Rishikesh is also one of the ideal base camps for rock-climbing.

How to get there?

Rishikesh is well connected with all major cities through trains and buses, it does not have an airstrip of its own but one can reach by air till Jollygrant near Dehradun and then take a bus or private cab to this place.

Where to stay?

Rishikesh does not have big five star hotels, but has Dharamshalas and guest houses which provide a good and inexpensive accommodation. GMVN i.e. Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam provides the facility of dormitory, single and double rooms for tourists.

Haridwar - gateway to the four pilgrimages in the Uttarakhand

Haridwar - Religiously believed that Hari-dwar means Door leading to God as Hari means God and Dwar means Gateway or entrance according to Hindi language.

Haridwar is believed to be the gateway to the four pilgrimages in the Uttarakhand region (Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath)

Haridwar is located on the foothills of Shivaliks. It is on the banks of Holy river Ganga.

Millions of Hindus travel here to pray to Ganga Mai and take a dip in the river to wash away their sins and attain ultimate freedom, Nirvana

Haridwar has earned fame as being the place, which has been blessed by the trinity of Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. It is also one of the major Shaktipeeths. Down the ages, Haridwar has purified the mind, the body and the soul.

Not only in spiritual or religious terms Haridwar has come up as a major learning center for arts, science and culture.

This place has maintained the Gurukul tradition of teaching. This ancient tradition of teaching has maintained its fervour in Haridwar. Haridwar has since ages been a source of Ayurvedic medicines and has been providing herbal remedies

Highlights of Haridwar:

Har-ki-Pauri - This ghat is one of the most sacred ghats in India.Its believed that Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhartrihari built this ghat. This ghat is also known as Brahmakund. In the evening a Maha Aarti is performed on this ghat which is a treat to watch and leaves everyone with a divine feeling .This is the central ghat in Haridwar where the waters of the Upper Ganga Canal are diverted from the main river.The ghat is also the venue for the famous Kumbha Mela.

Evening Aarti - the evening prayers at Har-ki-pauri to the chants of drums and cymbals, is a sight worth experiencing.

Chandi Devi Temple - This temple is on the top of a hill called the Neel Parvat, which is the other side of the river Ganga. The King of Kashmir, Suchat Singh, constructed the temple in 1929 AD. Chandi Devi is a three-km trek from the Chandi Ghat.

Mansa Devi Temple - This temple is located on top of a hill called the Bilwa Parvat. The ropeway can reach the temple or one can take the normal trekking route to the top. The top of the hill gives you an excellent view of Haridwar.

Kavand Mela -

The fair is held ten days before Shivteras, during the Hindu months of Shravan & Phalgun.

Daksha Mahadevo Temple-

4 kms from Haridwar is a town called Kankhal.According to Mythology the king of this place King Daksha Prajapati performed a yagya. His daughter, Sati was married to Lord Shiva. But Daksha was not happy with this marriage and did not invite Shiva-Sati in the Yagya. But Sati came and was insulted by her father. She could not take the insult and burnt herself in the yagya kund. On hearing this followers of Shiva killed Daksha. But later Mahadeo (Shiva) brought Daksha to life. The Daksha temple is an attribute to this legend. This place is one of the five sacred places in Haridwar.

Sapt Rishi:

This is the place where Ganga divides itself into seven small streams and provides a very pleasing sight.

Maya Devi:

It is one of the Shaktipeeths in India. This ancient temple of Maya Devi is also the Adhisthatri deity of Haridwar. It is said that when Lord Shiva was carrying his wife Sati, who had burnt her self to keep the honour of her husband, then the heart and navel of Sati had fallen at this place.

Gurukul Kangri University - :

This University is known for its unique system of education. It is located on the Haridwar-Jwalapur bypass road. This university follows the ancient tradition of Guru-Sishya pattern of education. The University also has the Ved Mandir Museum which has a very good collection of archaeological exhibits and displays artifacts which are of historical value.

Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar:

This is a must watch place as various species of birds can be spotted here particularly during the winters. Around Laljiwala on the banks of river Ganges one can expect the Siberian Cranes, which are one of the valued possession at the Pakshi-Vihar.

· Nearby cities-

Rishikesh - 24 kms.
Mussoorie - 90 kms.
Badrinath - 290 kms.
Yamunotri - 240 kms.
Dehradun - 52 kms.
Kedarnath - 250 kms.


Ardh Kumbh:

The Ardh Kumbh is held every six years and the last Ardh Kumbha of this century ended this year. It is said that a holy dip in the river Ganges during the Kumbh gives you Moksha or Nirvana, Ardh Kumbh is celebrated with a lot of religious sentiments and this is one festival which attracts the mind of any tourist to this place.
People gather in huge number to take the holy dip during these holy days. There are Saints, Naga Sadhus, Politicians almost every one is here. The city gets overcrowded with people during this festive season and its better to avoid over crowded ghats during this time as there are reports of stampedes. The accommodation should be ensured well in advance if one is going to Haridwar during the Kumbh.

· SHOPPING - Haridwar offers some good handicraft items, which can be kept as decorative pieces or can be used as gift items. In the markets surrounding the temples, one can find jewellery imitations, which are very popular among the devotees. The bangles, chains, ear and nose rings are some items, which can be bough there. Then the shops also have items made of stone. The main shopping centers are Moti Bazaar, Upper Road, Jwalapur, and Kankhal. The UP handloom Emporium is near the Bharat Mata temple and the government Emporium, Gandhi Ashram is near the Haridwar post office.

· CLIMATE - Haridwar is located at a height of almost 300 meters. This place does not have a pleasant climate here. During the summers the temperature usually shoots upto 40 degrees but winters sees the mercury dipping as low as six degrees. The best seasons to visit Haridwar are some where between September and June though Pilgrims visit this place all the year round.


Air Services are available only upto Jollygrant airport in Dehradun, but the Railways have a station at Haridwar. This major pilgrimage center has been well connected by trains to all the major towns of India. In fact trains are the main source of getting pilgrims and tourist to Haridwar. The national high way no.45 crosses through the city so it is connected to other cities of the State as well as other towns in India in an efficient manner. There are buses available from Delhi to this place. The state transport has ordinary as well as deluxe and semi-deluxe buses on this route for long distance travel.
There are private buses, which take you to nearby places, and also some of these private deluxe buses run on the long distance routes.


Regional Tourist Office - Haridwar, Uttaranchal, India.
Tourist Bureau - Laltarao Bridge, Haridwar, Uttaranchal, India
Tourist Information Center - Railway Station, Haridwar, Uttaranchal, India
Tourist Reception Center - 36, Chandralok Building, Janpath, New Delhi - 110 001

Uttarakhand - the Land of the Gods" (Dev Bhoomi)

UTTARAKHAND - Land of Gods and Goddesses

On the 8th of November 2000, Uttarakhand became a full-fledged state of India with the formal induction of a separate State Government. The State is carved out of the Uttar Pradesh, which has the largest population in India.
And with this, the people of Uttarakhand have finally achieved their dream of running their own affairs for which they have been fighting for some decades now.

State Info-
Situated in northern part of India, Uttaranchal is surrounded by Tibet & Nepal in the North, Madhya Pradesh in the South, Haryana, Delhi & Rajasthan in the West and Bihar in the East. Dehradun, Mussoorie, Nainital and Ranikhet are the valleys with immense natural beauty.

Uttarakhand was also the ancient puranic term for the central stretch of the Indian Himalayas. Its peaks and valleys were well known in ancient times as the abode of Gods and Goddesses and source of the Ganga River.Today, it is often called "the Land of the Gods" (Dev Bhoomi) because of the presence of a multitude of Hindu pilgrimage spots.

In January 2007, the name of the state was officially changed from Uttaranchal, its interim name, to Uttarakhand, according to the wishes of a large section of its people.
The High Court of the state is in Nanital.
Recent developments in the region include initiatives by the state government to capitalise on Handloom and Handicrafts, the burgeoning tourist trade as well as tax incentives to lure high-tech industry to the state.
The state also has big-dam projects, controversial and often criticised in India, such as the very large Tehri Dam on the Bhagirathi-Bhilangana rivers, conceived in 1953 and about to reach completion.

Land Area- Uttaranchal occupies 1.73% of India’s total land area with 51,125 sq. km.
Population- It has a population of about 6.0 million at 94.4 per sq. km.
Borders- It borders Tibet, Nepal, Himachal Pradesh, and the UP plains districts.
Capital- Dehradun was chosen as the state capital which is about 255 km away from India's capital, New Delhi

Districts: Uttaranchal comprises of 13 districts:-

1. Pithoragarh
2. Almora
3. Nainital
4. Bageshwar
5. Champawat
6. Uttar Kashi
7. Udham Singh Nagar
8. Chamoli
9. Dehra Dun
10. Pauri Garhwal
11. Tehri Garhwal
12. Rudraprayag
13. Haridwar

India celebrates "Unity in Diversity" in all aspects of life, be it religion, society, culture, education, economy and so on. Its awesome air of spirituality is marked by the multiplicity of gods and diverse religious beliefs, generating numerous strands, all wrought together into a knot of sameness in fundamental concepts.
In the same way uttarakhand is also the melting pot of many ethnic groups and castes.

The opportunities for tourism are immense in this state, be it-

1. Pilgrimage Tourism
2. Nature Tourism
3. Wildlife Tourism
4. Adventure Tourism

The major destinations for these are:-


Jim Corbett National Park

If you are adventurous and like tough challenges, you can go for high- and low-altitude trekking, river rafting, para gliding, hang-gliding, mountaineering, skiing, and many others.

Monday, June 29, 2009

HP EX487 MediaSmart Home Server

The HP MediaSmart Server is a home server that can automatically backup and protect your digital memories, centralize your media and content for sharing with friends and family, and enable you to enjoy your digital media while at home or away.

Technical Details
* Intel Celeron 2.0GHz 64-bit Processor.
* Network-Based Backup of Macs Using Apple's Time Machine.
* Single SATA 7200 RPM 750GB Drives (x2).
* Photo/Video Sharing and Remote Access to Digital Media and Files on a Variety of Devices.
* Automatic Digital Content Organization Across All PCs.

HP EX487 MediaSmart Home Server

Software Features

* Operating System: Powered by Windows Home Server, a new software solution from Microsoft for storing, accessing, sharing and automatically protecting digital files.
* HP Control Center: The HP MediaSmart software that sits on top of the Windows Home Server software making access to tasks easier. Users with administrative access privileges can access the Windows Home Server Console from the HP Control Center.
* Windows Home Server Console: Software accessed from the HP Control Center to manage your HP MediaSmart Server. Software includes setting up shared folders, assigning user access privileges and customizing backups.
* File Sharing and Storage: Effortlessly centralize your files and access them from any PC and or Mac on your home network.
* PC Hard Drive Disk Backup: Once the HP MediaSmart Server software is installed on a home PC, the Windows Home Server backup software automatically starts backing up the PCs hard disk drive image every night. You can customize the number and frequency of backups kept.
* Mac Backup: Back up your Macs to the MediaSmart Server using Apple's Time Machine software.
* Shared Folder Duplication: Designate folders that will be copied automatically onto multiple hard drives for an additional layer of redundant protection. Folder duplication replaces traditional RAID-style redundancy.
* Individual File Restore: If you accidentally delete a file on your PC, you can browse versions of the PC hard drive backup image on the HP MediaSmart Server to find the file and copy it to your PC.
* PC Hard Drive Disk Restore: In the event of a PC hard drive failure, the included HP PC Restore disc is all you need to restore a hard drive image from the HP MediaSmart Server. Theres no need to locate your original operating system disc.
* HP Media Collector: Conveniently schedules the server to copy and centralize your Windows PC media files and libraries (including iTunes and playlists).
* Remote Access: Upon installation, you can set up a personal web address to be used for remote access and by visitors. Using your personal web address, you can remotely access shared folders and files on the HP MediaSmart Server from any Internet-connected computer.
* In-Home and Remote Media Streaming: Extend your digital media experiences by conveniently streaming photos, music and videos to your TVs, through gaming consoles such as Xbox 360 or PlayStation3, and computer's within your home. Remotely stream music and photos from your server to any Internet-connected computer for access while you are away.
* HP Photo Publisher: Easily publish your photos to Snapfish, Facebook, Flickr, and Picasa Web Albums using an Internet-connected computer.
* HP Photo Viewer: Quickly share photos and albums stored on the Server with friends and family.
*Server for iTunes: Centralize your iTunes music libraries and playlists on the server for playback to any PC or Mac running iTunes on your home network.
*Satisfy all your backup and media storage needs with four internal hard drive bays, four USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA port, and access to Amazon S3 online backup.
*Easy Storage Expansion: Add an internal or external hard drive to the HP MediaSmart Server, indicate that you want to add the disk in the Windows Home Server Console, and the HP MediaSmart Server storage grows. No need to power down the unit or manage drive letters for multiple hard drives.
* Server Anti-Virus Protection: Server side anti-virus trial offer from McAfee for increased protection of your HP MediaSmart Server. Run quick scans of specific folders or deep scans across your entire home server.
*Server Backup: Protect your digital memories from fire/flood/natural disaster... backup your server shared folders to an external hard disk drive, and/or an online backup to Amazon S3.
*Server Recovery: The included Server Recovery Disc can be used to recover all data and restore folders or, to reset the server in case the server operating system disk becomes corrupt.
*Additional Software Add-Ins: Extend the functionality of your server through available software add-ins to enable expanded functionality, server personalization and/or entertainment.
*Users: Up to 10 user accounts can access the HP MediaSmart Server. In addition, a predefined Guest account can be enabled.

For anyone looking for a first time network storage solution or replacement of an NAS with minimal flexibility, regardless of the user's level of technical experience, this device appears to be a great choice. It has the sophistication to meet advance user requirements yet remains easily understandable by those with modest demands or needs. Equally as important, capacity can be expanded to meet future growth in one's home network.

KEF XQ20 Piano Black (Pr) 2-Way Bookshelf Loudspeakers

The new KEF XQ series boasts a wealth of enhancements over the previous model offer.The new XQ is certain to prove irresistible to those looking for a truly rewarding Hi-fi experience. The new Titanium finished driver arrays used in this XQ series also make use of the latest UNI-Q technology. KEF`s revolutionary UNI-Q array has been further enhanced by the addition a simple yet ingenious tangerine-waveguide` device. This not only improves the HF dispersion but acts as a useful protector for the otherwise fragile tweeter dome. The new UNI-Q driver also boasts much more HF extension so there is no longer a requirement for the hyper-tweeter that crowned the previous model, providing a smoother point source` sound output and also ensuring a much cleaner cabinet design. The XQ models also boast an improved cross-over circuit making use of some sophisticated high-end components previously reserved exclusively for the REFERENCE series and to minimize any electrical coupling, the LF/MF is physically separate from the HF sections. This coupled with the audiophile" WBT terminals fitted directly to the cabinet make the new XQ series a highly credible loudspeaker producing an all enveloping sound image perfectly controlled.

Product Features

* New hybrid titanium Uni-Q driver array with aluminum HF transducer.
* No hypertweeter: New HF device has bandwidth to maintain extended HF for the latest HD audio formats, without the necessity of a separate hypertweeter.
* Crown-waveguide device protects tweeter from damage and improves off-axis frequency dispersion and extension.
* Crossover network using ultra high-grade, tight-tolerance components.
* Easy attachment grills using magnets, improved baffle aesthetics.

KEF XQ20 Piano Black (Pr) 2-Way Bookshelf Loudspeakers

With KEF's sophisticated elliptical dome tweeter mounted in the acoustic centre of the bass/midrange cone, the latest Uni-Q® array with `tangerine' waveguide disperses an uncannily accurate sound image throughout the room with startling clarity, so you have far greater freedom of positioning. Bass extension is as generous as it is well defined, thanks to an ultra-low-distortion bass/midrange driver in a massively braced reflex-ported enclosure. Full bandwidth two-way stand mount/bookshelf speaker.

1. KEF's latest 165mm (6.5in) Uni-Q midrange/HF 'point source' array with new 'tangerine' waveguide.
2. Natural-sounding high performance elliptical dome 19mm (0.75in) tweeter
3. Low distortion 165mm (6.5in) driver.
4. Magnetically shielded, with a choice of three superb high gloss finishes and optional stand.
5. Model XQ20.
6. Design Two-way bass reflex.
7. Drive Units 165mm (6.5in.) Uni-Q with 19mm (0.75in.) aluminium dome HF.
8. Crossover Frequencies 2.4kHz.
9. Sensitivity (2.83V/1m) 88dB.
10.Frequency Response (+/-3dB) 52Hz - 55kHz.
11.Maximum Output 109dB.

Canon VIXIA HF11 AVCHD 32 GB Flash Memory Camcorder w/12x Optical Zoom

Canon introduces the HF11 which captures stunning High Definition video with even greater detail and tonal reproduction, with its innovative 24Mbps capability, and a higher internal Flash drive capacity of 32GB plus an SDHC card slot that allows extended recording time. And, like all Canon VIXIA camcorders, the HF11 features: a Canon HD video lens, FULL HD CMOS Sensor, and Canon’s exclusive DIGIC DV II image processor.The HF11 offers the unparalleled combination of Canon’s exclusive SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer to stabilize a wide range of movements, Instant AF for accurate focusing that’s critical for HD, a built-in video light to easily shoot in dark settings, and a 2.7-inch Multi-Angle Vivid Widescreen LCD that allows you to view from various angles with true color representation and contrast.

Technical Details
* 24Mbps offers the highest bit rate in AVCHD for High Definition video - enabling improved color reproduction and tonality.
* Record Up to 12 hours 15 minutes of High Definition Video on an internal 32 GB Flash drive.
* Includes a genuine Canon 12x High Definition video lens.
* Comes with a 3.3 megapixel full HD CMOS sensor (1920 x 1080) and a DIGIC DV II image processor.
* Features Canon's SuperRange pptical image stabilizer.

Canon VIXIA HF11 AVCHD 32 GB Flash Memory Camcorder w/12x Optical Zoom

Canon HF11 Highlights
1. Dual Flash Memory -- Taking Video to the Next Level.
2. Record Up to 12 hours 15 minutes of High Definition Video on an internal 32 GB Flash drive.
3. Genuine Canon 12x High Definition Video Lens.
4. RGB Primary Color Filter.
5. Canon 3.3 Megapixel Full HD CMOS Sensor (1920 x 1080).
6. DIGIC DV II Image Processor.
7. 1920 x 1080 Full HD Recording.
8. Instant AF (Auto Focus).
9. SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer.
10.24Mbps Recording.
11.24p Cinema Mode.
12.30p Progressive Mode.
13.Mini Advanced Accessory Terminal.
14.Intelligent Lithium-Ion Battery.
15.3.1 Megapixel Photos.
16.HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface Terminal).
17.2.7-Inch Multi-Angle Vivid Widescreen LCD.
18.Microphone Terminal with Audio Level Control.
19.One Touch Power Button.
20.Built-in Auto Lens Cover.
21.Quick Start.
22.Program AE Mode.
23.Simultaneous Photo Shooting.
24.Built-in Video Light.
25.Headphone Terminal.
26.Focus Assist function.
27.Smooth Zoom Control.
28.3.1 Megapixel Photos.
29.Photo Grab.
30.9 Point Ai-AF Mode.
31.Built-in Flash.
32.Histogram Display.
33.Print/Share Button.
34.One Year Parts and Labor Limited Warranty.

Onkyo DV-SP406B Single Disc DVD Player (Black)

In the fast-paced world of home entertainment, you are faced with a myriad of choices. If you're after a playback component that's going to take care of your core entertainment needs DVD Video, music CDs, and your computer based music and video files then the DV-SP406 DVD/CD/MP3 player makes good sense. It actually goes a lot further by upscaling video sources to 1080p, for a one-cable HDMI digital connection to a high-definition display. Furthermore, its front-panel USB interface allows easy transfer of your digital music files for playback via your entertainment system. You'll also find quality components throughout, such as a 192 kHz/24-bit audio DAC and a 108 MHz/14-bit video DAC to promote overall playback quality; an intuitive Disc Navigator system that simplifies control over disc media, and a remote control that can be used with an integrated system.

Technical Details

* HDMI out with 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p output.
* Plays DVD Video, Video CD, Audio CD, CD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW.
* Plays MP3, WMA, WMV, MPEG-4, AAC, DivX.
* Optical and Coaxial Digital Out.
* Slow Motion DVD Playback (1/2, 1/4, 1/8, or 1/16).

Onkyo DV-SP406B Single Disc DVD Player (Black)

This is a good choice for an SD DVD player. It will upscale to 1080p and does so pretty well. It's a notch below my Oppo 983H, but considering it costs far less than the Oppo, the performance is well worth the cost.
The build quality is solid, as is typical with Onkyo products. Installation is a snap (basically, just plug in the HDMI cable). The HDMI cable is not included (get one from monoprice at a very reasonable cost). Easy to use menu system, and the disks load quickly.
The only downside is the remote, which is small and has poorly marked buttons. But, it has volume and mute control for Onkyo receivers, so it's a good match should you have that brand.

Fujifilm Finepix F100fd 12MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Dual Image Stabilized Optical Zoom

Equipped with the latest high-speed infrared connectivity, F100fd lets you send photos to another IrSimple camera or device in seconds without the need for a cable or PC. FinePix Wide Dynamic Range gives you the ability to explore extreme scenes and capture all the nuances of brightness and tonality. Using an aspherical lens to efficiently collect light at the focal point, the lens can deliver high-performance and phenomenal clarity of image with only a few lens elements for a more compact engineering experience. 12-Megapixels are arranged in Fuji Film's unique honeycomb pattern, which maintains high pixel numbers and enhances the light collection efficiency and light capture efficiency per pixel. Dual IS uses FinePix high sensitivity to freeze the movement of subjects and defeat motion blur, while CCD Shift Image Stabilization automatically compensates for camera shake. View and select up to 100 photos at a time in a 10x10 array of micro thumbnails. With the high resolution LCD, it is so easy to scan the micro images and find the photos you want to share with friends and family. Take the new Wheel Dial interface for a spin. Navigating modes, positions and functions has never been easier or more intuitive. With each selection, a helpful explanation of the mode or position appears on the display. It can display full-resolution photos on the LCD at a speed of 10fps. 1/1.6 Super CCD HR Sensor File Format - JPEG (EXIF Ver 2.2) Aperture - F3.3 - F9.0 (Wide) / F5.1 - F11.0 (Telephoto) Shutter Speed - 8 seconds to 1/1500 second Self-timer - 10 seconds and 2 seconds delay IR Communication IrSimple IrSS for Wireless Communication Shooting Modes - Auto, Natural Light, Natural Light & with Flash, M (Manual), Movie Portrait, Portrait Enhancer, Landscape, Sport, Night, Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Underwater, Museum, Party, Flower, and Text Dimensions - Width 3.8 x Height 2.3 x Depth 0.9 (97.7x58.9x23.4mm).

Technical Details
* 12.1-megapixel Super CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality poster-size prints.
* 5x wide-angle optical zoom lens; Dual Image Stabilization mode.
* 2.7-inch, high-resolution wide-angle LCD.
* Face Detection 3.0 Technology, featuring Automatic Red Eye Removal.
* Stores images on xD or SD/SDHC memory cards (not included).

Fujifilm Finepix F100fd 12MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Dual Image Stabilized Optical Zoom

Finepix F100fd Highlights
1. Wide Dynamic Range.
2. Faster Face Detection 3.0.
3. Dual Image Stabilization mode.
4. Continuous shooting.
5. High-speed playback.
6. Portrait Enhancer mode.
7. Dual Shot mode.
8. Special scene modes The FinePix F100fd has 16 pre-programmed scenes, including a special underwater scene mode for use with a special underwater casing.
9. Micro thumbnails.
10.IrSimple Infrared communication via IrSimple technology for fast, easy wireless image transfer to a compatible device.
11.xD/SD/SDHC-compatible slot The FinePix F100fd features a xD/SD-compatible slot, which accepts not only Fujifilm’s traditional xD-Picture Cards but also Secure Digital (SD) and SD-High Capacity/SDHC cards too.

Extra wide angle, lens is sharper and good response time.

Sennheiser HD800 Premier Headphone

The Sennheiser HD-800 is the headphone that has been specifically engineered in replicating the basic acoustic conditions of natural hearing.The HD-800 is the ultimate headphone to deliver nature.
The impression of spatial listening is created by a minute time lapse with which one and the same sound wave arrives at the inner ear. Ideally, the sound waves produced by a hi-fi sound system reach the listener at an angle of 60 degrees. The sound waves do not reach the ear straight on, but through a slightly angled sound front. This causes some of the sound impulses to reach the nerve ends of the inner ear earlier than others. The resulting time lapse is a matter of split seconds, but it is exactly this phenomenon that gives the impression of spatial listening.

Technical Details
* Natural hearing experience - realistic and natural sound field with minimal resonance.
* Biggest transducers ever used in headphones up to today - new innovative dynamic transducer design.
* Uncovered ear cups for acoustic and stylistic reasons.
* Metal headband with inner damping element.
* Specially tuned symmetrical, impedance matching cable with low capacitance.

Technical Specifications
# Frequency Response: 6–51,000 Hz (-10 dB); 14–44,100 Hz (-3 dB)
# Nominal impedance: 300 Ohms
# Sound pressure level at 1 kHz: 102 dB (1 Vrms)
# Max. nominal long-term input power: 500 mW in acc. with EN 60-268-7
# Harmonic distortion: <_ 0.02% (1 kHz, 1 Vrms)
# Contact pressure: approx. 3.4 N ± 0.3 N
# Weight (without cable): approx. 330 g
# Jack plug: ¼" (6.3 mm) stereo
# Connecting cable: silver-plated, oxygen-free (OFC) copper cable, symmetrical, Kevlar reinforced, 3 m
# Operating temperature: –10 °C to +55 °C

Sennheiser HD800 Premier Headphone

The transducer is designed in the shape of a ring. Basically, the larger the surface of the transducer the purer the sound—particularly when it comes to the low notes. A large surface area, however, also generates disruptive spurious oscillation at higher frequencies, so-called eigenmodes. This is primarily due to the fact that conventional-sized transducers do not have a satisfactory way of controlling high-frequency oscillations. The ringed shape of the new transducer effectively solves this dilemma: Its broad area oscillates in an extremely controlled way due to the large coil and the two supporting surfaces. This results in a previously unheard-of degree of freedom from distortion and thus the greatest purity and brilliance of sound.
The ring-shaped transducer utilized in the HD 800 greatly enhances the control of the oscillating surface. This results in a more voluminous sound wave and thus far greater clarity. In a conventional transducer, unwanted spurious oscillation can occur due to eigenmodes. Even improvements such as increasingly sophisticated Duofol laminations are unable to completely negate these physical limitations.
The symmetrical cords are designed with twin-core, high-performance, Teflon-insulated connections on each side. They are additionally covered with high-quality material for better shielding from oscillations caused by ambient noise. The jacks are exclusively produced for the HD 800 in Switzerland and feature gold-plated bunches. Gold has the highly positive property of having a very low transfer resistance, thus guaranteeing excellent contact without interference.
The headband consists of a sandwich design in which a metal layer is covered with several layers of plastic. The high-tech plastic possesses incredible attenuation characteristics and ensures that oscillations are not transmitted to the headphone mountings.The headphones of the HD 800 are only mounted on one side, to make sure they fit optimally over the ear. The relocation of their point of balance towards the back of the head also enhances comfort for the wearer.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Jyoti - the marriage happens

Jyoti is a serial on NDTV Imagine that takes the life of a girl who is struggling to help all those who depend on her, but who has to face obstacles at many walks of life. After being almost evicted from her house, Jyoti was finally finding happiness, getting married to Pankaj, who is blind, but who is very loving. And she finds more happiness, but you know for sure that something bad will happen later, after all, the serial depends on showing her struggling and still keeping her good faith and nature intact.
Even though she is separated from her family, they find out about her marriage, and all of them decide to go for the marriage other than the mother Padma, and obviously her sister Susham (and Sushma's husband Brij).
So, the family members land up at the marriage, and after some initial struggle with the guards at the gate, they meet Jyoti and also have a good meeting with Pankaj's family members. Of course, there are the usual set of guests at the marriage who can do nothing but gossip, and they are speculating on how Pankaj managed to land such a beautiful girl; and then start speculating on why the family members of the girl were not there at the wedding.
In another coincidence, Sushma and Brij had been hired to perform at the marriage, and they did not know that this was supposed to be Jyoti's wedding. When they see Jyoti at the wedding, they are shocked, and go back. In the end, when Padma is missing not being present at Jyoti's marriage, Sushma calls up (with Brij having drunk, and now being frustrated and drunk), and tries to provoke Padma against Jyoti.

Video of scene at Jyoti's marriage on June 24, 2009

Part 1;

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Hindi Serial - The new Ramayana on NDTV Imagine - Last episode on June 26th, 2009

A long time back (1987-1988), Ramanand Sagar (from Sagar Entertainment) had made a serial based on the Ramayana, and it was extremely popular. In 2008, on NDTV Imagine, Sagar Entertainment again created a new Ramayana, using new effects, with a new sophistication, and with new actors. It has also proved very popular. The series went through the entire timeline from the initial years of Ram's life, his marriage to Sita, exile based on his father's promise, Sita's abduction by Ravan, the search, the bitter battle, return to Ayodhya, Sita's banishment from the court and settlement in the ashram, Luv and Kush's story, and final return to the court.

The new Ramayana series (2008) from Sagar entertainment on NDTV Imagine

The serial had a lot of new effects, with the one that I really liked being the one where when Ram fires the arrow which kills an enemy, there is a small light that comes from the skies and settles on the arrow. The serial had some great performances, with Gurmeet Choudhary playing the role of Lord Ram with great skill. Some of the lead characters:
Gurmeet Choudhary as Lord Ram
Debina Banerjee as Mata Sita
Ankit Arora as Lakshman
Vikram Sharma as Lord Hanuman
Akhilendra Mishra as Demon King Ravana
Punkaj Kalraa as King Dashrath
Vijay Bhatia as Bharat
Lalit Negi as Shatrughna
Rajni Chandra as Kaushalya
Jaya Ojha as Mandodari
Kavita as Kaikeyi

The serial has got the Most Promising New Show of the Year award at's New Talent Awards held this year. Gurmeet Choudhary who plays the lead role of Lord Rama also won the Most Promising New Talent of Tomorrow award. The serial had some of the previous staff as well, with Ravindra Jain, who was the music director for the original series, returns as music director for this series, with Kavita Krishnamurthy and Suresh Wadkar as playback singers. It is directed by Anand Sagar, son of Ramanand Sagar.

Title track of the serial on Youtube:

Scene of Sita's swayamwara and the breaking of Shiva Dhanush

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kindle: Amazon's 6" Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation)


1. Slim: Just over 1/3 of an inch, as thin as most magazines.
2. Lightweight: At 10.2 ounces, lighter than a typical paperback.
3. Wireless: 3G wireless lets you download books right from your Kindle, anytime, anywhere; no monthly fees, service plans, or hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots.
Books in Under 60 Seconds: Get books delivered in less than 60 seconds; no PC required.
4. Improved Display: Reads like real paper; now boasts 16 shades of gray for clear text and even crisper images.
5. Longer Battery Life: 25% longer battery life; read for days without recharging.
6. More Storage: Take your library with you; holds over 1,500 books.
7. Faster Page Turns: 20% faster page turns.
8. Read-to-Me: With the new text-to-speech feature, Kindle can read every newspaper, magazine, blog, and book out loud to you, unless the book's rights holder made the feature unavailable.
9. Large Selection: Over 285,000 books plus U.S. and international newspapers, magazines, and blogs available.
10.Low Book Prices: New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases $9.99, unless marked otherwise.

Kindle: Amazon's 6 wireless reading device

Technical Details
1. Display: 6" diagonal E Ink® electronic paper display, 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 16-level gray scale.
2. Size (in inches): 8" x 5.3" x 0.36".
3. Weight: 10.2 ounces.
4. System requirements: None, because it doesn't require a computer.
5. Storage: 2GB internal (approximately 1.4GB available for user content).
6. Battery Life: Read on a single charge for up to 4 days with wireless on. Turn wireless off and read for up to two weeks.
7. Charge Time: Fully charges in approximately 4 hours and supports charging from your computer via the included USB 2.0 cable.
8. Connectivity: EVDO modem with fallback to 1xRTT; utilizes Amazon Whispernet to provide U.S wireless coverage via Sprint's 3G high-speed data network.
9. USB Port: USB 2.0 (micro-B connector) for connection to the Kindle power adapter or optionally to connect to a PC or Macintosh computer.
10. Audio: 3.5mm stereo audio jack, rear-mounted stereo speakers.
11. Content Formats Supported: Kindle (AZW), TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; PDF, HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.
12. Included Accessories: Power adapter, USB 2.0 cable, rechargeable battery. Book cover sold separately.
13. Documentation: Quick Start Guide (included in box) [PDF]; Kindle User's Guide (pre-installed on device) [PDF].
14. Warranty and Service: 1 year limited warranty and service included. Optional 2 year Extended Warranty sold separately.

Logitech Squeezebox Boom All-In-One Wi-Fi Internet Radio

Logitech squeezebox boom all-in-one network music player with integrated speakers ¿ Plug it in. Turn it on. Rock the house.The all-in-one network music player that combines award-winning squeezebox functionality with an integrated amplifier and speakers to deliver your digital music to any room in your home. Enjoy the music and content you love, with crystal clear sound.

Technical Details
* Built-in high-fidelity amplifier and speakers for crystal-clear, room-filling sound.
* SqueezeNetwork for easy wireless access to thousands of Internet radio stations and music services.
* Compact, all-in-one design with wireless networking for clutter-free audio in any room.
* Included 3.5mm line-in cord works with iPod and other MP3 Players.
* Seven-day alarm wakes you to your favorite Internet radio station or music playlist.

Logitech Squeezebox Boom All-In-One Wi-Fi Internet Radio

Where does the music actually come from, really?
There are thousands of free Internet radio stations and millions of songs served up from a wide range of online music providers that are now at your fingertips with Squeezebox Boom. And the real beauty of such streaming audio via the Internet is that you hear this music as it arrives, so there's no waiting around for a complete download in order to enjoy it.

How does the music get to the Squeezebox Boom?
Wirelessly, that's how. Clean, clutter-free advanced wireless technology is built in, so there's no need to run any clumsy cables or wires across rooms or through walls in order to complete the installation and bring music to any room in your home.

1. Integrated, all digital amplifier and breakthrough acoustic design.
2. Enjoy an amazing array of music available on the internet.
3. No need to run wires — wireless technology for clean, clutter-free installation.
4. 7-day alarm.

1) It plays just about anything you can throw at it including almost all audio file formats, streams, and even RSS feeds.
2) Small and quite portable, even at nearly 8lb. Yet it feels solid and quality built.
3) Can stream internet radio without attaching to a PC.
4) Open Source development.
5) Built in support for some of the most widely used internet audio sources including iTunes, Rhapsody, Pandora, Last.FM, Live365, Sirius, etc.
6) Web control is very cool and allows you to fully control the device from your web browser, even on your internet enabled phone.

1) No battery operation, decreases portability.
2) No usb port to attach external storage.
3) No iPod dock.
4) No handle to carry it around.
5) Price too high.

Gears of War 2

The wait is over, Gears of War 2 has arrived. Ever since the original was released, fans have clamored for this sequel. Developed exclusively for the Xbox 360 by Epic Games, Gears of War 2, which has already garnered several awards, picks up six months after the events of the blockbuster original Gears of War. Players are thrown back into the role of Marcus Fenix, leading the battle for humankind's survival against the Locust Horde. With innovative third-person tactical action gameplay and unsurpassed high-definition graphics, Gears of War 2 is a must-have game for the Xbox 360.

Product Features:
* Award-winning sequel picks up six months after the events of the blockbuster original.
* Innovative third-person tactical action gameplay; Xbox LIVE delivers online multiplayer (up to 10 simultaneous players) and cooperative action.
* Unreal Engine 3 delivers jaw-dropping graphics; new effects include ambient occlusion, dynamic shadows, advanced destructible environments, and more.
* Winner of several awards at E3 2008, including Overall Best Shooting Game, Overall Best Graphics Technology, and Best Action Game.
* Original cast of characters returns, including Marcus Fenix and Dominic Santiago, as well as several newcomers.

Gears of War 2

1. Huge Environments, Bigger Gameplay.
2. Jaw-Dropping, Realistic Graphics.
3. Immersive, Gripping Story.
4. More Characters, Upgraded Vehicles, Badder Weapons.
5. Multiplayer Action with Xbox LIVE!

Offline: 1-4
Online: 10
Gameplay Modes:
Single player, competitive multiplayer, cooperative multiplayer, system link multiplayer, online multiplayer with voice support.
16:9 Widescreen on HDTV 480p, 720p, and 1080i.

PROS: This is all about game play and the feel of the game. Even on top of all the additional features and improvements, it is still undoubtedly Gears of War. The controls remain very intuitive and easy to learn. It's easily one of the best 3rd person shooters out there.
CONS:Storyline could have been a lot deeper. May be they are saving this for Gears of War 3. Violence may be a little too much for the unprepared.

FINAL VERDICT: A. This is a very well-made game. I have the tendency to buy games and sell them back when I'm done. But I think GoW 2 will probably be a mainstay in my library.

Microsoft SideWinder X8 Mouse

The Ultimate Gaming Mouse System
Grab hold of the Microsoft® SideWinder™ X8 mouse and experience gaming thrills and performance that will blow you—and your opponents—away! This addition to Microsoft’s award-winning line of SideWinder gaming products is a complete desktop gaming system that features breakthrough Microsoft BlueTrack™ Technology, 2.4 GHz wireless, USB charging while you play, an advanced design for precise handling and fast action, adjustable feet, custom tuning—and much more.

Technical Details
* Play and Charge - Up to 30 hours of active gaming on a single charge, or use the play-and charge cable for non-stop action.
* BlueTrack Technology - World¿s most advanced tracking technology for gaming with image processing of 13,000 frames per second.
* 2.4 GHz Wireless - Built for lag-free play.
* DPI Switching - Instantly switch sensitivity between high, medium, and low with one click.
* 7 Programmable Buttons - Customize 5 programmable main buttons, plus left/right tilt, to your preference.

Microsoft SideWinder X8 Mouse

1. Play and Charge
2. BlueTrack Technology
3. Quick Launch Button
4. Vertical Side Buttons
5. Engineered for Speed
6. Scroll Wheel with Tilt
7. 2.4 GHz Wireless - Built for lag-free play.
8. LCD Display - Quickly view DPI settings and macro-recording icons on the mouse.
9. DPI Switching - Instantly switch sensitivity between high, medium, and low with one click.
10.Replaceable Mouse Feet - Choice of 3 different materials for glide preference.
11.7 Programmable Buttons - Customize 5 programmable main buttons, plus left/right tilt, to your preference.
12.Macro Record - Easily record macros while in game with the dedicated button.

* Resolution: 250–4000 dpi (BlueTrack™ Technology)
* Image Processing: 13000 frames per second
* Max Acceleration: 75 G
* Max Speed: 120 inches per second
* USB Reporting: Full-speed, 500 Hz
* Feet: 3 sets of different mouse feet (for glide preference)
* Wireless Play: Up to 30 hours
System Requirements
* Windows Vista®/Windows XP
o 100 MB
* USB Port
* CD drive
1.Best cordless system imaginable. all.
3.Button placement 10/10.
4.Button and wheel "click" feel 10/10.

1.Clicker is very slippery.
2.Tracking is jumpy / jittery.
3.Rear bottom of mouse curves up. This causes it to do wheelies if you put much weight on the back of the mouse. This is very easy due to the tall hump at the rear of the unit.

Travel Spots: Leh, the Buddhist mountainous region of North India

The best season to visit Leh is between June to September
The temperature can range from −28 °C in winter to 33 °C in summer.
Average elevation is 3,500 metres (11,483 feet)
Coordinates: Leh is located at 34.17°N 77.58°E
Attractions : Trekking, Mountaineering, Camping, Water Rafting, And Buddhist Monasteries, along with an incredible view all around.
Religion: Buddhism, Islam, Hindu

See towering mountains reach up to a clear blue sky, and seem to touch it. Hear the rhythmic chant of Buddhist monks in an ancient monastery where time stands still, in a land with a mix of religions living peacefully with each other. See the rushing waters of an icy river, the Indus (Sindhu) surge down from a glacial height. This is all part of what Ladakh (the Land of Passes and the Roof of the World) awaits you. From age-old Buddhist monasteries to exciting adventure tours, Leh (the capital of Ladakh) has a lot to offer. Explore a Gompa, go mountaineering in the Himalayas with sheer slopes and rocky cliffs, camp on the Ladakh plateau, trek on treacherous and breathtaking routes and see rare mountain goats ascend the slopes. Tour a land that will amaze you with its stark beauty and delight you with the warmth of the Ladakhi people.
Leh has a cold, arid climate with long, harsh winters from October to early March, with minimum temperatures well below freezing for most of the winter. The city gets occasional snowfall during winter. The weather in the remaining months is generally fine, and leads to a tourist season that peaks between July and September.

Leh (capital of Ladakh) on Google Maps:

View Larger Map

Travellers flock to Ladakh from all corners of the globe, and Ladakh is becoming an adventure for a large number of Indians as well. This trans-Himalayan district of Jammu and Kashmir has now become a favourite of both adventure freaks and culture enthusiasts, and a good place to consider going to when you want to avoid those commercial tourist locations.
Leh, the capital of Ladakh is a fascinating destination. Monasteries that seem from the ages, quaint lanes, colorful markets, friendly people, and stunning views of the Himalayas make Leh an exotic destination. Leh is where your adventure in Ladakh begins. You can go trekking through the mountainous terrain of Ladakh, or even enjoy a game of polo in a high altitude arena or watch a local contest of archery between local residents. Mountaineering, white water rafting and wildlife tours are other adventurous attractions of Leh.
Leh is is bounded by Pakistan occupied Kashmir in the West, China in the north and eastern part, and Lahul Spiti of Himachal Pradesh in South East.

Major tourist attractions

• Leh Palace: This is a building built to reflect the grand traditions of Tibetan architecture, and which is said to have inspired the more famous Potala palace in Lhasa (Tibet), built half a century later. The palace was built long back, in the 17th century and had nine storeys with different floors for the royals and for those who server them, but it is now dilapidated and deserted (It was the home of the royal family until they were exiled to Stok in the 1830s). Within the palace are Buddhist wall paintings, centuries old 'tankas' or painted scrolls and other artefacts. Above the palace, at the top of the Namgyal hill, is the Victory Tower, built to commemorate Ladakh's victory over the Balti Kashmir armies in the early 16th century.
• Leh Monastery and Gompa: The central area of Ladakh has the greatest concentration of major Buddhist monasteries or gompas, incredibly beautiful and a must see. Of the twelve situated on or near the Indus, the oldest monastery is that of Lamayuru, which is believed to have been a sacred site for the pre-Buddhist religion known as Bon. The monasteries of Phiyang, Hemis and Chemrey were all founded under the direct patronage of members of the ruling Namgyal dynasty. Phyang represents an act of penance by the 16th century King Tashi Namgyal for the violence and treachery by which he reached the throne.
• Spituk Monastery - The Gompa is famous for a wonderful view of the commanding river, the Indus. Further, the gompa stands on the top of a hillock, 8 Kms. from Leh. Many icons of Buddha and five thankas are found in 15th century monastery. There is also a collection of ancient masks, antique arms, and an awe inspiring image of Mahakal.
• Shanti Stupa: Shanti Stupa is a fairly recent monument, build with the support of the Japanese Government, and build by a Japanese who wanted to spread Buddhism around the world. The Shanti Stupa is located at Changspa, on the hilltop, and was inaugurated by Dalai Lama in 1985. Its state of the art work attracts a lot of tourists to Ladakh and is spectacular to watch. The stupa is connected by a ‘motorable’ road and a steep flight of stairs. The view from the top is great, and you can stop for a snack in the tea shop, and enjoy the panoramic view of the chain of mountains and the peaceful little village of Changspa (having typical Ladakhi houses built along a gushing stream), and the towering Namgyal Tsemo in the distance.
• Shey Gompa: 15 Kms upstream from Leh, a 7.5 metre high copper statue of Buddha, plated with gold, and the largest of its kind, is installed in the palace.
• Soma Gonpa (Jokhang): The Ladakh Buddhist Association in 1957 built the small Gonpa opposite to SBI, in the main bazaar, which is open throughout the day for visitors. The Gonpa contains a statue of Joyo Rinpochey (crowned Buddha).
• Stok Palace Museum: 17 km from Leh town, this museum exhibits precious stones, thangkas, coins, royal crowns and dresses and prayer instruments.
• Namgyal Tsemo Gompa - The Namgyal Tsemo Gompa was built in 1430 by King Tashi Namgyal on Namgyal Tsemo peak overlooking the town. The monastery contains a three-story high solid gold idol of Maitrieya Buddha (future Buddha also called laughing buddha) and a one-storied statue of Avaloketesvara and Manjushri along with ancient manuscripts and frescoes. The fort above this gompa is ruined, but the views of Leh from here are breathtakingly beautiful. The associated temples here remain intact, but they are kept locked except during the morning and evening hours when a monk toils up the hills from Sankar Gompa to attend to the butter - lamps in front of the images.
• Leh Mosque - Apart from all the Buddhist structures, the striking green and white Leh Mosque, an exquisite work of Turko-Iranian architecture, stand in the Main Bazaar of Leh. This historical mosque was built in 1666-67 A.D. consequent to an agreement between the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and then ruler of Ladakh, Deldan Namgyal.
• The Nubra Valley - The Nubra valley gets clad in endless bushes of yellow and pink wild roses. However, once the rose season is over, a carpet of wild lavender lies gently on it. Nubra is also a relatively warmer valley in Ladakh making it perfect for crops and fruits to grow. Diskit Village located near Khalsar, dotted with apricot plantations is one of the larger village of the Nubra valley. The road between Diskit and the quaint little Hunder Village winds through a gorgeous stretch of sand dunes. A quiet and pleasant evening can be spent amidst nature with snowcapped peaks in the background
• Pangong Lake - This lake is situated at a elevation of 14,000ft. In the Eastern sector of Ladakh, at a distance of 154km. from Leh across Changla pass (17,000ft.). This lake is one of the largest and most beautiful natural brakish lakes in the country. It is located 1/3rd in India, and 2/3rd in China, and one needs a permit to visit the Lake. The trip to the lake is half the pleasure of the lake itself.

Things to do:

Trekking : Leh is a trekker's paradise. The treks from Spituk to the Markha valley and Lamayuru gompa to Chiling village alongside the Zanskar River are the most popular treks in the region. Another trek route is from Likir to Temisgam. Treks are open from the June end upto mid October. The passes for trekking are as high as 5,000 m in altitude, so you need to attempt these only if you are fit, and have experience. Many trekking agencies in Leh offer trek packages with a guide, packhorses, food and supplies.

Polo : Polo is also very popular in Leh. Apart from a well-maintained polo ground, regular matches and competitions are organised during the Ladakh festival.

River Rafting : One might also take fun of rafting in the Zanskar River in the month of July to September.

Places to stay:

Mehek Guest House
Green Land, Ladakh Hotel
Khangri Hotel, Ladakh
Laser Mo Hotel
Hotel Lumbini
List of places to stay (link to post)
Chamba Camp
The Grand Dragon
Hotel Caravan Center
Hotel Cho Palace
Hotel Dragon
Hotel Gawaling International
Hotel Holiday Ladakh
Hotel Khanglachan
Hotel Mandala
Hotel Lotus
Hotel Namgyal Palace
Hotel Omasila
Hotel Royal Palace
Hotel Shambha-La (link)
Hotel Spic N Span
Hotel Yak Tail
Sangaylay Guest House
Hotel Singge Palace (link)

By Air: The airport is approximately 8 kms away from Leh.

By rail: Jammu is the closest among all with a distance of 620 Kms.

By road: Kashmir valley is the closest place to approach Leh. The approach road to Leh is either through (434 km) Srinagar-Kargil-Leh, or through (473 km) Manali-Keylong-Leh. Both roads are open only on a seasonal basis.

External articles / blogs:

1. Biking from Srinagar to Leh (link to article):

Early on the 10th June we started for Leh. After 8.5KM of uphill we took a 5KM deviation from the main road to visit the Likir monastery. The ride from Likir monastery till the main road was an easy downhill and later the road was relatively flat till Nimmu (our Lunch halt). After climbing up till the Magnetic Hill and facing some heavy wind which made even standing difficult we reached the Pattar Sahib Gurudwara. The road beyond the Gurudwara was a neatly paved downhill for more than 10KM. This stretch gave us an oppurtunity to touch a maximum speed of 77.7KMPH and soon we entered the busy Leh city!

2. Proposed drive to Leh on the 4th of July (link to article)
3. Drive from Srinagar to Leh with some great photos (link to article)
4. Complete guide to Leh-Manali Road (link to article)
It is the difficulty involved in traversing the road that attracts travelers to make the journey from Manali to Leh by road. Nowhere else in India do you get to drive hundreds of kilometers without seeing a single permanent habitation. The road runs above ten thousand feet for almost entire journey, and the highest point on the road is above 18,000 feet. The landscapes are unparalleled. The superb greenery on the way out of Manali will be the last stretch of abundant vegetation that you encounter until the day you return from Ladakh

5. Ice hockey in Leh (link to article)
The famous Karzoo Ice Hockey Rink has become the most sought after destination in Leh during winters for the localites as well as tourists having a passion for Ice Hockey. It is the highest Ice Hockey rink in the country, which is situated at an altitude of 3483 meters above sea level. 2009 has been an year of achievement for the local players from Ladakh, where they got an opportunity to represent their county in International Ice Hockey Federation Challenge Cup of Asia held at Abu Dhabi.

6. Khardung La - World's Highest Motorable Road (link to article)
Khardung La (la means pass in Tibetan) (elevation 5359 m) is a high mountain pass located in the Ladakh region, Jammu and Kashmir, India. The local pronunciation is "Khardong La" or "Khardzong La," but, as with most names in Ladakh, the romanised spelling varies. It is the highest motorable road in the world as signs put up by the Border Roads Organization proudly proclaim. The views from this pass are no doubt breathtaking – with the Ladakh range to the south and Karakoram to the north. And snow capped peaks at almost touching distance all around. The pass experiences up to 10 feet of snow in winters, with temperatures dropping to 40 degrees Celsius below zero. Even though temperatures in summers average 20 degrees Celsius, the weather can turn for the worse suddenly.

7. Not walking to Leh (link to article):
We traveled to Leh, in northern Kashmir, a few years ago. Good sample-the-local-culture tourists that we are, we traveled on crowded buses, hitchhiked on trucks, and once, memorably, on a fully loaded gasoline tanker truck driven by a dozing driver. One thing we did not try to do much was hike.

8. Whether safe to plan to drive in October on the highways (link to forum post)
I'm looking at doing the trip from manali to leh. Trying to coordinate the trip with some friends overseas and the only time that works for all of us would be early - mid october. Also we'd only have 12 days from arriving in delhi to leaving delhi. So first of all how trafficable is the route at this time of year - I've heard it officially closes in september. We would be self supported on mountainbikes so not opposed to a bit of snow and the like but don't want to do anything stupid. Also what would we find in the way of tent villages and permanent villages along the way. As for the 12 days (probably 10 by the time you bus out to manali and fly back from leh) is it realistic in this time. I don't expect or want this to be an easy ride but I don't want to bite off more then I can chew.

9. Trip to Leh (link to article)
For the spiritually inclined, the monasteries of Thiksey, Hemios, Spitup, and Lamayuru provide perfect refuge. Most monasteries also have small guest houses where visitors may stay and participate in Buddhist rituals with the resident monks. These monasteries offer great insight into the culture of Leh – with their museums holding great treasures of tourist interest. Religion plays an important part in Leh’s culture and it is advisable to listen carefully to your guide so as to not disrespect any religious sentiments.

10. Leh and Ladakh (link to article)
11. Long trip covering Leh and Amarnath (link to forum post)
12. Ketchup with Aubs (link to article)
The capital city of Leh offers a rare insight into what Tibet was like before the Chinese invaded the country. It also boasts the highest golf course in the world at the Indian army base (at about 3,200m). Permission can be sort to play a round. Similar to the Gulf, you carry a piece of artificial turf around and aim for the "greens", which are actually brown - a mix of oil and sand which offers a seriously challenging putting surface.

13. Manali-Leh highway (link to article):
From Manali, a pretty village in the green foothills of the Himalayas, the journey takes two days and ends up 500kms north in Leh, Ladakh’s capital - a staggering 3505m above sea level. It’s certainly an experience worth having, but the combination of Indian driving and a disconcerting lack of barriers on the windy mountain roads makes for a nail-biting trip. Rather alarmingly, our driver was suffering with altitude sickness and kept momentarily blacking out, reminding me to ‘grab the wheel’ if he fainted. On the plus side, he did own the full Bob Marley collection which blared most of the way, so, you know, swings and roundabouts.

14. Adventure on the Leh-Manali highway (link to article):
arlier this week I took a 20-hour jeep ride from Leh to Manali. Their were 10 people (I was the only non-Indian) in a jeep that was made for 7, so it was uncomfortable. Despite, the discomcomfort, or perhaps because of it, it was a ride I will never forgot. The scenery was stunning, and the road was terrifying. The road was rarely more then 1 lane wide and was on the edge of a mountain atleast 75% of the time.

15. manali-Leh highway (link to article)
The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful. The road is only open between June and October, and by this time the landscape is a vast expanse of barren, snow-capped mountainous and deep canyons with rivers running through it. There’s the odd house or tiny settlement along the way, but the most people you’ll see are at the numerous rest-stops where drinks and snacks are sold. There are no toilets though – you’ll have to bare your bum at the side of the road – not so bad higher up where you can hide behind a mound of snow, but pretty embarrassing in the open, barren expanses lower down.

16. Wonderful post on travel through India (with Leh at the lower section) (link to article):
I visited Thiksey Monastery (or Gompa) first, leaving at sunrise and watching the incredible changes of light on the harsh, bare, and beautiful mountains. Thiksey sprawls down a mountainside, and has the usual monastery accoutrements of small shrines, huge Buddhas, and many steps. What it did not have many of, that day, was monks, as they were mostly visiting in the village for a funeral. It was fascinating to wander around, though, and is very aesthetically pleasing.
The monasteries have incredible artwork, but what I loved best about this area is the flowers. The garden at my guesthouse is a small treasure, and everywhere at the "gompas" (monasteries) and along the roadsides in the valleys there are flowers of all shapes and sizes, most noticeably vivid hollyhocks. They have such a short season that everything seems to grow with abandon.

Photos of Leh / Ladakh:

1. Photos from Srinagar to Leh (link to article)

2. Photos of Leh-Manali highway (link to photos)
3. Beautiful photos of Leh (link to post)
4. Photos at (link)
5. Official site (link)
6. Leh Photo Gallery at (link)
7. Photo Gallery at (link)
8. Blog + Photo Gallery (link)