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Showing posts from 2017

Bhaskareswar Temple

Moving on with the Temple Trail series, I now move on to the Bhaskareswar Temple, located a stone's throw away from the Rajarani Temple. We hired a 'line' autorickshaw to get here from there.
This is a Shiva temple, and enshrines a large shivling. People believe that the linga grows everyday. What sets it apart from the other temples is the conspicuous absence of the Jagamohana, typical of Odishan temples. Even the vimana (gopura) is not like the other temples, and is slightly different in shape. A lion sits on the very top. On the external walls are carved various Gods and Goddesses, to whom prayers are offered. A nandi sits facing the temple, guarding his Lord. The carvings on the external walls are not as elaborate as the other temples, and other smaller shrines do not exist around the temple. A theory even suggests that this originally wasn't built to be a temple. 
Do stop at this place, if only for fifteen minutes. Relax in the large courtyard and take in some fr…

Epitome of Grace

Today is Vaikunta Ekadashi, a very auspicious day according to the Hindu calendar. For those following Vaishnavism or devotees of Vishnu, this is the most auspicious of all Ekadashis. In fact this whole month of 'Dhanu' that falls during December-January is dedicated to the worship of Lord Vishnu. 
On this auspicious occasion, I'm sharing one of my most favorite and priceless clicks, that of Lord Venkataramana at Sri Venkataramana Temple, Mangalore. I shot this picture earlier this year, during the yearly Car Festival (on Rathasaptami). The beautiful idol, devoid of heavy flowers and jewellery is placed for abhishek, and is clearly visible unlike the other days. This shot is through a iron mesh that surrounds the sanctum, and the photographic angle was a chance discovery. 
The idol is believed to have roots in the Vijayanagara Kingdom, as it is said the Emperors used to offer their prayers before every battle. Also, the idol is seen to be wearing a headdress similar to a …

Postcard from Kochi

We celebrated one year of 'legal' togetherness last week, with a long lazy day spent in and around the waters at Ernakulam/Kochi, which is why I was away from this space. I shot this picture from the wonderful evening sunset cruise arranged by the place that we stayed at, The Taj Gateway.

I got nearly a hundred good shots, and of all the pictures, this one I think makes for a perfect postcard to describe what Kochi has over the years, come to be famour for! Seen in the distance are the Cheenavala or the Chinese Fishing Netsunique to this part of the country.

The setting sun along with the silhouettes of the coconut trees added to the charm. And the glorious golden hue of the evening, only made our day more beautiful.

Related posts:
The Gateway Hotel, Ernakulam

The Strut

I shot this picture at my village last monsoon. We had gone there for some work one evening, and I didn't miss the opportunity to go visit the fields, albeit for a very short period of time. And wasn't I lucky? 
I saw this guy prancing around, with his beautiful blue body making a sharp contrast against the rich green of the paddy fields. It was a sight to behold, as he nonchalantly walked about. Owing to standing water in the fields, I couldn't go closer than this.
Here is another picture from the evening.

Planning the BIG day II - Money money money!

Moving on from theintro post on this topic, I focus on the first four points I'd put up there. ( Oh God, I do sound like a strict professor discussing stuff point-by-point!)
So here goes...
Plan Early! Everyone keeps harping about planning, but where does one begin? There are simply too many things. Therefore the easiest and the best thing one can do is to first make a wedding diary. You can write anything and everything into it. First make a list of lists - sounds funny? But yes, you need to make one, for example a list of guests, a list of things to shop, a list of jewellery- got it? A mega list of lists. You could get one of those stiff 5-subject notebooks and dedicate each section to one part.
The guest list I initially started writing this one down but when the numbers got out of hand and I realised that I had repeated few names thrice, I decided to re-do it again. Excel to the rescue! When I'd finally finished adding the last name, I had three files, each with 4-5 sheets.…

Lost in Thought?

I shot this picture while driving home to Mangalore through South Goa, after a wonderful stay in Panjim, right by the NH 66 (formerly NH 17). This was the late monsoon season, and we stopped for our usual Chai at the regular roadside shack. Next to the shack were these ladies, selling some fresh, wonderful vegetables. 
We got talking to them and they were more than happy to respond. We ended up buying lots of cucumbers, which were very juicy and tasty. All the women looked so happy and content sitting there, despite the heat and humidity. 
To anyone driving through this area, do stop by if you spot people selling fresh produce from their backyard. You would be indirectly paying for a little girl's schooling perhaps?

See my earlier posts on Goa: FountainhasSummer ShotsMonsoon MagicGoan Countryside

Rajarani Temple

From the 7th century Parasurameswar Temple, I move to this 11th century A.D. wonder, the Rajarani Temple. If one were to compare the size of the temple, then again it wouldn't classify as being very large. However, the carvings here are better preserved than the previous one. It is believed to belong to the same era as the Jagannath Temple at Puri.

What differs is the raised stone platform on which the temple is built; the vimana (the tower like structure over the sanctum sanctorum) and jagamohana (the rectangular hall for devotees adjoining the sanctum) remain constant. On either side of the main entry to the temple, two snake-like semi-human figurines (naga-nagi sthambha) adorn the pillars. A lion roars at you from the top. Talking of lions, one recurring feature is that of ferocious lions over crouching elephants. Probably this held importance in the kingdom then. I'm reminded of a similar feature from the Hoysala Temples from Karnataka, wherein a mythological beast with a…

Glimpse of Fort Kochi

I shot this picture at the waterfront at Fort Kochi more than a year ago. We were racing to catch the sunset, but the crazy traffic en route did not let that happen. Though I was very disappointed on missing the sunset, this picture somewhat made up for the loss. 

The place was teaming with families out for the Sunday evening. What this silhouetted picture hides are the piles and piles of rubbish strewn about. It is heartening to see the area festering with muck. From the looks of it, it appeared like it hadn't been cleaned since ages. This was in 2016, is it still the same? Or has it been cleaned up now?

Planning the BIG Day- Part 1

Prologue So there. This is a series I'd planned more than a year ago when I had begun to plan my own wedding. A simple search will throw up hundreds of search results on this topic, especially in the last few years, as the 'wedding market' has seen a huge boom! 
Various events which a few years ago were unheard of such as a pre-wedding cocktail party, pool party, or a fancy pre-engagement, pre-whatever photo shoot, have now become the norm. Talking of photo shoots, wedding photography is another separate area. So amidst all this and the societal pressure to live up to expectations or 'status', the whole idea of planning a wedding can get overwhelming. 
So what does one do? I did go through it all, but thanks to advance planning and some wise decisions (all thanks to Dad), the entire phase was a memorable one, and I did enjoy every bit of it. Which is why I'd decided back then, once I get back to my routine and start writing again, I would definitely put up all …

Diwali along the Coast

Another Deepavali went by. As always, it was a beautiful week, despite all the issues we faced, such as not being able to get leave, rains, change of plans, etc.

This year was special as it was my first Deepavali post-marriage. Owing to various commitments, we could not celebrate it entirely the traditional way, but we did try and make the best of the time we got to spend together. We had the traditional Aarti 'shown' to us by my Dad and favourite Aunt who takes my Mom's place. The usual Diwali lunch with fish curry and fry did not happen, but we did substitute by gorging on some yummy kebabs and kulfis at Barbeque Nations.
One thing I look forward to every year is painting new diyas for the occasion. Lighting up these diyas all around our home along with my Mum-in-law was fun. Amidst all the brouhaha on burning crackers, my husband and I suddenly decided to burst crackers to get the 'feel' of Diwali. It has been more than fifteen years since I've touched a sp…

Fields by the Sea: Apsarakonda

I shot this picture at Apsarakonda beach, in Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka. Apsarakonda in Kannada translates to mean a pond where divine damsels (Apsaras) take bath. Located about 5 km short of Honnavar town, this is a beautiful locale situated right by the sea. What amazes me is the proximity of the rich rice fields to the sea- doesn't the salinity affect the crop?
The best time to visit would be late evening just before sunset, as one can sit and enjoy the view from the view point on the hill, with the evening breeze kissing your nose. It's not heavily crowded either.
From the view point, a short walk via a nicely cut out flight of steps takes you straight to the beach. Alternatively, one can directly drive down to the beach itself after enjoying the view from the viewpoint, as walking back up after sunset would be scary.
The beach is virgin. Very few people frequent this place. We spent a long time here just sitting next to each other, taking in the fresh salty breez…