Archive for ‘Karnataka’

April 22, 2021

Kere Basadi (Lake Temple)

Kere Basadi in a literal sense means the Lake Temple. Somewhere in the Udupi district is a small native village of Varanga. Located here and surrounded by lush nature, this is a place where the architecture imbibes the way of lifestyle and sustenance. Access to the temple takes one thru meandering roads thru serene nature. Once there (white vehicle parked :)), one needs to take a boat to the temple. Loved how the temple was architectured around the lake which in turn was supporting the local sustenance. The journey helps soothe the mind and creates an intent of travel, rather than being just a passing insta photo op :)

DJI Mavic Pro : ISO 100 : 4.73 mm : f2.2 : 1/500 sec

Kare Basadi
Varanga, Karnataka, India

April 6, 2021

Hemakuta Hill @ twilight

Hemakuta Hill located adjacent to Virupaksha temple is sprinkled generously with a large number of shrines, archways, and pavilions. These temples form one of the earliest groups of structures at Hampi and are dated to be from about the 9th to 14th century.

It is also one among the best places in Hampi to witness the sunrise/sunset and quiet an easy climb (about 10-15 mins and not as tedious as say, the Matanga Hill). Though an easy walk, the afternoon sun can make the boulders scorching hot. But take a stroll by twilight and you sure can experience all the hues from blues to reds being splashed across the whole wide canvas of the sky.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 320 : 13 mm : f9.0 : 1/50 sec

Hemakuta Hill
Hampi, Karnataka, India

March 27, 2021

Mysterious with Milky Way

Just 50 km from the busy bustle of Bangalore, nestled within the forests of Kanakapura is this classified spot. When the time is right and the stars align, I mean literally – one could witness the magic. Out here, in the darkness of the night – the lava flows and portals to the parallel universe open up. Just witnessing the same under the glow the of Milky Way elicits mysticism beyond belief …

Or maybe it was just a few friends, toying with the laser light by a meek rock, in the mango groves that lies by the edge of the Kanakapura forest :)

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 2500 : 16 mm : f2.8 : 20 sec

Kanakapura Forest
Kanakapura, Karnataka, India

March 20, 2021

Hunt for the Milky Way

In the southern part of India, the monsoon season & the Milky Way season greatly overlap. Hence the window to witness & capture the Milky Way is quite small. Add to it the alignment of the same over weekends and access to decent night skies. The probability goes down even further.

After keeping a close eye on the conditions, decided to head towards Coorg with friends for some Milky Way hunting. Though the spot was a Bortle 2, the elevation of the location brought in rolling clouds, fog, and morning mist. After 1 1/2 days of waiting, the weather Gods decided to give a glimpse of the Milky Way, just for us :)

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 5000 : 16 mm : f/2.8 : 20 sec

Balyabane
Coorg, Karnataka, India

March 8, 2021

Intricate architecture @ Mysore palace

The Mysore palace constructed around 1897, was conceived as a residence befitting the monarch of the majestic state. Mysore, which was laid out as the capital of the princely state, now part of Karnataka, retains a very strong connection with its royal past. The palace was constructed using fine grey granite and features beautiful domes that are made of deep pink-colored marbles. Every wall, pillar, ceiling, and doom is filled with such intricate work of art that one is struck by awe, just being there.

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 2000 : 16 mm : f/4.0 : 1/50 sec

Mysore Palace
Mysore, Karnataka, India

February 20, 2021

Sunrise by Shivalaya Temple

The city of Badami in Northern Karnataka, also called Vatapi, was the capital of one of the most enduring dynasties in Southern India – the Chalukyas. Nestled by a ravine that cuts through the sandstone landscape the site is graced by some beautiful temples – rock-cut and otherwise.

One of the prominent temple that I loved from my visit is the upper Shivalaya Temple. It had quiet ornamantal windows. It might have held equally ornate sculptures too within and probably was deprived of the same as time passed. The majestic mandapa stands as remnants of a bygone era, but still loaded with such grace and grandeur. It takes some effort to get up the hill. But the view is worth all the effort, especially around sunrise.

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 250: 16 mm : f2.8 : 1/200 sec

Upper Shivalaya Temple
Badami, Karnataka, India

February 14, 2021

Startling night on Valentines day

Had planned to visit this particular area last year with a friend. That never materialized because of you know who :) Accounting to the same, 2020 had not been great, even more so for travel. Then what can be said for night travel ?!

Hence, when the Astro season started this year, was trying to hold my expectations low. This time of the year the Milky Way graces the night sky after 3 or 4 AM. It was only a small window, but the twilight even from the horizon behind graciously blanketed the lake with its warm light. The stars finally aligned, and I couldn’t be happier.

Feeling thankful that we still have pockets of the night sky in a short distance from busy cities where the stars can be appreciated. Here is to the love of stars. Happy Valentines Day !

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 5000: 16 mm : f2.8 : 8.0 sec

A Hillock by the lake
Kanakapura, Karnataka, India

January 23, 2021

Life of Lambda

DJI Mavic Pro : ISO 164 : 4.73 mm : f2.2 : 1/25 sec

Lambda
Sakleshpur, Karnataka, India

January 8, 2021

Postcard from the past

As I was enjoying the Virupaksha temple at sunrise, came across this scene. For some reason, the family standing there, resembled the typical tourist – one who does not gel with the surrounding & stands out. May be it was their attire or the posture, but whatever – they felt juxtaposed. Tried processing to elevate and showcase how Hampi still stands the test of time. The final result felt like a postcard from the past :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 500: 10 mm : f9.0 : 1/15 sec

Hemakuta Hill
Hampi, Karnataka, India

January 1, 2021

Reflections & Perspectives

Reflecting back on 2020, it had been a tough year. Travel had been restricted and not great in sense of capturing moments. One good thing with the lockdown – mother nature seem to be healing. We now hear more of birds chirping even in the middle of Marathalli, Bangalore :) For the many lucky folks who are not stranded away from home – the lockdown had brought in a much needed break to reflect and introspect. For me it had been a great year professionally with more reading, new challenges and associated experiences. The ups & downs were like never before but the lessons learned were inevitable.

Let us drop the prejudice of 2020. Focus, enjoy and equip for the journey forward. Here is to 2021 – to more learning, more travel, more connections & enriched experiences :)

This week shot is from Badami (from a pre covid trip). Badami Shivalaya was the regal capital of the Badami Chalukyas from 540 to 757 AD. Most of the visitors miss this as the focus is always on the Badami caves. The fort is quite opposite to the caves on the other side of the lake. Also one needs to trek to the top . The path is quiet defined with steps but is a bit strenuous, especially in hot weather. The massive hillock hosts couple of different levels with – the pillared structures, the lower Shivalayas and the upper Shivalayas. One is treated with  Chalukya architecture and the views are directly propositional to the effort one puts in to climb up :)

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 100: 16 mm : f22 : 0.5 sec

Upper Shivalaya Temple
Badami, Karnataka, India

December 24, 2020

Geminids

The Geminids are a prolific meteor shower caused by the object 3200 Phaethon, which is thought to be a Palladian asteroid with a “rock comet” orbit. This makes the Geminids, together with the Quadrantids, the only major meteor showers not originating from a comet. – Wikipedia

The weather Gods were not very kind when planning for the grand conjunction ( Jupiter and Saturn) this week, but they were very supportive just the past week.

2020 had not been great for travel & photography. But as the year is coming to a closure, am glad our drive to Udupi, gave us the required rejuvenation by way of access to crystal clear nights & witness some of the showers :)

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 2500: 16 mm : f2.8 : 6.0 sec

Kapu Beach
Kapu, Karnataka, India

December 6, 2020

Days of the Glorious Past

Hampi is one among the most historically and culturally significant sites in India. Stroll through its remote landscape and one is bound to be drowned in its beauty. Achyuta Raya Temple and the ruined market street in front of it sit in a semi-secluded valley created by two hills – the Gandhamadana & Matanga hills. What once was an incredible empire is now in a state of ruin, but that only adds to its beauty and grandeur. The remnants are quite stark and make one wonder how celebrated it would have been in days of its glorious past.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 22 mm : f27 : 6 sec

Achyuta Raya Temple
Hampi, Karnataka, India

October 26, 2020

Life is Inevitable

If dreams were made out of stone, it would be Hampi. Every walk and every turn at Hampi has awe and surprises carved in stone.

This particular morning we were strolling on the hills of Hemakunta. Surrounded by the grand architecture of Hampi, the cool morning breeze, the rising sun, golden light glistening the rocks – the moment was perfect. And then stumbled upon this little guy, growing right thru the stone. He was there for a purpose, yet juxtaposed at the same time. It was as if everything came together to make this moment happen, to make this connect happen.

He was silently showing what life is all about.

What you think as dead, is just dormant. Be aware, take care of such little things that is & constitutes life. Life is just inevitable.

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 500 : 27 mm : f/4.5 : 1/30 sec

Hemakuta Hill
Hampi, Karnataka, India

September 11, 2020

When birds swim …

When birds swim, they are even more magical :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 150-600 mm : ISO 2000 : 600 mm : f5.6 : 1/60 sec

By Kabini River
Jakkalli, Karnataka, India

August 21, 2020

Absolutely Still

Sometimes – to take in all that life has to give – you just got to be still. Absolutely still.

Stagnation is dying, in many ways. But Stillness is beautiful. Especially when you are so with awareness of each breath & each fleeting moment. Here is one such fleeting moment of stillness from the the land where even the stones sing – Hampi :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 320 : 12 mm : f11 : 1/20 sec

Hemakuta Hill
Hampi, Karnataka, India

August 4, 2020

Aihole wrapped in a blanket of stars

Just an hour’s drive from Badami is Aihole – a historic site of ancient & medieval era with Buddhist, Hindu and Jain monuments. There are a variety of temples sprinkled all over this place. With so much variety, Aihole is indeed the cradle of temple architecture. The incredible work here dates from the sixth century through the twelfth century.

This week’s shot is from one such complex which hosts a collection of about 30 temples by the banks of river Malaprabha. The quarter moon was just enough to light the temple complex, while still allowing to enjoy the grandeur of the stars. The trip from earlier this Feb was not conducive to enjoy the Milky Way, but it helped to get an enticing composition around the north star with equally captivating temples in the foreground. How do you like it ?!

PS : This shot was made possible with ~200 shots over 45 mins and composited with the “Creative Effects” Photoshop script. You can download the same for free here :)

By the banks of Malaprabha
Aihole, Karnataka, India

July 6, 2020

Virupaksha Temple @ Hampi

The Virupaksha temple stands unrelenting from around the 7th century. It is one of the most prominent center of pilgrimage at Hampi.

The Vijayanagara rulers, in the middle of the 14th century, initiated the blossoming of native art and culture in the region. Though most of the temple buildings are attributed to the Vijayanagara period, there is ample evidence indicating to additions that were made to the temple in the late Chalukyan and Hoysala periods. When they were defeated by Deccan Sultanate in the 16th century, most of the wonderful decorative structures and creations were systematically destroyed. However they were not able to destroy the religious sect of Virupaksha. Even after the annihilation of the city in 1565, worship of Shiva (Virupaksha) had persisted throughout the years. Today, the temple is still fully intact among the surrounding ruins and is the only active temple in all of Hampi.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 500 : 10 mm : f9.0 : 1/80 sec

Hemakuta Hill
Hampi, Karnataka, India

June 29, 2020

Shadows

The shadow is the greatest teacher for how to come to the light. – Ram Dass

Art (be it artography or photography) is as much about capturing the shadows as it is about capturing the light. It is amazing how the depth of what we perceive is solely driven by the darkness of the shadows.

This is the famed Stone Chariot of Hampi as seen from within the near by mandap.

Watercolor on Canvas

Vittala Temple
Hampi, Karnataka, India

March 30, 2020

Keshava temple of Somanathapura

The Chennakesava temple of Somanathapura stands on a raised platform, in the centre of a spacious enclosure having sixty four cells. This three celled (trikutachala) structure consists of three garbha grihas, three antaralas and a navarang. It has a mahadwara standing on the east. The basement of the outer wall is highly ornamented with friezes of elephants, scrolls, epic & puranic scenes. The lathe turned pillars and delicately carved sixteen different types of ceilings are the characteristic feature of the hoysala art. Inscriptions engraved on a huge slab standing in the mahadwara and on the beams of the navaranga ranging in date from 1269 – 1550 AD, give the details of the construction of the temple.

When we visited, the outer enclosure was being refurbished. That particular afternoon the brewing storm added to mood of the shot. Shortly after this, witnessed quiet a downpour, but we were safe inside the garbha grihas :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100: 12 mm : f13 : 1/3 sec

Keshava Temple
Somanathapura, Karnataka, India

March 2, 2020

Signs of Spring @ Badami

Though Badami is more famous for its cave temples, I liked the visit to the Shivalaya temple better. Situated on the hills on the northern shore of Lake Agasthya, it faces the cave temples on the southern shore. The trek up needs a bit of an effort, but the experience so much makes up for it. This particular early morning, the clouds did not play along for the dramatic sunrise we expected, but the twilight was serene.

The fresh spring leaves felt juxtaposed by the gnarled tree & the rugged landscape, but it indeed had a beauty of its own :)

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 2000: 16 mm : f2.8 : 1.5 sec

Upper Shivalaya Temple
Badami, Karnataka, India

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