Posts tagged ‘history’

May 2, 2021

Throne of Thirumalai Nayakar

Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal built (in 1636) by Thirumalai Nayakar at Madurai, intended this palace to be one of the grandest in South India. The design and architecture is a blend of Dravidian and Rajasthani styles. The interior is richly decorated whilst the exterior is treated in a more austere style. This palace is situated 2 km south east of the Meenakshi Amman Temple. The original Palace Complex was four times bigger than the present structure.

The steps leading up to the central hall were formerly flanked by two equestrian statues of excellent workmanship. As you can witness, part of this is still standing the test of time and various historical events & wars. The throne in the center was incidentally lit by the ambient light from the stained glass windows by the dome. The palace constructed using foliated brickwork was finished in exquisite stucco called chunnam (shell lime) mixed with egg white to obtain a smooth and glossy texture. This probably inspired the Natukottai Chettiars, 200 years later in their own construction.

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 800 : 16 mm : f8.0 : 1/1000 sec

Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, 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

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

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

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

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

February 17, 2020

King of Pushkarnis

Pushkarni or kalyani – by themselves are a work of art. But this one by Hoysala Kings (in 1163 A.D) – is probably a milestone in the art of constructing Pushkarinis. The details in the work is amazing. This beautiful sacred pool of water is situated in a small village called Hulikere (Huli means tiger and kere refers to a pond), 5 Km from Halebeedu. Surrounded by lush greenery, the water can be reached via the descending stone steps. Locals say that the sanctums and sanctuaries of this pushkarini represent the 12 Zodiac & 27 stellar constellations.

This particular day, there was not much water in the pushkarni, but the golden morning sunlight flooded the place and made it even more magical.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 400 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 1/50 sec

Hulikere Kalyani
Hulikere, Hassan, India

February 3, 2020

Chettinad Natukottai

The Chettinad region around Sivaganga district is well known for its 19th-century mansions, whose wide courtyards and spacious rooms are embellished with marble and teak – imported from around the world like Italy and Burma. Along with the exotic imports, local legend has it that even things like egg whites were used to get the smooth texture on the walls.

Chettiars were a mercantile community involved with commerce, banking and money lending from as early as Chola and Pandiya kingdom. Much of their profits went into building these grand residences, which used to be called natukottai or regional fort.

Some of the Chettinad homes are so big that their entrance and exits are on parallel streets. The distant door on this shot opens up to the cooking area and the inner courtyards. Can you imagine – what you see below is just one of the several courtyards that spawn up the Natukottai.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f4.5 : 1.5 sec

The Bangala
Karaikudi, TamilNadu, India

May 16, 2019

Perspective

Sometime all we need is a new perspective.

Perspective – it changes everything.

One of the amazing things in life – just when we think we have everything figured out & then you stumble upon something new or suddenly see the same things in a different perspective & everything shifts again :)

Today’s shot is that of a top perspective of Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam temple – something that most would never have witnessed, lest be captured in the golden twilight.

Perspective – it changes everything :)

Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam
Madurai, TamilNadu, India

February 18, 2019

Divine Island

Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam (வண்டியூர் மாரியம்மன் தெப்பக்குளம்) is a temple tank located near to Vandiyur Mariamman Temple and situated at a distance of about 4 km from the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai. Teppakulam, literally translates to temple pond and is mainly used for devotional festivals. The tank is connected to Vaigai River through an ingenious system of underground channels. This was constructed by the King Thirumalai Nayak. One of the largest Ganesha, the Mukkuruni Vinayagar in Meenakshi Amman Temple is said to be found when this tank is dug in 1645.

As a kid, I had seen this pond often used as cricket playing field. But when filled with water, the artificial tank makes the temple within – an island and is a sight to behold. An walk around this would take 30 minutes and would be awesome during early morning or evening times. The place is filled up with lot of road side shops to eat and walk with. If the tank is filled with water and the climate is breezy, you definitely would enjoy this spot !

DJI Mavic Pro : ISO 172 : 4.73 mm : f2.2 : 1/50 sec

    Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam
Madurai, TamilNadu, India
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