Posts tagged ‘landscape’

July 4, 2022

Sunset by the roadside

A cup of chai
kindled conversations
with likeminded friends
and a lovely sunset
can make even the mundane, magnificent !

As we were headed to deep interior forests of kemmangundi (for waterfall hopping), we came across a small town. Wanting to get a break from the long drive, stopped by a small bakery for some chai. As we started the journey back, there was a small puddle of water by the roadside and the twilight sunset made the mundane scene magnificent.

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 200 : 16 mm : f/2.8 : 1/4 sec

By the Roadside
Bokikere, Karnataka, India

June 27, 2022

Milky Way by twilight

This week’s capture is from one of the rugged and remote islands of the Andaman, which probably has one of the best night skies and even more amazing sunrises. Looking back, the 4 shot panorama was not enough to capture the grandeur as it unfolded. Anyway what is more magical than watching a milky way or a dramatic sunrise – it is of course watching a Milky Way rise during a dramatic twilight sunrise.

A still more glorious dawn awaits
Not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise
A morning filled with 400 billion suns
The rising of the milky way – Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 4000 : 16 mm : f2.8 : 10 sec (4 shot Pano)

Somewhere in Andaman
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

June 21, 2022

Untouched beauty – Punnayar Falls

There’s no better place than to be around a thundering waterfall and listening to its music. – Roland R Kemler

A trip to Idukki is not complete with out a visit to this beautiful waterfall – situated in a forest by Kanjikuzhy – vannapuram route. The drive itself is quiet scenic. The roads get steep and narrow as you get near the falls. When we went, there was some construction going near the Punnayar Bridge, hence we parked there and hiked the reminder of the way. Be aware that there are two waterfalls – Punnayar A and Punnayar B (wish they had better naming :)). Punnayar B is very close to the road and easy to reach. A short walk, a bit of wading thru the water or rock hoping will get you here. It is more safe and one can take a bath if they like.

Punnayar A on the other hand is away form road and involves a bit of hiking. Be cautious, the path is little deep, steep and slippery – especially in rainy season. If you have an off-roading vehicle especially bike, you can almost reach the waterfall (and reduce the hike distance). It is indeed a strenuous hike, but the view and the experience are far more grandeur and well worth it.

With the strenuous but tranquil trek in the forest, amidst the fragrance of the cashew trees, lovely & secluded waterfalls, paired with a breathtaking viewpoint of the valley down below – it is a spot not to be missed !

Sony A7III : Sony 24-105 mm : ISO 100 : 24 mm : f16 : 4 sec

Punnayar waterfalls
Kanjikuzhy, Kerala, India

June 13, 2022

Priceless conversations

Conversations
with friends
by the beach
under the stars
– are indeed priceless

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 4000 : 16 mm : f2.8 : 20 sec

Digilipur
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

May 4, 2022

Find stillness & energize

In this noisy world, it is tough to find stillness. With so much of information (overload and noise), it is essential to find some peace and quiet  – not just external silence, but also the inner quiet. It helps to be out by nature, in the wilderness, to connect with deep stillness. But many a times it might not be possible and what we don’t realize is that the stress have nothing to do with external influences, but rather how we filter the information and what we allow to come through.

Find stillness in this noisy world. Find stillness and energize.

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 250 : 16 mm : f2.8 : 1/90 sec

Veerabhadra Temple Tank
Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh, India

April 28, 2022

Ethereal

music, like light permeates the space
music, like breeze soothes the soul
music, like fantasy captivates the mind
music, like waves caress the body
music, like thunder shatters the ego
music, like magic opens portals to other dimensions

Nikon D810 : Nikon 14-24 mm : ISO 1000 : 20 mm : f2.8 : 39 sec (blub)

Dhani Nallah Beach
Rangat, The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

April 24, 2022

Just another Andaman Sunset

Life may not come with instructions,
But they do come with trees, sunsets, beach and laughter –
So live life, enjoy your day :)

Sony A7III : Sony 24-105 mm : ISO 1000 : 24 mm : f6.7 : 1/350 sec

Enroute to Wandoor Beach
Port Blair, The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

April 20, 2022

Agaya Gangai / Pei aruvi @ Kolli Malai

Agaya Gangai is an enchanting waterfall located in Kolli Malai (Kolli Hills). River Aiyaru, a jungle stream, cascades down as the Agaya Gangai, near Arapaleeswarar temple. Agaya Gangai – as the name implies it indeed is the Ganges of the sky. When we went in December the water flow was quite heavy, but the breeze and saaral (drizzle) was amazing. It is best to visit at beginning of the monsoon just after a few showers of rain (Jun/Jul) or right after the monsoon (Sept-Dec). Please be advised if the flow is too high, the entry might be restricted. So it all depends on the rain and the water flow.

To reach the Agaya Gangai, one has to get down 1000+ steps (to be precise 1296 steps and a few rocks). Climbing down is much easier and probably takes 20-30 mins. Climbing up is quite strenuous owning to the steep incline and could take anywhere from 45–60 mins depending on one’s agility. There are a few shelters on the way to get a break.

The waterfall is enclosed within the dense forest which increases its charm and grandeur. The water in the falls is considered to contain medicinal properties due to all the herbs spread across the forest, thru which it traverses. Locals believe taking a bath here, cures many ailments. Agaya Ganga is probably one of the most beautiful and photogenic waterfalls in Tamilnadu. At a height of 300 feet, the waterfall is a feast for the eyes. It is also known as Peraruvi (Grand falls) or Pei aruvi (Devil falls) – by the people of Kolli hills because of its scary resemblance and heavy water flow.

Pixel 6 Pro : ISO 44 : 6 mm : f19.0 : 1/600 sec

Agaya Gangai, Kolli Malai
Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, India

April 11, 2022

Venus ascending

Morice Dera beach is a lovely rustic beach located adjacent to the Andaman Trunk Road – just after Rangat. The twin rock at Morice Dera is unique. The walkway in between these rocks leads toward an eye-catching horizon viewpoint. Both the beach and the viewpoint were ideal to sit, fall back and contemplate. It was a great place to just be and do nothing. Being bortle 1 skies, zillion of stars, viewpoints like this, and the stupendous views – Morice Dera topped our list from the Andaman trip, especially for chasing the stars.
Venturing in the dark, stumbling by rocks, splashing in the water, beyond the viewpoint, definitely turned out to be worthwhile. The clouds were quickly closing in, but for a brief moment this scene of Venus ascending was indeed stunning!

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 4000: 16 mm : f2.8 : 20.0 sec

Venus ascending
Morice Dera, The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

March 26, 2022

Fantas(y)tic twilight from Wandoor beach

After landing in Andaman by late afternoon, realized the weather was not much different from Chennai. Very tropical, humid, and hot. Trying to get a feeling of the place, we decided to catch up the sunset. Andaman, by way of it’s location, and single time zone – have both the sunrise and sunset quite early.

Luckily, our partners in crime had already sorted out a location for potential sunset – Wandoor beach. With a bit of working out on the ride, we left around 4:30 PM. Given the time, we were sure to miss the sunset, but still decided to head out. After an uneventful drive through the town, the urban view gave way to some forests, the forests then opened up to some backwaters. After some lovely views by the side of the road, we headed to the beach. Some interesting conversations, some new connections, a leisurely stroll by the beach – and then things started to unfold.

The sun had just sunk by the horizon. The quarter moon, though small, was blanketing the entire landscape. Slowly, the twilight was starting to weave its golden magic. And just when ‘I’ was thinking that the scene could not be any more beautiful, the stars decided to adorn & twinkled – one by one by one.

Awestruck, the ‘I’ just dissolved into the abyss and became part of it. Here is a slice from that magical evening :)

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 200: 16 mm : f2.8 : 15.0 sec

Wandoor Beach
Port Blair, The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

February 16, 2022

Take that scenic route

Sometimes the most scenic routes in life are the detours you didn’t mean to take.

Door County, Wisconsin – is one of the premier spots for enjoying fall colors. Am glad we decided to take a detour and explore the back country, for it gifted us with this lovely palette of colors :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 50 mm : f/16 : 4.0 sec

Backcountry
Door County, Wisconsin, USA

February 10, 2022

Hike more, worry less

while one with nature
i find a tranquil ledge
– above the waterfall of my thoughts

During a hike, deep in the forests of Kemmangundi – amidst the verdant greenery and tall indigenous trees harboring some amazing birds, stumbled across this gurgling stream. As if these weren’t enough, my flying friend helped get a view that is probably not seen by (m)any. Grateful to have witnessed the stream flow onto a graceful waterfalls.

p.s : yeah that is me by the ledge, trying to enjoy the view that was normally not visible otherwise :)

DJI Mavic Pro : ISO 100 : 4.73 mm : f2.2 : 1/25 sec

Somewhere in the forests of Kemmangundi
Chikkamagaluru, Karnataka, India

January 24, 2022

Pattadakal by Moonrise

Pattadakal – literally know as ‘coronation stone’ – is a small rustic town in the Bagalkot district of north Karnataka. This UNESCO world heritage site hosts 7th and 8th century collection of nine Hindu and one Jain temple built by the Chalukya dynasty. As we were exploring, witnessed the Galaganath Temple, adorned by the Malaprabha River, lit by moonlight & blanketed by the twinkle of stars.

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 1000 : 18 mm : f2.8 : 20 sec

By the banks of Malaprabha
Bagalkot, Karnataka, India

January 20, 2022

Sun kissed misty morning

Solitude amidst wild,
calming waterfalls,
fall colors,
misty morning – all kissed by the rising sun !

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 100 : 16 mm : f19 : 1/3 sec

Somewhere on earth

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 31, 2021

Magical Meghalaya

While nature leaves us spellbound each time, some places are so magical that even after a single visit it never leaves you. Meghalaya is one such place. It is one of the 7 sister states of North East India and is a mountainous region with many rivers, which keep flowing due to the constant rainfall. It is indeed the wettest place on earth. But if planned accordingly, one could witness terrain that is generally submerged by raging rivers.

This particular spot is from a hike to the mouth of Nohkalikai falls, from up the hill. This rugged terrain is carved day in and out by the forces of nature. Over the years the constant flow of water through the gaps on the river bed has created a number of pools and waterfalls which eventually plunge down the gorge to make the Nohkalikai falls. Walking by the same felt so alien and pristine at the same time.

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

Enroute to mount of Nohkalikai Falls
East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya, 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 23, 2021

Life of Lambda

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

Lambda
Sakleshpur, 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

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