Posts tagged ‘mountainscape’

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 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

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

February 24, 2020

Mesmerizing Munnar

Munnar is a mesmerizing hill station located in the Idukki district of Kerala.

Munnar derives its name from the 3 rivers that confluence here. Rolling mountains, moving mists, flying clouds, rich green slopes & trees swaying to the cool mountain breeze – it all transports one to a mesmerizing magical world !

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 160: 18 mm : f3.5 : 1/60 sec

Kannan Devan Hills 
Munnar, Kerala, India

August 18, 2019

Magic of Kodai

If Ooty is the “Queen of the hills”, Kodaikanal goes with “Princess of the hills”. Folks also refer to kodaikanal as “Switzerland of the East”, “Set of Southern Emeralds”, “Chilled paradise among the Hills”, “Summer Heaven”.

In Tamil – Kodaikanal has several meanings depending on how you break it up – “A place to see in Summer (kodai kanal)”, “The End of the forest (kO Di kanal)”, “The forest of the Creepers (kodi kanal)”, ” The Gift of the Forest (kOdai kanal)” – (oh the beauty of Tamil)

But what is there in the name … Irrespective of how you call, it is beautiful. The view points, lake and everything else is well developed but the beauty is still kept, atleast in pockets. The floating mist as it sails thru the valley, adds magic to the already beautiful place :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 125 : 35 mm : f5.6 : 1/60 sec

Magical Mist
Kodaikanal, Tamilnadu, India

June 2, 2019

Soul of Ooty

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.

As the summer temperatures were soaring up pretty much everywhere, we decided to head to Ooty – Queen of the Hills – for a short break. Being a impromptu travel, there was not much time for planning or scouting locations.

Being our first trip to Ooty, we made the mistake of booking the last of the rooms by Ooty downtown. Thought it would be good to enjoy a walk by the lake or get to the shops. But, oh boy the traffic was similar to that of Bangalore SilkBoard, if not worse :)

The serene drive to Emerald & Avalanche Lake, next day, balanced it all out. Some spots were indeed blocked or restricted, since it is owned by Electric Board and used for electricity generation. These spots need prior planning and securing permits beforehand. Still the drive is very picturesque and worth even if you were not able to secure the permits.

This weeks shot is a view is from a quick curve by the road side, as we were driving back from Emerald lake to Ooty.

I love this shot – it distills the essence of all that Ooty has to offer – Queen of hills, land of lakes, rolling coffee plantations, distant fog and a bit of human settlement. The sunset colors were a pleasant addition and the afternoon thunderstorms accentuated it. Ooty being cloudy / foggy most of the time, we did not expect this scene. But we gladly enjoyed as it unfolded in all its glory !

Surprises like these and more are what make the impromptu travel so additive :)

Soul of Ooty
Ooty, TamilNadu, India

January 10, 2014

Come, Join for a drink …

Collect moments, not things !
Slow down, enjoy the view , have a drink :)

There are several view points and highway pull outs from where views of Mt. Hood can be enjoyed. But Panorama view point is probably on the top of the list. It is not very well known, probably because the directions to the same are not well marked.  But being so close to Hood River and the Hwy 84, you could just drive up to enjoy the view right from the car. Or just get down and plan to have a drink at the picnic tables while enjoying the view !

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 250 : 35 mm : f4.0 : 1/60 sec 

Buy Print   Panorama Point County Park
Hood River, Oregon, USA
August 9, 2012

Winter Wonderland

Mt. Rainer receives so much snowfall, that u can enjoy spectacular winter scenery like below, even in July. This was shot when I got a chance to drive up last month. My plans of getting a reflection shot of Mt Rainer during sunrise did not go well, with so much snow at Tipsoo Lake. But as I drove up just a mile ahead, was treated with this wonderful scene. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Just pulled over, parked and spent around an hour to just enjoy the scenery.

The snow probably had melted by now. Couldn’t wait to get back again this month to enjoy some wildflowers and summer hikes. Have you been to Mt Rainer National Park, what is your favorite spot ?!!!

Buy Print   Tipsoo Lake 
Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington, USA
January 12, 2012

Mt Hood on a Really Really Cold Day

There are some amazing view(s) of Mt Hood when you drive on I84 or US 26. But there are very few places, where you can park and  enjoy the view. This is from, one such pull out, right on US 26. Apart from the ample parking, you can get just across the fence, for a nice panoramic view. It is around the final curve before reaching Mt hood, when driving from Portland thru US 26. To be exact, here is the spot on Google maps .

This particular day, it was probably so cold that even the majestic Mt hood was trying to tuck herself in her own blanket of clouds. It was just magical to watch.

Though I do love the first snow, some how the days seems to be too cold and overcast this year. Winter is just here and I have already started dreaming of the fall and awaiting for the spring, ha ha ha … Anyways how is the weather there & how is winter treating you !!!

Mt Hood National Forest
Mt Hood, OR, USA
July 25, 2011

Majestic Mt Hood

It is always a pleasure to shoot the Mt Hood, one of the crowning beauties of Portland. This week shot is direct from the camera with no post processing, captured during one of fun drives to the base of Mt Hood. This was shot on a sunny weekend afternoon. The play of light and exposure at the right areas created the interesting silhouette effect. Really liked the way this turned out, as opposed to a boring blown out snow pile, that I usually used to get !

Also for folks following me, this shot is a remembrance from my previous stay here at Portland. The last time (three years back), the camera that accompanied me was the trusted canon is s2, with which this was shot. Am back to Portland, OR on assignment. Looking forward to shoot and share the amazing sceneries of the northwest with my next DSLR going forward :)

Adieu Bangalore, for now !!! Salut Portland, Nice to be back  !!!

Buy Print  Flickr Page

Mt Hood
Portland, Oregon, USA

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