May 17, 2012
Madurai, apart from being my home town, is really famous for many things from soft idles to jasmine flowers to being the birth place of ancient Tamil. Madurai is also synonymous with Meenakshi Amman Temple. Covering an area of 17 acres , the enter city was built around the temple. As you get near the temple the city streets meander and before you realize become lanes within the temple.
Known for its amazing architecture , this temple is one of the most ancient and famous ones in south India. As a kid I have always taken for granted, my visits to this place. When I went to my hometown in the last year, I made it visit this place. I did not have as much as time as I had intended, but still enjoyed it. I really wanted to capture the grandeur of the Gopura, its ornate work, the intricate sculptures from the pillars, the lovely etc colorful paintings on the ceilings etc. I think I succeeded, at least partially. This week shot is one of the 14 Gopuras that adorn the beautiful temple.
||Meenakshi Amman Temple
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
January 26, 2012
I generally do not tend to post photos from the same place in continuity. But the more I look at the shots from Tanjore big temple, the more I am amazed. Hence continuing from last week, I present – The Shrine of Sri Subramanya – located just behind the main temple within the same compound. This definitely needs to be viewed in large, to enjoy the intricate sculptures and pillars. If this tower standing at 55 feet can carry so much grandeur, imagine how inspiring the main vimana can be at 216 feet !!! Surprisingly, this shrine is not referred to in the early inscriptions, and probably not contemporaneous to the main temple. It is popularly believed to be of the Nayak period, giving it a date not earlier than 600 A.D. The flash lights that you see around the corner is directed towards the main tower. Need to plan another trip once the maintenance work on the main vimana is over, hopefully !
This was 30 second multiple exposure, manually blended to highlight the texture on the sculptures and walls. As with most protected monuments, tripods were not allowed. I generally try to use my camera bag, wallet etc. to improvise, but that day, was lucky to have had Gorilla pod. I set it up in a remote corner and happily let it shoot multiple long exposures, as I was chatting with the security. It definitely disguised as – just a camera stand, rather then a tripod – at least in this place, where Gorilla pod is not yet prevalent :)
Have u sneaked behind security to get your best shorts ;-) would love to hear ur experience , do share in below comments !!!
Shrine of Subramanya
Tanjore, TamilNadu, India
January 19, 2012
The Big Temple, as rightly said, was constructed by Raja Raja Chola nearly 1000 years back – to be precise in 1010 AD. This is also the world’s first complete granite temple and an brilliant example of the grandeur and the major heights achieved by Cholas in Tamil architecture. Also know by the names of Brihadeeswarar temple or Rajarajeswaram – this Shiva temple – still stands as the largest temple in India, with the main vimana towering to 216 feet.
This week shot is SOOC (Straight out of camera) of the main vimana / tower at the Brihadeeswarar temple. Even with all the wooden frame around the vimana for some maintenance work (yeah! such a bad timing for the visit), could feel the awe and grandeur of the architecture. The temple had been sculpted to detail in every nook and corner. It is so spacious with the open dance floor, huge lawn and multiple sanctum. This shot gives a much closer view of one of the hundreds of pillars out there. Makes one wonder on the amount of passion, dedication and work that would gone behind these marvels. If you are planning for a trip to south India, this is a must have on the iternary !!!
Tanjore, Tamil Nadu, India
July 10, 2011
Kodaikanal is one of the most popular and charming hill station of south India. This was shot enroute from Kodai to Bangalore. As we were leaving, just before the down hill drive started, pulled by a place to shop for the famed home made chocolates. Just behind the shop(s), was graced with the beautiful hilly terrain with this lone home. Definitely makes one wonder how it would feel to stay right amidst nature !!!
p.s : If you are on Google+ you can connect with me here. If you would like an invite, just drop me a note or leave a comment with the request. After a week’s usage, this definitely seems to be addressing some major concerns of Facebook !
April 30, 2011
This weeks let us visit the famous Big temple at Tanjore, Tamilnadu. It is an carving with amazing details on solid stone. The place is filled with details in nook and corner. It probably would justify to call this a teaser- for things to come on Tanjore temple – on subsequent posts. To get a bigger picture (i mean not in a literal sense) of the grandeur, multiply the awesomeness of the below shot with 4 for one face on each side, then by another 3 or 4 for the number of levels in each pillar and then finally 100+ for the # of pillars. Behold we are just talking about the pillars. There are still – the walls, the smaller temples around and multitude of temple towers along with the big one that the place is actually know for. You should probably visit the place to experience it !
|| Flickr Page
Big Temple, Tanjore
April 23, 2011
This week’s shot is from Marina Beach – the second largest beach in the world. The place gets brimmed with people from all walks of life, during a typical evening. The early mornings though are little different. If you get to the one, near the Besant nagar residential area, it is real serene – except for the few joggers and fishermen setting up for the days catch. This is from one such morning, when I managed to drag myself, out of the bed early to get to the place, to be treated with an awesome sun rise. The early mornings are probably the best time to enjoy the Chennai beaches !
On the post processing front, yeah, I know is kind of little extreme on the HDR. But I really dig the way it turned out, nothing else would have helped me capture the golden hour better. More over it goes well with the new bold and dynamic theme here at the blog [if ur reading this via feed reader or mail, do drop by the site to check out the updates]. What do u think… Feel free to leave feedback in comments !!!
April 2, 2011
Kodai Lake is located in the Kodaikanal city (Dindigul district) in Tamil Nadu, India. Sir Hentry, then collector of Madurai was instrumental in the initial set up of the lake in 1863. The lake is probably one of the most popular stops at this summer destination.
Apart from the regular boating – the lake offers much more. A late evening walk with a loved one, a bicycle ride with ur kid [oh yeah u can rent all kinds of cycles], shopping for or with ur wify along the entire periphery or just gazing from one of the view points – the possibilities are limitless. Outflow of the lake create the much famed silver cascade falls [that would be a shot for a diff week ;-)]
The low f stop (f/22) actuated the star effect on the lights, which I really dig. This is a single exposure, with minimal adjustment on levels. Was really surprised how sharp the shot came out even with a minute long exposure. Looking at the shot really brings back the stillness of the evening – both inside and out.
November 14, 2010
Vedanthangal sanctuary (@ Kanchipuram district, 90 kms of Chennai) , serves as a nesting home for many species of birds. The vegetation, the lake, the swampy land and the peaceful ambiance attracts and sustains the birds each year. The birds nest here mainly from the months of November to February. Depending on the time of visit one could see groups of painted storks. The below shot is with the aid of my 18-270mm Tamron. After about 15 mins of chasing ;-) , managed to get this shot. Wish I had a 400mm, may be next time I make a visit, I should atleast rent one of those bazookas !!!
September 19, 2010
Kanchipuram (???????????) is rightly called the “City of 1000 temples”. Though we might not find 1000s of temples currently, there are atleast few hundreds. And a handful of them still active with rituals and pujas being performed on a daily basis. The below is from Kailashnath Temple. Accounting to Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at home (yeah yeah my laziness too added to the delay :)) ended up at this place just after noon- after an hour and half drive from Chennai. Though the sun was harsh, the shot came out really good as I was able to sneak and set the tripod in the extreme corner for an HDR shot.