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
February 22, 2012
Hampi, apart from the historical ruins is an awesome place for trekking and rock climbing too. Matunga hill @ Hampi is one of the best spots for watching sunrise. the hike is a bit on difficult side, especially if you are not aware of the route. It is better to have a guide if you planning to hike up in the dark for sunrise. But the views are well worth it, they are pretty amazing. This week shot is of the temple ruins, right on top of the hills. The sun was playing hide and seek as the mist was starting to clear. This was taken just moments after the sun rise shot that I had shared in the past. wow the scene changed so dramatically with light , angle and direction !
Update : Sorry, the deal is dead. Not sure why, It was supposed to be active thru Mar 2, 2012.
On a different note, if you are into photography and were looking to buy Photoshop, now is the best time. There is a huge sale going on @ Adobe site. The current version of Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended can be got for $39, yeah you read that right – $39. The Student version generally sells for $199 (and the original without discount sells @ $699) and there is a 80% additional off, if you use the code SAVE80EDU. You could even get this for your kid who is in kindergarten – all you need is a student ID card or an appropriate school document. If you don’t have a student in the family, now is the time to join that course that you were eying for a long time ! The lower price is probably because of the fact that next version of Photoshop would be out in couple of months, but @ $39 I am not complaining :) The deal is supposed to be on till March 2, 2012, Go grab it while it lasts !!!
Hampi, Karnataka, 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
June 3, 2011
Mysore palace is now one of the most famous tourist spot attracting more than 2.7 million visitors in the recent years. This Indo-sarsenic style Palace reflects Muslim architecture on the outside, while the interior is a fine example of Hindu architecture. The palace is in its full grandeur in the night, as it is lit with thousands of bulbs and it becomes the most attractive monument in the city. Even without the thousands of light bulbs, it is a sight to watch when it is back lit with flash lights. The below was shot at one such occasion. I really like the way the Big cats came out as silhouette on the back lit palace.
The part I did not like about the place is – though tourists are allowed to visit, they are not allowed to photograph inside the palace, what crap :( Wish they make it photographer friendly, so that the grandeur can be shared with you, who are not able to make it to the palace in person.
On the processing, the HDR accentuated the intricate work on the palace walls (worth checking out on the larger size), highlight part of inner chambers , garden and the walkway.
May 28, 2011
Bylakuppe, located in District Coorg (Madikere) in Karnataka is the second largest Tibetans settlement outside Tibet. Close to 20K monks stay here living in the Tibetan tradition. They co exist peacefully with the neighborhood, continuing with their chanting and training, not bothered about the tourists and onlookers.
The focus of the settlement is The Golden Temple and the focus of the temple, of course, is the 60 foot Gautama Buddha, accompanied by Guru Rinpoche and Buddha Amitayus on the sides. The huge hall is so cool and smooth, with reflective flooring. The walls adorned by amazing paintings are sound absorbent. The surrounding is so calm that you would just feel like sitting in silence. No wonder, even the people who don’t have the habit of meditation, will just feel like being in silence and meditate. The amazing architecture goes hand in hand with the silence and the Tibetan culture.
The temple is probably juxtaposed here amidst the natural beauty of Coorg. One can spend hours out here, at a minimum plan for at least an hour. Right in-between the misty morning walks at the coffee fields and an amazing sunset at raja’s seat, you could fit the visit to the this temple. Photographing the place (indoor) is as good, even at noon. But don’t be surprised if you forget your camera, once your are inside and get lost in the silence, which is even better :)
On the processing, the HDR helped capture the golden sculpture along with the intricate work and paintings. Let the movement on the people as such, as it kind of added to the shot.
April 16, 2011
Lepakshi – small town, in Ananthpur district of Andhra Pradesh state – is about 140 kms from Bangalore. It is enroute from Bangalore to Hyderabad (BIAL road). At the RAKSHA academy in Andra Pradesh , take the left for lepakshi. The temple would be 15 kms from this turning. This stretch is real bad, but is probably keeping the crowd away and the sanctity of the heritage temple in place :). The place is a good day trip from Bangalore, but watch out, it would be real hot during summers.
Lepakshi is famous for its temple, which is dedicated to Veerabhadra, the fiery incarnation of Lord Shiva and the big Nandhi. The nandhi sits outside the temple, facing the Shiva. But probably as time passed, the Lepakshi village has developed right in between. When you drive, the nandhi is on the right side and a little further down the left is the entrance to the temple. The Nandhi is quiet grand at 15 x 27 feet and made of a single monolithic granite. Makes one wonder how grand this place would have been, during its glory.
April 9, 2011
This square stepped shringi thirtha pond is located in one of the small, not so very famous temples, near Nandhi hills, Bangalore – Bhoganandishwara Temple. It was a hot afternoon, still sitting in the shade under the mandap, along this pond was so pleasant and breezy (though the steps were scorching hot). The 10mm came in handy to capture the complete pond in this perspective. This place also boasts shrines with fine sikharas, built out of stone. Check this out for one of the most ornate temple walls that can be found in the south Indian temples. Do make it a point to visit this place if you already have (or not) Nandhi Hills in the itinerary.
|| Flickr Page
Bhoganandishwara Temple, Near Nandhi Hills
Bangalore, Karnataka, India