Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Navaratri Day 5 : Dancing Girls

I was going through my photos and wondering what to post today for Navaratri. And I found this... from the outer wall of the Vitthala Temple at Hampi...


When we think of dancing with sticks, we think of Garba during Navaratri in Gujarat. But such forms of dancing aren't confined to Gujarat alone. Down south, the same is called 'Kolattam', which literally translates to 'dancing with sticks'!! And this is what is depicted here. Doesn't it look beautiful??? 

Interestingly, if you look closer, you will notice that, on the right, the last figure isn't a girl. It is a boy, holding what looks like a trumpet in one hand and a drum in the other! It is such small details which make these temples so special! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Navaratri Day 4: Faces in the Crowd - The Tightrope walker



Tender feet..
Wearing pretty anklets...
They should be busy running around, playing...
Yet, 
They walk a tightrope..
Literally as well as figuratively..
Balancing themselves on the rope of jute, 
as well as that of life..

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Navaratri Day 3: A Jain Goddess in Ellora

We tend to associate female deities with Hinduism. It was therefore, interesting to see different representations of female goddesses in the Jain caves of Ellora. Ambika is the Goddess of Prosperity. She is the Yakshi or the protector - goddess of the 22nd Teerthankara, Neminath. Here are two of her figures, seen in the caves of Ellora...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Navaratri Day 2: Two Interesting Temples

On the second day of Navaratri, here is the story of two temples dedicated to the Goddess. Both are in Jaisalmer, and though I have visited Jaisalmer twice, I haven’t yet visited these temples. I first heard of them from my uncle, who, on an official visit to the city, took time out to visit the border, and, on the way, these temples. I was so fascinated by his stories, that I asked him to pen them down for me. So, here they are, as a guest post from Mr. K.S.Raghuraman, who, apart from being my maternal uncle, also worked at the Airport Authority of India , and managed to travel across the country and beyond, for work and pleasure! :) 


Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Date with the Goddess - Navaratri begins!

Navaratri begins today - nine days and nights dedicated to the Goddess. I cannot celebrate the festival at home this year, (once again) for various personal reasons, but here, on the blog, the celebration is on, and I shall try and bring you interesting aspects of the festival as well as temples and shrines to the Goddess...in short, whatever I come across! 

I begin with a small shrine to the goddess at the Khaba Fort that I visited during my tour to Jaisalmer with Suryagarh


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Birds from my Window - Purple Rumped Sunbird

Their busy twittering is the one that I hear every morning, as I relax with my morning cup of coffee. Capturing them on camera hasn't been so easy though, which is why, when I saw one of them grooming himself on a tree right oopposite my window, I set aside my coffee and rushed for my camera! This is what I managed to photograph.... The Purple Rumped Sunbird....


Thursday, September 18, 2014

24 Hours in Fort Kochi

I visited Fort Kochi in May this year, and since I returned, you have been reading about it on the blog. After a long, ten part series, spread over three months, it is time I wound up my narrative, bringing my posts together for easy reference. Considering that I spent just a day there, the length of this series has been remarkable, so, what better way to do that, than summarize my 24 hours in Fort Kochi!




Monday, September 15, 2014

Fort Kochi - Part 10 : Maritime Museum

“Maritime Museum” announced a board. “It is closed today” said our auto driver, and we reluctantly turned the other way. The next morning, however, before heading out of Fort Kochi, we decided it was time to try the museum once again. “There is nothing much to see” lamented our driver of the day, but we insisted, and, in the pouring rain, arrived at INS Dronacharya, which is home to the Southern Naval Command (SNC) Maritime Museum. 


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Fort Kochi - Part 9 : 3 Cafes, three experiences

Wall to wall shelves filled with books, paintings by local artists, interesting sculptures to stare at while we ate; juices, pancakes and sandwiches, made just as we wanted them. What more could we ask for? That’s what mealtimes were like for us, at Fort Kochi.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Skywatch Friday - Clouds, from a plane

Clouds have always fascinated me... from searching for shapes in their formations to eagerly looking forward to cloudy skies during flights. Which is why I am sharing these images today...



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fort Kochi - Part 8: A Boat Ride

Wandering the roads of Mattanchery after visiting the Palace and the Jew Town, the Jetty beckoned, and we headed off to take a boat tour. After all, the sea and the port are the reasons for Fort Kochi’s existence, and its importance. And so, after all those long, detailed, historical posts, here is a photo blog for you…

The sea beckons, Fort Kochi to the left, Willingdon Island to the right... the contrast is clearly seen!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fort Kochi - Part 7 : Jew Town and Synagogue

Our introduction to Fort Kochi and her glorious history began with our visit to the St. FrancisChurch, the oldest European built church in India. Then, the Mattanchery Palace gave us an insight into the lives of the Hindu rulers, who were the original inhabitants of this beautiful town. A few minutes’ walk now brought us to another, and even more fascinating aspect of Fort Kochi – the Jew Town.

Special Cancellation at the Jew Town Post Office, Mattanchery Jetty

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A truly eco-friendly experience at Avalanche, Ooty

This is the story of a man who impressed us for the dedication he showed to his work. I wrote this article for The Alternative, an online magazine which strives to make sustainability a way of life. I am re-posting it here for those of you who haven't already seen it on Facebook or Twitter. Please click the link below to read the original article...


The bus was full, and we looked forward to our jaunt into the Nilgiris. The driver was ready too, but it looked like we were waiting for someone else. Finally, the guide arrived, armed with a scythe in one hand and a jute sack in the other. My 10 year old son voiced aloud, the thought that was in most people’s minds –“What does he need the scythe for?”  



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My Suryagarh Experience

The early morning sun streamed in through the window, and I awoke to the muted strain of music. Eager to trace its source, I hurried downstairs, and was welcomed by the sight of a pair of peacocks ambling on the lawn, and a flock of doves waddling in the corridor! My morning at Suryagarh couldn’t have begun on a better note! Spotting the musician sitting in one of the window niches, I sat down for a hot cup of tea, wishing that every morning would be as picturesque!



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