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Friday 28 August 2020

Lord Ganesha In His Various Avatars Across The World

As we visit temples in South Asia or South East Asia, one thing that stands out are the various forms of Lord Ganesh . Most of them are rock cut and either in standing or sitting posture. Since he is considered as the remover of obstacles and a harbinger of wisdom and success in life, one can find his image in every known form in temples across the world. You can even find him atop volcanoes, in the middle of dense forest, near seaside, on hill tops and any place that one can think of.

He is one god who has reached the foreign shores and one can see Ganesh’s various forms in which he is worshiped. Rock cut carvings of Ganesha can be seen in many temples which are built at the base of the volcanoes.  In Bali, his images in stone and wood are so common that children sell the idols to tourists on the highway road to Denpasar.

The mahagony ganesha
Ganesha with a Dragon look

Monday 17 August 2020

The Walls of Hampi

- Where More Than History Flourishes 

Thank you for joining me from part I

Painted Spurfowls
Painted Spurfowls

My first view of the Painted Spurfowl was after we had huffed and puffed all the way to the top of the Mathanga hill to see the sunrise, which conveniently got obscured by the clouds. But just before we began our descent we saw the Painted Spurfowl pair effortlessly sauntering  around the top, oblivious to the inhuman efforts needed by a human carrying a giant camera bag on the back. The male is true to the name with the most spectacular plumage while the female tends to merge into the background more effortlessly.  Almost always seen together, they are like an epitome of compatibility. What is their secret?

The Walls of Hampi

- Nurturing Nature Amidst The Ruins

For over eight years Hampi has enticed and woven its web of magic, mysteries and enchantment spellbindingly around me. The addiction has me craving for more and more, as each year I find myself yet again in this place, to be intoxicated with its never ending surprises. 

As much as the ruins have me under their inescapable spell,  equally enthralling is the variety of life that hides, breeds and thrives on these walls. The walls that protected empires centuries ago continue to diligently carry on their duties of protecting and safe-guarding various life forms that now call these walls a home.

Generations of  men, beasts, flora and fauna have come and gone, yet the timeless wall remains - a silent spectator  to the stories from across time. 

As a tribute, here are just a few fleeting glances at the walls that are very much alive even today with the very different kinds of lives within them. 

Hoopoe Pair

Wednesday 12 August 2020

Prayagraj Khusro Bagh

– From A Tumultuous Past To A Peaceful Present

Walking and treading on old pathways in historical old cities, one can feel the vibes of that era that may have been joyful or tragic. One such garden in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India gives you this feeling of having lost many things in life. High walled gardens with imposing entries are very rare but this one makes you take a peek around the 40 acres of peaceful oasis that hides the tumultuous past of one family.
The entrance

Friday 7 August 2020

Smooth Coated Otters - Journey To Their Abode

The morning was already well spent watching flamingos from the most scientifically and delicately balanced boat. Our weights were equally distributed and even a single untoward movement would have sent the entire boatload for a nice dip in the Tungabhadra backwaters. As the only one of the entire lot, whose swimming skills had not progressed much beyond the doggy style paddling, I think I was the bravest to undertake this adventure. But that is a story for another day.

Flamingos in Tungabhadra Backwaters

Smooth Coated Otters - The Adventure And The Sighting

Thanks for joining me here from Part I.

We were barely a few meters away from the shore when a crocodile gently broke the shimmering water and announced its presence. Its eyes and snout glimmered through the liquid gold texture surrounding it.  Bracing myself, I just managed to get a shot when I felt my feet get wet.

A Crocodile in the waters of Tungabhadta

Sunday 2 August 2020

Agrasen Ki Baoli – An Age Old Step Down The Wells Of Delhi

Now how did people fulfill their water needs in the dry and arid regions?  In Indian sub-continent at least, one can see a plethora of ancient reservoirs of water since the time of Dholavira or Mohenjadaro. Be its capital Delhi or the neighboring dry regions, one can see step wells (or Baolis) across the northwestern parts of India. Agrasen or Ugrasen’s Baoli is one of the most beautiful structures and today, it is a popular destination for youngsters.