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Thursday 30 April 2020

The Beautiful Passion Flower And Mythology

The Strange Ways Of The Exotic Krishna Kamal Flowers

The blooming of this passion flower has been captured on
camera by a retired Dy general manager of a bank B N Nagendra.

Along the hedgerows, on the edges of woods, in the thickets, tumbling over trellises, jumping over fences and snaking the open grounds – a strange and exotic flower when it blooms – it brings everlasting joy in one’s heart. It is called by so many names – wheel of fortune or passion flower or Krishna Kamal and even May Pop.

Tuesday 28 April 2020

Amrutheswara Temple - Stories From Ramayana

The stories from Ramayana starting before the birth of Rama to the war against Ravana sprung out in great detail from the entire southern wall of the temple. Of course a temple built over a span of 42 years cannot be studied in a couple of hours. But time was in short supply and we had more places to cover. Still here is a glimpse of some of the events through the epic, hopefully in a chronological manner.

I must admit that it took opening multiple windows on google and talking to various very surprised people about my seemingly unconnected questions, to get my facts in order before having the courage to present it here. In case I failed in the correct interpretation of some panels, then do send in the right story through the contact us form. I will correct it and due credits will be given. Now with the disclaimer done, I guess I can take you through what we saw in this incredibly beautiful temple.

Vasishta advising Dasharatha to perform 'Putrakameshti' yagna
Devas beseeching Lord Vishnu to take avataar on earth for fight against Ravana
and panel on right shows Vasishta advising Dasharatha
to perform 'Putrakameshti' yagna

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Amrutheswara Temple

- Carvings Marinated In Inspiration And Passion

They say you can visit a place of religious significance only if the place calls you.  When we left home that morning, visiting the Amrutheswara temple was nowhere in our list. But I guess the calling was so strong that we pulled over by the side of the road and after a 15 min discussion with our driver, we dropped all our other plans and headed towards the Amrutheswara temple in the Chikmagaluru district.

It was hardly 8 am on that Tuesday morning in February  and summer was already heralding its own arrival in no uncertain terms. Wearing black was not a good idea and I was already regretting the color of my attire. We were unsuccessfully trying to ignore the soaring temperature the day ahead had planned for us.

Amrutheswara temple
Amrutheswara temple

Monday 20 April 2020

International Space Station

A Visual Treat During the Lockdown, Thanks To The Clear Skies...

By Meera

There are so many things one can do to spend their time productively and peacefully. Just get to your terrace as I did in the wee hours to observe a celestial event in the clear and clean skies. It was a beautiful experience to wake up on a Sunday and run up to the terrace at 5.15 when the birds were chirping and cool winds were wafting on an April summer.

ISS as seen through the naked eye

Wednesday 15 April 2020

The Sambar Story - Taste Evolving From History

Image Credits : Harini Karthikayan

The Tangy Spicy Sambar Hails From The Sangam Period Of Tamilakam

Those childhood memories! The hot aroma of spicy Sambar wafting from the kitchen to the courtyard still tingles in my memory as if it was yesterday. The memory of my summer holidays in Nanjangud [on the banks of River Kapila in Mysore] rushes in with great nostalgia when my great grandmother used to prepare Hulli [another version of Sambar] with all dedication and interest despite her age and bent back.

The delicious Sambar

Thursday 9 April 2020

Noni - Heralding Good Health - Part II

A view of the greenhouse

The tour started at the greenhouse, which was lush and the uniform green had a soothing effect on the eyes. As we wandered through the greenhouse and then to the farms, Inchara introduced me to a lot of new plants, not just by name, but also by taste.  She kept feeding me leaves from various plants and I had to taste them and guess what it tasted like. She was also keenly watching my expressions, which I am sure was positively entertaining. I ate the leaves that tasted like Anise ( 'Saunf' ) and one that smelled like 'Vicks'. After a few more 'leaf tasting', we reached the young Noni trees, all having fruits in various sizes.

Noni - Heralding Good Health - Part I

Once upon a time, long long ago, according to the Hawaiian mythology, the demigod Maui attracted the wrath of the goddess of death and was killed.  He was brought back to life after being covered with Noni leaves.

The Goddess of volcano, Pele, is said to have diverted the flow of lava to spare Noni trees.

A young Noni tree
A young Noni tree

Noni is a fruit which is also known as the Indian Mulberry. It has been around for centuries and was known as Ayushka, which means 'lifespan enhancer', in ancient India. But various foreign invasions had removed our connection with Noni. It has however found its way back again to our lands.

Sunday 5 April 2020

The Irumbai Legend Comes True In Auroville Forests

Walking in the scorching heat of the Eastern Coast of  India on the outskirts of  Puducherry - I suddenly entered a ‘green oasis’ in the middle of old and ancient villages that was dusty and silent.

It was 11:30 in the morning and the East Coast Road was literally crawling with motor bikes and people honking unnecessarily when suddenly Loganathan our auto rickshaw driver took a sudden right turn into a marked dirt road.

Auroville Forests
The greening of wastelands