Sunday, October 30, 2005
I have posted a series of pics of the Brihadiswara Temple in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. Next week I will try to put up a few pics that give a closer view of the sculptures. (Check out May 2005 archives of the Airavateswara temple at Darasuram, Kumbakonam, another example of Chola architecture.)
Saturday, October 29, 2005
The Brihadiswara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. It is more popularly known as the big temple - an apt name. But it is not just massive but also beautiful. It was built by one of the greatest Chola Kings, Rajaraja (King of Kings), who completed it in 1010 at the peak of his power.
A head-on view of the Brihadiswara Temple. The monolithic nandi can be seen in front. It is popularly believed that the dome on top of the temple tower is carved from a single stone. But no, say recent studies. Devamani Rafael, author of `Thamizhnattu-k Kalai Kovilgal' (Artistic temples of Tamil Nadu) says in that book that experts have observed that it is actually made of several stones but the pieces are fused so well together to seem like a single piece.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Sunday, October 23, 2005
A view of the entrance to the Amir Mahal, the residence of the Nawab of Arcot. The Nawabs trace their history back more than three centuries. This pic of the entrance to the palace was taken last year when it was decorated for the Nawab's son's wedding -- a royal wedding in Chennai! The place is in Royapettah. (Check out April 2005 in archives for other pics of the Amir Mahal.)
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Sunday, October 16, 2005
At Ranthambore, the tiger reserve in Rajasthan, the high point of the visit is catching a glimpse of the tiger. For a first-timer like me the experience is unforgettable. The atmosphere and feel of the air changes if a tiger is in the vicinity. The nearby waterhole, a place for all varieties of animals to gather, clears immediately. Monkeys scatter, one of them acts as a look out and climbs to the top of a tree, deer and sambhar give warning calls -- a distinct sharp explosion of sound that carries far -- even the birds leave the place. You get a real life sample of what Jim Corbett describes in his books on hunting man-eaters. Then if you are lucky the tiger shows itself.
The tigress, a mother of two cubs, makes her way to the water hole. She does not bother about the visitors and photographers nearby. But she is careful to first check out the place before signalling her cubs to join her. Even then only one of the cubs came out in the open.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Last Sunday (Oct 2) the Tamil Nadu Malayalee Association celebrated the annual `Aavani Poovarangu' as a part of the Onam festival. Traditional dancers, theyyam dance, in elaborate masks and costumes, drummers were all a part of the procession. In Kerala caparisoned elephants would have led the procession here they make do with a couple of decked up three-wheeled public carriers, the autorickshaw.