Monday, October 31, 2005


Wish You All a Happy Deepavali.

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.  Posted by Picasa
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. Posted by Picasa
A closer view of the temple. (I think I used a polariser filter - can't recall, it was a few years back.)Posted by Picasa
The temple lit up. Posted by Picasa
A panoramic view of the Brihadiswara Temple. Posted by Picasa
The big temple at night with the Nandi Mantapam (hall) at the right. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Drummers from Kerala. Part of the series of pics published earlier about the Onam celebrations in Chennai.  Posted by Picasa
in traditional Kerala style dress Posted by Picasa
A few more pics from the `aavanipoovarangu' procession organised by the Tamil Nadu Malayalee Association in Chennai. See earlier series of pics for details. Posted by Picasa

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.)Posted by Picasa
The gate house to the Amir Mahal in Royapettah, Chennai. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Look who I saw walking down Chennai's streets the other day - Hanuman. He even dropped in at my place, and let me take some photos after I agreed to give him a copy the next time he came. Posted by Picasa
Dressed up like Hanuman, the monkey God, he goes around Chennai living on alms. He and a few others from Andhra Pradesh, a neighbouring State, dress up like characters from the Ramayana and make a living like this. Posted by Picasa

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.  Posted by Picasa
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.  Posted by Picasa
The mother keeps an eye on the photographers as she lets her cub drink. Another cub refused to come down to the water as long as the photographers were around. Posted by Picasa
Mother and cub leave the waterhole. The light patch on the tigress is because she is still soaked after the dip. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 10, 2005

Theyyam dancers and traditional drummers from Kerala. See below for details. I missed this pic out in the order of posting.  Posted by Picasa
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. Posted by Picasa
Karaga attam dancers and vinayaka mask. Posted by Picasa
`Puliyattam' literally tiger dance. Posted by Picasa
Theyyam dancers and traditional Kerala drummers -- the drums are called `Chenda.' Posted by Picasa
A `Theyyam' performer - normal life, traffic flows by, goes on in the background. Posted by Picasa
The drummers going strong. Posted by Picasa
The tempo picks up as the procession reaches the function venue. Posted by Picasa