Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Other one

A pic taken at the Other festival - A performance by Navtej Johar and Ajay Panchal (in the air) - Abhyas Dance Ensemble.
I had been wanting to take pictures at a dance performance for a long time - tried one or two and never got the lighting right. This time, thanks to a friend, got a front row seat and this is one of the few pics that I liked. The focus is off but this was the best I managed.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Butterfly

(A post just to assure myself blogger beta is working.)
Saw this one recently in Coorg - the butterfly must have been nearly a foot across wingtip to wingtip. Big enough to occupy the frame even when I used a 20mm wideangle lens. I waited until it started fluttering its wings to make sure it was for real!


Thank You all for the suggestions. Finally managed to get back on line with a post. Thank You all once again.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Stamp of Chennai - 9

A post I planned to do on Madras Day - but finally managing to do now - a belated birthday post.
The special cover above was released by India Post on August 22, 2006 to commemorate the founding of Madras on August 22, 1639, the day when the Nayaks of Vijayanagar Empire granted a piece of land to the East India Company - the land on which the EIC built Fort St George, which even today is the seat of power.
A great special cover - one because it is nicely done - senior philatelists say that the Postal Department decided to release this cover in the last minute and the cover was designed and readied in about two days.
But the other important reason is the great stamp that they decided to put on it - a stamp released in 1986 to mark 200 years of General Post Office in Madras. That made the cover a double treat for stamp lovers.

So I decided to include the first day cover released in 1986 and a special cover, which has another painting of the GPO released on April 26, 1984, to mark the centenary of the GPO building. Before I get on to the topic of my post, here is a related material, a special cancellation of the Fort St George with a painting of the Fort and the beach front in the days of the East India Company - the cover was released on February 5, 1978 - I think on the occassion of the Tamil Nadu Philatelic Exhibition.

Finally, to the topic at hand: Why a stamp of the General Post Office on Madras Day cover? Often the Postal Department does not always stick a related stamp on a special cover - it could be any stamp on any cover.

But here is some info from the information sheet released along with the GPO stamp.

"It (Madras GPO) was opened on June 1, 1786, in a building on the beach in Fort St George Square. It was shifted to a building in Fort St George on October 1, 1837, commonly called the Old Bank near the North Gate (vide notification in Fort St George Gazette dated September 20, 1837."
Above are two pics - it is nearly impossible to replicate the view we see on the stamp. First Line Beach Road is crowded and the road too narrow to get a full, head-on view.

But back to the subject of the GPO - "Madras GPO is one of the three unique offices in the country called as Presidency Offices, the other two being Bombay and Calcutta." The GPO moved to this building in April 26, 1884.

Subsidiary post offices were opened at Vepery and Royapettah after a gazette notification dated March 25, 1834 for "transmission of letter to Madras GPO on payment of 1/2 Anna over and above the regulated postage.

Madras GPO was from the beginning a pioneer Post Office in providing better postal facilities to the public. The postage rates in Madras Presidency were cheaper than at Calcutta up to 1837 when uniform postage was introduced all over India."

On its working: "There was a boat contractor to bring mails from steamer to harbour. No other person except one Postal Official on duty was allowed in the boat. The mails were carried from harbour to GPO in bullock cart with 3 `Coolies' accompanied by a Postal Official.

On opening on June 1, 1786, the staff at Madras GPO consisted of Postmaster General, 1 Deputy Postmaster General, 1 Writer or Native Assistant, 5 Sorters (Clerks), 1 Head `Peon' and 10 `Peons' (postmen) for distributing letters. A Deputy postmaster was appointed from Masulipatnam, Ganjam, Tanjore and Anjango. The Postmaster General had the control of the whole establishment.

The present site of the GPO building was actually a site of warfare and it was called as `Aber Cromble (Crombie) Battery."

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I give up.
Tried all the suggestions on blogger help and have not been able to post images on blogger beta. Guess I will just have to wait it out till the thing is debugged.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Madras in Stamps - 1 Posted by Picasa

Stamps and year of issue (L to R) ROW 1: University of Madras - Centenary of Indian Universities, 1957; Thiruvalluvar - Philosopher, saint, poet 2nd-1st century BC, 1960; Subramania Bharati-Poet, freedom fighter, 1960; High Court of Madras - Centenary of High Courts, 1962; Srinivasa Ramanujan - Mathematician, 1962; Dr Annie Besant - Theosophist, 1963.
ROW 2: St Thomas, 1964; Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan - philosoper, educationist and diplomat, 1967; 2nd International conference and seminar on tamil studies - 1968; Kasinadhuni Nageswara Rao - journalist, 1969; C.N. Anna Durai- politician, 1970; V.S. Srinivasa Sastri - educationist, 1970; Sir C.V. Raman - educationist, 1971; Tanguturi Prakasam - freedom fighter and the first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, 1972.
ROW 3: Church on St Thomas Mount, 1973; C. Rajagopalachari - Statesman, 1st Indian Governor General of India, 1973; Kandukuri Veeresalingam - social reformer, 1974; V.V. Giri - 4th President of India, 1974; Theosophical Society Emblem - centenary, 1975; Bicentenary of 16th light infantry (Vijayanta Tank), 1976; K. Kamaraj - politician, 1976; E.V. Ramasami - Social Reformer, 1978.

Madras in Stamps - 2

A series of five images that show a collection of commemorative stamps on topics that directly relate to Madras and Chennai. Starting from 1957 with the stamp of the Senate House of the University of Madras (Check out Stamp of Chennai - 8), which I think was the first on a Madras subject post-independence, up to the stamp on L.V. Prasad, the founder of Prasad Studios.
They are all here - Educational insitutions, academics, religious leaders, philosophers, politicians, actors and industrialists, and stamps of statues, buildings, monuments and industries - and the list will grow.
Apart from this there are also the special commemorative covers, which I will post at some later date.
If any more stamps need to be added please point out the ones left out.
These images will be the topics I hope to post in the Stamps of Chennai series with pics and additional information.
Madras in Stamps - 2 Posted by Picasa

Stamps and year of issue (L to R). ROW 1: C. Rajagopalachari - taking oath as Governor General, 1978; Rajah Annamalai Chettiar - banker and educationist, 1980; Bicentenary of Madras Sappers, 1980; Map of South East Asia showing Madras and Penang linked by the Indian Ocean Commonwealth Submarine Cable, 1981; Durgabai Deshmukh - Social Reformer, 1981; Madras Medical College, 1985; Bicentenary of Madras General Post Office, 1986.
BLOCK of four stamps shows early congress leaders.
ROW 2: S. Satyamurti - Congress leader, Martyr, 1987; Madras Christian College, 1987; J. Krishnamurti - philosopher, 1987; Rukmini Devi & Dancer - exponent of art and culture, educationist, 1987.
ROW 3: Dr Rajah Sir Muthiah Chettiar - educationist and philathropisy, 1987; B.N. Rau - architech of Indian constitution (and a genius mathematician), 1988.

Madras in Stamps - 3

Madras in Stamps - 3 Posted by Picasa

Stamps and year of issue (L to R) ROW 1: Bishnu Ram Medhi - politician, 1989; Dr S. Radhakrishnan, 1989; P. Subbarayan - patriot and politician, Founder President Indian Cricket Control Board, 1989; M.G. Ramachandran - actor, politician, 1990; Dr S.R. Ranganathan and Madras University Library, Father of Library Science, 1992; Bicentenary of 4th Battalion (Wallajahbad Light Infantry), The Madras Regiment, 1994; Bicentenary of the Institute of Mental Health, Madras, 1994.
ROW 2: 200 years of College of Engineering, Guindy, Madras (It is now Anna University), 1994; Field Marshall Cariappa, 1995; Pasumpon Muthuramalingam Thevar, 1995; Muhammad Ismail Sahib - politician, 1996; Chemabai, Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar - musician, 1996; St Andrew's Church, Egmore, Madras, 1997; Rukmini Lakshmipathy - patriot and Social Reformer, 1997; Kotamaraju Rama Rao - Freedom fighter, journalist, 1997.
ROW 3: Dr Bhogaraju Pattabhi Sitaramayya - patriot and journalist, 1997; Jerome D' Souza and Cathedral - educationist and statesman, 1997; Dr C. Vijayaraghavachariar - patriot, lawyer and social reformer, 1998; Centenary of Connemara Public Library, 1998; 40 years of Defence Research and Development Organisation (tank in stamp is Arjun - Main Battle Tank manufactured at Avadi, Madras), 1999; P. S. Kumaraswamy Raja and Gandhi Kala Mandiram - politician, 1999; Kalki R. Krishnamurthy - patriot and tamil writer, 1999.

Madras in Stamps - 4

Madras in Stamps - 4 Posted by Picasa

Stamps and year of issue (L to R). ROW 1: Musiri Subramania Iyer - Modern master of music, 1999; P. Kakkan and symbol of agriculture, 1999; Potti Sriramulu - activist, 2000; Dr Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao - actor, politician and reformer, 2000; Diwan Bahadur R. Srinivasan - leader of depressed classes, 2000; C. Sankaran Nair - lawyer, 2001; Sivaji Ganesan - Actor and cultural ambassador, 2001.
ROW 2: Bharathidasan - Tamil Poet, 2001; Bicentenary of Indian Ordnance Factories (tank Ajeya), 2002; T.T. Krishnamachari - economist and social reformer, 2002; Palace of Chandragiri Fort, 2002; Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao - freedom fighter, playback singer and music director, 2003.
ROW 3: 151 anniversary of Madras Museum, 2003; Tricentenary of the 9th battalion of Madras Regiment, 2004; Murasoli Maran - writer and statesman, 2004; Thiruthuraipoondi Subramanian Srinivasan (S.S. Vasan) - film maker and media baron, 2004; K. Subramanyam - film maker, 2004; A.M.M. Murugappa Chettiar - industrialist, 2005.

Madras in Stamps - 5

Madras in Stamps - 5 Posted by Picasa

Stamp and year of issue (L to R) ROW 1: Dr. T.S. Soundaram, 2005; M.S. Subbulakshmi, 2005; Kavimani Desiga Vinayagam Pillai, 2005; Integral Coach Factory, 2005; Vi. Kalyanasundaranar, 2005.
ROW 2: State Bank of India, 2005; N.M.R. Subbaraman, 2005; AV. Meiyappan, 2006; Devaneya Pavanar, 2006; Dr U.V. Swaminatha Iyer, 2006.
ROW 3: Tamilavel Umamaheswarar, 2006; Thirumuruga Kirubananda Variyar, 2006; Gemini Ganesan, 2006; M. Singaravelar, 2006; Ma. Po. Sivagnanam, 2006; University of Madras, 2006; L.V. Prasad, 2006.
At Srirangam, Tiruchi. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sambhars at Ranthambore Tiger Sanctuary, Rajasthan. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A family of langurs at the Ranthambore tiger sanctuary. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Stamp of Chennai - 8

The University of Madras is into its 150th year. Set up in 1857 -- a year more popularly known for the first war of independence, the sepoy mutiny -- along with the universities in Mumbai and Kolkata this year also marks the start of the western system of education in India.
India Post brought out a commemorative stamp to mark the occasion. It shows a section of the Senate House, the building from which the University started functioning. It is being renovated after it lay disused and dilapidated for over two decades. Posted by Picasa
The stamp brought out in 1957 to mark the centenary of the University of Madras also featured the Senate House. I think despite the monotone print this stamp brings out the Senate House's grandeur better than the recent colourful version. Posted by Picasa
A view of the Senate House as it is today. I could not get a fuller view of the building as the renovation work is still on and a portion still has scaffolding around it. Posted by Picasa
A First Day Cover and special cancellation to mark the 150th year.  Posted by Picasa
A minaret of the Senate House. A view similar to the one depicted on the First Day Cover.  Posted by Picasa
A view of a section of the university buildings reflected in the waters of the Cooum. To the left are the arches of the bridge built a few years back as a mirror image of the older Napier Bridge that runs parallel to it. Posted by Picasa
The statue of Dewan Bahadur Sir S. Subrahmanya Ayyar the first Indian Vice Chancellor of the University of Madras. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


If you are planning to ride like this... Posted by Picasa
...I suppose it makes sense to start with a prayer,... Posted by Picasa
break coconuts,... Posted by Picasa
light incense sticks and... Posted by Picasa
Yesss... Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Birds on a wire. Pic taken near the Nelapattu bird sanctuary, in Andhra, about two hours from Chennai. Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 14, 2006

A pilgrim. I liked the very human pose that this guy struck. Pic taken in Ranthambore tiger reserve, Rajasthan. This place is called the 36-pillared `Chathhri'* (Chathram/rest house, I guess) inside the Ranthambore Fort.
NOTE: * Rest house... blogger ezee123 explains more accurately. Please check out the comment section in next pic.  Posted by Picasa