Monday, April 23, 2007

Kapaleeswarar Temple Festival

Just for effect - Tried sepia toning on photoshop a pic I have posted earlier on the topic.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Chennai Beach fishing

Fresh fish being fried on the Marina -- Chennai Beach.

But for that to happen the fishermen need to leave at dawn.

Here is a style of fishing at sea that one can watch from the shore. I think this net is called the `peruvalai' (big net). Beach goers can usually see these nets piled up in a big mound on the sand. It is loaded on to the catamaran first, in a carefully arranged layer...
then with one end trailing the fishermen set out to sea...
setting out... the catamaran goes following a big U route, and the fishermen trail the net out in a big `U' and come back to the shore with the other end... I would guess the net would be a few hundred metres long...
Once on the shore two teams of fishermen drag the net in, a process that takes more than an hour.
And well on time to keep the snacks ready by the time we hit the beach later in the day.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Kaziranga again

A camera shy rhino darts for the cover of the tall grass.

Here are a few more shy types -
An elephant runs across a forest track for cover. Check out the comments section in the previous Kaziranga elephant pic for an explanation,

An irritated elephant - does not like being photographed.

Another takes cover in the grass.

A rhino mother and calf. Kaziranga, I guess, is a rare success story in conservation. My friends and I saw quite a few mother and kid pairs.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

More Kapaleeswarar festival images

The chariot drivers bringing up the rear.
As the devotees pull the chariot from the front there is another bunch - quite jolly and boisterous -- bringing up the rear. If you are wondering what the poles are for...

It is to balance themselves on the beam they use to lever the wheels around corners and out of potholes... (And a foot note: Objects in a 20 mm lens are closer than they seem to be. When that beam thudded down as I tried a tighter shot, the shock of the weight hitting the ground was too close for comfort. My toes cringe each time I recall that sensation.)
The wheels...

Like I had mentioned in the previous set of pics, an island of concentration in the midst of the milling crowd.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Kapaleeswarar Temple Festival

The Kapaleeswarar temple car at the `Arubathimoovar Thiruvizha.' I managed to visit the festival only on the day of the temple car procession. (Check out some of the previous years' pics under the same labels.) The first is a wide angle shot of the temple car with the crowd.

A devotee offers a prayer. You can see many doing this, each an island of concentration in the hurry and crush of the crowd.
Hands go up in prayer, others applaud, the crowd screams `Kapali, Kapali' as the car starts moving.
A close up view of the temple car a representation of a horse drawn chariot driven by `Brahma' the creator. I wanted to crop out the name board of the Internet cafe in the background, but let it be - some vague notion of Chennai being a mix of the modern and traditional.
The ornamentation at the rear of the temple car.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


It was a misty morning at Kaziranga Sanctuary, my friends and I were on elephant back, when we came on this pair. The mist, the trees in the background, the greenery, the mother and calf... it was so peaceful.

This one below, a cow elephant in the swamps at Kaziranga. She had just finished a big meal of the grass and was getting up to leave. The egrets around her were feasting on the insects that were exposed by all the grass she uprooted. The mynah on her back was busy pecking away at the dirt on her back.
She would grab a clump of grass with her trunk, swish it around in the water to wash away the mud and before putting it into mouth. We were in a open-topped jeep on a track about 50 feet away.