Saturday, December 29, 2012

Wide Arenas of Cholan Empire

It was a long awaited trip to visit these temples of Cholan Empire and with all the logistical difficulties we somehow managed to travel to all the major temples of Cholan Empire. That it was a season of Shabarimala and the most of these temples are very much alive, there were more tourists than expected, and I barely managed to get some shots without too many people in it. Of course it took a lot of time to get some half decent shots. That the temple complexes are so big, it gave a perfect setting for me to click and stitch some panoramic shots. Here are some of them.

(click on the pictures for the enlarged view)

12th Century Airavatesvara Temple built by Rajaraja Chola II at Darasuram

Airavatesvara Temple looking North

Airavatesvara Temple looking North-East

Carvings on the Main temple complex of GangaiKonda Cholapuram

11th Century Siva temple built by Rajendra Chola I  at the Gangaikonda Cholapuram

Ruins inside the Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple

The rear wall of the Siva Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram

The temple complex looking East of the Brihadeeswara Temple, Tanjavur

The wider arenas inside the temple comples of the Big Temple, Tanjavur

10th Century Brihadeeswara Temple built by Raja Raja Chola I at Tanjavur

Rear side of the Brihadeeswara Temple (looking North)
Tanjore Maratha Palace Complex built by Tanjavur Nayak Kingdom in 17th Century

(C) Srikanth Parthasarathy

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hoysala temples of Mosale and Anekere

Posted below are some of the panoramic shots from the heritage sites Mosale and Anekere. 

The Nageshvara-Chennakeshava temple complex (also spelt Nagesvara and Chennakesava) is an elegant example of Hoysala architecture of the early 12th century. It is located in the village of Mosale, about 10 km from Hassan city, in Hassan district of Karnataka state, India. The temple was build in 1200 A.D. during the reign of Hoysala King Veera Ballala II. 

The twin temples - Nageshvara and Chennakeshava

Sri.Channakeshava Temple at Anekere, is beautifully restored under the able Guidance of Sri. Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari Sri.Veerendra Hegde. The entrance of the temple is beautifully carved with pillars and place to sit. The temple is built in Hoysala style and has a big open space around the temple. On the top of the temple, one can find finely carved Kalasha which is unique in its style and is of the biggest in size.

Anekere Channakeshava Temple

(C) Srikanth Parthasarathy 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

touch of soles

Excerpt from the book The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane

Touch is a reciprocal action, a gesture of exchange with the world. To make an impression is also to receive one, and the soles of our feet, shaped by the surfaces they press upon, are landscapes themselves with their own worn channels and roving lines. They perhaps most closely resemble the patterns of ridge and swirl revealed when a tide has ebbed over flat sand. Our heels have marks that look like percussive shockwaves. The arch, where the foot's flex is greatest, is reticulated with shallow folds. The ball carries non-intersecting ripples. The whole foot is a document of motion, inscribed by repeated action. Babies - from those first foetal footfalls, the kneading of sole against womb-wall, turning themselves like astronauts in black space - have already creased their soles by the time they emerge into the world. 


What an amazing description of our soles. It is so true that our foot is a document of motion. During my childhood days I used to walk barefoot, play barefoot and run barefoot. With the kind of comfortable footwear available and are affordable (these days), we've forgotten to walk barefoot. I do not even know how many would even be comfortable walking barefoot. 

I should try walking/running barefoot for 15 minutes everyday. Just to feel that touch. 


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

what places make of us

Excerpt from the book The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane

As I envisage it, landscape projects into us not like a jetty or peninsula, finite and bounded in its volume and reach, but instead as a kind of sunlight, flickeringly unmappable in its plays yet often quickening and illuminating. We are adept, if occasionally embarrassed, at saying what we make of places - but we are far less good at saying what places make of us. For some time now it has seemed to me that the two questions we should ask of any strong landscape are these: firstly, what do I know when I am in this place that I can know nowhere else? And then, vainly, what does this place know of me that I cannot know of myself? 


Sigh. Right questions to ask I guess.

I keep thinking whenever I am in such a place where such thoughts come to me. I ask myself several questions that I have no answer and I feel something else other than me can answer some of them.

I was on top of the cho-la pass in the year 2010 very close to Mt.Everest. I had never seen such beautiful and dangerous landscapes in my life. There were hardly any footprints nor there was any clear route to walk.  Those thoughts that came to me during my journey was so inspiring in spite of not knowing what exactly they mean to me at that point in time. 


habits of landscape

Excerpt from the book The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane

Paths are the habits of a landscape. They are acts of consensual making. It's hard to create a footpath on your own. The artist Richard Long did it once, treading a dead-straight line into desert sand by turning and turning about dozens of times. But this was a foot-mark not a footpath; it led nowhere except to its own end, and by walking it Long became a tiger pacing its cage or a swimmer doing lengths. With no promise of extension, his line was to a path what a snapped twig is to a tree. Paths connect. This is their first duty and their chief reason for being. They relate places in a literal sense, and by extension they relate people. 


Whoa! absolutely. I could not agree more for his definition of a 'path'. Paths connect - this is so much true. They exist to connect. Connect places, us and more.


Friday, November 9, 2012

a permit, a shovel and a bit of elbow grease

Excerpt from the book Orchid Fever by Eric Hansen

"I save orchids for a living. That's what I do. I know there are people out there that would like to take me down and take me down hard, because they just can't tolerate the thought that there might be a simple solution to the problem. I own three shovels and The Beast, and as long as I can pull my permits and get landowners' permission I'm going to be walking ditches, digging plants, and wrestling root balls. The experts can debate their cutting-edge conservation theories all they like. I don't begrudge them, but I'll let you in on a little secret. You see over there where the peat field meets the forest? That's what I call the cutting edge. It's coming in this direction and the best way to save an orchid around here is with a permit, a shovel, and a bit of elbow grease."

As told by Tom Nelson (An Orchid Rescue person from MN) to Eric Hansen.

I was absolutely thrilled to read Tom Nelson's story. All he does for living is to rescue Orchids and that too  with his own money. All through the story I was thinking how many people show this kind of commitment? His passion for Orchids and saving them has no boundaries. 

There are people who write theories, there are people who just read them, there may be a few people who understand and follow them, and there are only a handful of people who actually do practice them on the field when it comes to conservation.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

An experiment...

(Click on the images to enlarge them)

Forest area looking East

Forest Area looking South

Looking South West

Looking South

Looking West

Adjacent Hill. Looking East

Looking North-West

Looking North

(C) Srikanth Parthasarathy

Thursday, November 1, 2012

kas in monochrome

This is just an experiment to display Kaas landscapes in monochrome. I did not particularly shoot them for this effect but I selected those that may look good with this monochrome effect. Let me know what you think.

Smithia flower amidst the Senecio flowers

Rocks on the Sahyadri slopes overlooking the Satara City

Smithia hisruta - the mickey mouse flowers

A lonely tree on the yellow carpets of Smithia 

Acacia Tree on the plateau

Sahyadri slopes and the Urmodi Dam backwaters

The mass flowering of Impatiens flowers on the plateau

Bamnouli landscape

White flowers of Dipcadi montana amidst the Impatiens flowers

Eriocaulon flowers on the plateau

Utricularia flowers 

Shivsagar lake backwaters at Bamnouli village

Utricularia and Eriocaulon

Exacum flowers amidst the Eriocaulon

Macro shot of Eriocaulon flower

The trumphet flowers - Ramphicarpa

Pogostemon flowers

Murdannia simplex flower and the bee
(C) Srikanth Parthasarathy

Monday, October 29, 2012

social behavior

Excerpt from the book Subliminal by Leonard Mlodinow

Today most humans live in large, crowded cities. In many cities, a single neighborhood could encompass the entire world population at the time of the great human social transformation. We walk down sidewalks and through crowded malls and buildings with hardly a word, and no traffic signs, and yet we don't bump into others or get into fights about who is going to step through the swinging door first. We hold conversations with people we don't know or hardly know or wouldn't want to know and automatically stand at a distance that is acceptable to both of us. That distance varies from culture to culture and from individual to individual, and yet, without a word, and usually without giving it any thought, we adjust to a distance of mutual comfort. (Or most of us do, anyway. We can all think of exceptions!) When we talk, we automatically sense when it is time to typically lower our volume, stretch out our last word, cease gesturing and look at the other person. These skills aided to our survival as a species, and it is still these skills that allow us to maneuver through the complex social world of the human

Right. Our social behavior is so automatic and unconscious. Even without any conscious efforts, our unconscious is a storehouse of nonverbal communication. And its like me watching foreign language movies without any subtitles and yet I could understand the complete story. 


Friday, October 26, 2012

of what we remember and forget

Excerpt from the book Subliminal by Leonard Mlodinow

Moments in time may be forever forgotten, or viewed through a hazy or distorting lens, yet something of them nonetheless survives within us, permeating our unconscious. From there, they impart to us a rich array of feelings that bubble up when we think about those who were dearest to our hearts - or when we think of others from whom we've only met, or the exotic and ordinary places we've visited, or the events that shaped us. Though imperfectly, our brains still manage to communicate a coherent picture of our life experience. 


It is interesting to read through the whole chapter on 'Remembering and Forgetting' from the book. I am trying to remember a lot of things and I get hazy pictures of them. Trying to remember what I've forgotten is very difficult and some times, my unconscious mind tries to create them for me there by making it a false memory. 


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Panoramic Slopes of Pushpagiri

Any number of visits to this place doesn't satisfy anyone. The more you visit this place, the more you are going to visit this place. This is the place where even 500 meters of walk will tire you out. Not because of its steep climb, but because of its density, the richness of biodiversity. One can keep on wondering looking at the amazing diversity at every step. These are some of the panoramic vistas of this Pushpagiri ranges captured through my lens during my last few visits. 

(Click on the pictures to see enlarged view)

Cloud pattern over the grassy slopes of Pushpagiri

The valleys, the sholas and the grassy slopes. (Looking West)

The route to the Pushpagiri peak from Somwarpet entrance. (Looking North - East)

The Pushpagiri peak to the right.  Highest peak (1712 m) in the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary (Looking North)

The road connecting to Somwarpet. (Looking South - East)

The ranges seen from the Pushpagiri Temple. (Looking East)

The dense woods of Pushpagiri. Cloud play at the peak. (Looking North)

(C) Srikanth Parthasarathy