Monday, August 29, 2011

Poetry in Stone - 7

This is seventh in the series on the rich cultural heritage of temples in India. The ancient temples are richly carved and they behold ones attention for their craftsmanship.

Most of these temples have carvings of Lord Ganesh in various forms. Each of these sculptures are marvel stone in their own right.

The first two sculptures are beautifully carved on the external walls of the 12th century Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebid in Karnataka.

Above are from the temples of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh on their external walls. On the left is from Lakshmana Temple and the right one is from Vishwanath Temple. This is one of the World  Heritage Site.

This one again from World Heritage Site Hampi in Karnataka. This 8 feet idol is known as Sasivekalu Ganesha.

Above is 16th century sculpture of Lord Ganesha at ASI Museum, Shimoga. It is front and back of the same sculpture which has been damaged. Uniqueness of this idol is the hair style at the back which is commonly done by ladies in India.

Above one is the angry form of the Lord. This is a very rare form of sculpture and is at Boganandishwar Temple near Bangalore.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lalbagh Flower Show - Pink Cosmos

At flower show in Lalbagh Gardens at Bangalore on August 2010 there were lot of colorful Cosmos flowers. Pink Cosmos is one of the color on display:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stupa 3, Sanchi

This Stupa of Sanchi was originally constructed sometime in the 2nd century BC. In 1st century AD it was repaired and enlarged.

It is smaller than Stupa 1 and has only one gateway. It contained caskets of two disciples of the Buddha during his lifetime.

The 1st century AD torana (gateway) is exquisitely carved. On the front: the top architrave has floral designs, the middle architrave has a Stupa and two Bodi trees and the lower architrave represents paradise
of Indra.

On the pillars the left side has a design of stupa and on the right is the Wheel of Dharma. Pot-bellied dwarves support the architraves.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Painted Homes of Shekhawati

Shekhawati region in western India, is famous for its mural paintings. Every house is painted beautifully with colorful designs. This frescoes in some cases also depict scenes from the Indian Epics. Such exquisite paintings decorate their walls, doors, and interiors of homes. I managed to capture some of these Shekavati frescos which were on the exterior of homes.

Here on the left hand side, the scene is of Royal court where musicians are playing music in front of the King. On the right hand side, the scene is from Ramayana. Here Bharath, the brother of Ram is requesting Lord Ram not to go in exile.

In the above the scene on the left is from Mahabarath. It is Draupadi Vastrabarana, where Lord Krishna is saving Draupadi's honor by giving her infinite clothing. The scene on the right is Lord Krishna's marriage.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lalbagh Flower Show - Candytuft

At flower show in Lalbagh Gardens at Bangalore on August 2011 there were little beautiful flowers Candy-tuft. These were on display in a variety of colors. One of them was white in color.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Raj Mahal, Jaisalmer

The grand palace Raj Mahal of Jaisalmer constructed around 1500 AD. It is located on the Trikura hill inside the Golden Fort.

It was built with marvelous beauty by the most famous architects and craftsmen during the Royal period.

It is one of the oldest palaces in Rajasthan. This imposing seven-storied palace is highly popular for the lattice work.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Poetry in Stone - 6

This is sixth in the series on the rich cultural heritage of temples in India. The ancient temples are richly carved and they behold ones attention for their craftsmanship.

One such architectural gem is Kailashnath Temple of Kanchipuram. This temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is surrounded by 64 small sub-shrines. They adorned with the sculptures of the Lord Shiva in different poses, representing a picture of different aspects of mythology.

Here below Lord Shiva and Parvati can be seen sitting position. Behind them we can also see traces of red and green paint.

Another architectural gem Ekambareshvara Temple of Kanchipuram. It is one of the largest temple and dates back to sometime between 16th to 17th centuries.

As one enter the temple there is a beautiful carvings on the pillar. It looks like a throne ceremony of Lord Rama.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Lalbagh Flower Show - August 2011

Every year in the month of January and August, the Lalbagh Gardens at Bangalore hosts Flower Show. If in Bangalore around this time one should not miss the event.

In the month of August, it is usually organized for 10 days from August 6th to 15th. The theme for this year is Lotus Temple in Delhi which is celebrating its 25th year. It is created with white carnations and white roses.

Other main attraction is Indian Flag creatd using 4.5Kg of rice on the occasion of 64th Independence day of India.

There were variety of flowers on display. Each flower had every color in them show cased. Some of the attractions were Rose, Phol, Carnation, Lily, Antirrhinum, Candytuft, Statice.

Every day thousands people enjoy the beauty of these flowers on display. It is mostly crowded in the evening on the weekdays. Best time to be in this place is the early afternoon. I had been here on the weekend afternoon. Even though it was crowded I had enough space to take some snaps.

Very minimal entrance fee is charged for the show. No charges for camera.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Krishna's Butter Ball, Mamallapuram

Krishna's Butter Ball is one of the interesting site in Mamallapuram. It is very different from rest of the attractions carved out of stone here.

Very close to Arjuna's Penance on the hill slope is a huge boulder. This massive rock is perched on the slope of the hill opposing the all laws of physics. This has been standing in this position for centuries now without any support. Area around the boulder is so slippery that kids use it as a natural slide.

For some reason it is famous by the name "Krishna's Butter Ball". I guess it resembles the shape of a butter ball and Lord Krishna loves it. Beyond this I have no other clue. But this natural balance is worth all the attention.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lord Aprameya Swamy Temple, Dodda Mallur

Lord Aprameya Swamy Temple at Dodda Mallur is a very ancient temple with a history of more than 3000 years. There is documentary evidence of existence of this temple in 980 A.D.

It is said that that the temple was built and expanded by Chola King Rajendra Simha. The uniqueness of this temple is that it does not have any solid foundation, but it has been erected directly on the sandy area.

Lord Aprameya is the presiding deity of the temple. The idol is carved out of Saligrama stone. It is in a standing posture with Shanku Chakra in upper two hands and Gadha and Padma in the lower hands.

The temple has beautiful carvings on the towers and the pillars. This temple is more famous as Navaneeta Krishna Temple as the temple also houses Lord Krishna is the crawling form.

The temple is about 60 kms from Bangalore on the
Bangalore - Mysore Highway. On the left side of the highway while driving from from Bangalore after Channapatna, there is a big arch leading to the temple.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lalbagh Flower Show - Orchids - 8

At flower show in Lalbagh Gardens at Bangalore on January 2011 there were exclusive collection of Orchids on display. The colors were amazing. Below are some of the orchids on display: 

There were stalls selling the Orchids plants outside the flower show. The price ranged from Rupees 600 to 1200 depending on the variety.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Stupas of Sanchi

Sanchi is a small village located 46 km north east of Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh state. This is a important Buddhist pilgrimage area. Here several Buddhist monuments dating from the 3rd century BC to the 12th century BC can be seen.

This place is not directly connected with events in the life of the Buddha. But, it became a pilgrimage site when Emperor Ashoka erected a Stupa sometime the 3d century BC. The way Stupas are built has lot of significance. They are built on a hill, where their beneficial influence can radiate to all four points of the compass. The dome of Stupa represents the universe.

Here is the meditating Budha outside the "Great Stupa". We shall explore it in more detail very soon. Sanchi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sites I visited here are

Monday, August 1, 2011

Malik-e-Maidan, Bijapur

There are many interesting sights in Bijapur (State: Karnataka). One among them is Malik-e Maidan.

Malik-e Maidan ("Lord of the Battlefield") is a massive cannon located on the top of the Sherzah Burj. It was considered to be largest weapon in medieval times. The 8.5m long and 1.6m wide cannon weights 55 tons.

The head of the cannon is fashioned into the shape of a lion's head with open jaws trying to devour an elephant. This huge cannon is a cast of alloy of copper, iron and tin.

The outside surface is shining and adorned with inscriptions in Persian and Arabic.