Sep 29, 2014

Venugopal Swamy Temple, Mysore

A newly developing hotspot tourist (sacred) destination from Mysore is the Venugopalswamy Temple. Couple of centuries back, the people of Kannambadi and other settlements around this village worshipped in this temple. It was built in 12th century AD around the same time as the Chennakesava Temple at Somanathapura, Mysore district.

The temple seemed to be on an island from a distance.

The old stones retrieved from the abandoned temple.

In 1909 after the Krishna Raja Sagar dam was built this temple and three more got completely submerged. Of course the settlements were moved to a safer place but the temples had to be abandoned. The main idol of Venugopalaswamy, Lord Krishna playing on flute as a cow-herd, was shifted to a new temple in the rehabilitated village before the submersion.


During the drought of 2000 when the level of water had drastically receded the abandoned temples were visible. Philanthropist Mr. Sri Hari Khoday took up the task of relocating and restoring the temple. Wiki says: The in-house architects of the group had shot the original temple on video, taken over 16,000 photographs, and marked each and every slab used in the construction of the original temple. Each and every temple stone was removed and reconstructed at Hosa Kannambadi with trained artisans and sculptors, with half a dozen experts from Tamil Nadu also involved in the reconstruction.

Walking into a brand new temple is intriguing. It has designs from past and you feel as if you are walking into brand new old era. The chiseled new look cannot really hide that aura because there is no sign of modern-ness in it. The temple is yet to be officially inagruated but tourists hardly wait for such formalities and like us there were more people walking in and out of this temple.


How to reach:
It is easy access from Mysore and easiest from Brindavan Gardens, just 9kms. I will suggest visit the temple in the evening, you will get good sunset pics with the temple in foreground and then visit the Brindavan Gardens for musical fountain show.

 Our World Tuesday 

Sep 27, 2014

Faces of India - 180

A very common road scene here, where you can see herds of cows, goats or sheep crossing your path and you will have to patiently wait till all of them cross over. Here is a shepherd in the outskirts of Mysore. This time I was prepared to shoot; the shot was taken from inside my car, hence a hazy finish.

Faces of India, a series through which I intend to portray the various characters of my country whom I met during my travels. See more here.

Sep 25, 2014

Sky Watch in Madurai

Three of the 14 gopurams (gateway towers) of Meenakshi Temple, Madurai against a sunset sky. Shot taken during a recent visit to the temple.

Sep 22, 2014

Crocodile, The King of Rivers

See that crocodile! The King of rivers!

 The boatman kept taking us closer. This was in Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Mysore. It was lying still. I was not very keen and didn’t encourage the boatman, instead looked away towards the nesting birds. But he kept urging, ma’am you will get good photos. He seemed more knowledgeable about my lens 150-500 mm. I could zoom in very well and for a start I focused on its claws.

Interesting I thought seeing how one of its fingers (?) with sharp nail was bent against the rock. I could see each detail through the lens.

Then I focused on its eye. And OMG! I experienced FEAR. The scare I felt, a shiver went down my spine! Never before have I been so scared. Within those few seconds I focused on it I could see its stony eye, its sharp teeth, and a drop of water near the teeth. And then a thought flashed across my mind: what if it decides to jump on us. After all it is an animal and who can read its mind. In the jungle it is the King’s rule and he alone is right. My 14 year old was happily taking pics totally unaware of any kind of danger.

I stopped taking pics right then and told the boatman sternly to take us away from there. He still insisted “it won’t do anything ma’am!” I said nothing doing you are taking us back or I will have to complain. This time he listened, afraid we wouldn’t tip him in the end.

 Profile of the croc by my 14 year old, Arundhati.

Here is one last shot as we rowed away. I really don't wish to meet it again ever in my life!

This post got a mention in Hilary's POTW! Thank you Hilary!
Our World Tuesday

Sep 20, 2014

Faces of India - 179

A gardener in a resort I stayed recently. The towel wrapped over his head, his only protection from hot sun, the markings on his forehead all wiped by sweat. 

Faces of India, a series through which I intend to portray the various characters of my country whom I met during my travels. See more here.