Photography in a place of worship offers several opportunities as well as challenges. This simple door of Sree Kasi Viswanathar Koil in Ayanavaram is a study in colours, lines, and patterns.
Five different photographers with their own perspective including a worm’s eye view.
A housing colony in Kilpauk, Chennai
A couple of young women walking briskly to work on a Sunday morning on Mount Road (Anna Salai) a couple of days before Women’s Day.
The building in the background is the Addision Building with its identifiable arches.
Early morning sun makes its own patterns in the partly demolished Bharat Insurance Building (Kardyl Building). The 120 – year old building was a grand specimen of Indo-Saracenic style.
This shape resembles the old arcade game Pacman, nibbling away what remains of the building.
Higginbothams is perhaps the oldest bookstore in India. It was started by an English stowaway, Abel Higginbothams in 1844. It was taken over by the Amalgamations Group (Simpson’s) in 1945.
During our growing up years, Higginbothams was the go-to shop for any books. Most railway stations in South India also had a Higginbothams stall (some still exist) where we picked up newspapers, magazines and Perry Mason paperbacks (for about 4 or 5 rupees) during travel.
Despite the onslaught of competition from new generation bookstores, online stores, and ebooks, Higginbothams has survived. What is more, the management has restored the iconic heritage building on Mount Road. Our esteem for the management of Amalgamations Group goes up when we see the historic Bharat Insurance Building (Kardyl building) just opposite to Higginbothams which was to be razed to the ground by the Government-owned LIC to put up a ‘modern’ monstrosity.
Almost every Hindu temple has a wooden chariot or “ther” to take out the idols on procession on designated occasions. Though they are used only occasionally, great attention is given to the chariots. Most have very elaborate wooden carvings matching or even surpassing the stone sculptures in beauty. They are also adorned with all ‘alankarams’ when needed: otherwise, they are confined to their sheds. Modern technology is nowadays used for wheels, axles, brakes etc to enhance the safety factor.
The above ‘ther’ is from the Kodanda Rama Temple, West Mambalam. It has recently been spruced up for a festival.
Nandi, the sacred bull is the vaahan of Lord Shiva.Normally, we will find the Nandi in front the sanctum sactorum. The nandis of Lepakshi (click here for a post) and Thanjavur are huge.
Nandi images are also common on the walls of any Shiva temple. These are from the walls.
May Nadikeswara bless my 400th daily post.
At Thirumazhisai, near Chennai
The Chennai Photowalk. #107
In the sanctum of Valian kuttai ratham
Very few visitors to Mamallapuram get to see the Pidari Ratham and Valian kuttai rathams.These are located about 500 mtrs West of Arjuna’s penance and can be reached by road. The entrance to the complex is close to ECR.
Both rathams are unfinished structures carved out of huge boulders. The work has begun from the top but the bottom is not completed. They resemble huge ‘Chettiar bommais’ at the bottom. The sanctums are also not complete and one is not sure for which god(s) these are meant for.
When we reached the Valiankuttai ratham, a man was peacefully sleeping in the niche, oblivious of the visitors.
‘Gopura darisanam kodi punyam’, goes the saying in Tamil. Gopuram is the tower at the entrance of a south Indian Hindu temple. For those who can not go to the temple for some reason, even viewing the tower is considered to be a blessing. The kodimaram or Dwaja stambham is the other tall structure.
Viewing both through my lens was indeed a blessing at the Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal temple in Saidapet. The bird in flight added to the dynamism of the image.