View from the Balcony

films and pilgrimage
films and pilgrimage

A family on a pilgrimage to Haridwar. In India, even if you are on a pilgrimage one can not avoid the movies and the cable clutter.

 

Devoted Devotee

86-year old regular at Sonna Vannam Seidha Perumal
Born and brought up in Kanchi this 86 – year old is a regular at Yadothkari Perumal Temple

This man was born and brought up in  Kanchipuram. He spent his entire life in this temple town. Now at 86, he still prays at the Yadothkari Perumal Temple, also known as Thiruvekka temple or Sonna Vannam Seidha Perumal.

This temple is one of the 108 Divya Desams. It was built in the 8th Century CE by the Pallavas. It is one of the three oldest temples in this region; the temples of Pandava Doothar Perumal and Ulagalantha Perumal being the other two. There are later contributions from the Cholas and the Vijayanagar kings.

The deity is unique in that Perumal is lying with his left hand supporting his head instead of the right hand as in most other places, including Srirangam.

Royal Feast

Dining are of resort cum restaurant between Aurangabad and Khuldabad
Dining area of resort cum restaurant between Aurangabad and Khuldabad

Khuldabad is where the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was buried in a modest tomb. Khuldabad is also famous for the Bhadra Maruti temple. It also houses the tombs of the first three Nizams and a handful of Muslim saints. The town is only a few kilometers from Ellora and can be covered in the same trip from Aurangabad.

On the way back to Aurangabad, we stopped over at a resort with a Rajasthani theme for lunch.

Temple on Film

Pachaimalai temple
Pachaimalai temple

The Mahayuga Kali hilltop temple on Pachaimalai, a hillock near Tambaram Sanatorium. One has to climb 150 steps to reach this shrine.  The view is worth the effort. The temple had just received the first coat of white paint and it presented an ethereal sight against the morning sky.

Shot in Nikon D7000 Tamron lens 18-200 at 56 mm 1/320 sec f/5.0

Lightroom Old School Film B&W preset.

 

Trinket Seller

Trinket seller - waiting for custom.
Trinket seller – waiting for custom.

Temple towns and pilgrim centres provide livelihood opportunities for many.

This old woman was selling rosaries, pendants and a wide variety of bead necklaces on the road to Hari ki Pauri at Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India

Largest monolithic Nandi at Lepakshi

Granite Nandi at Lepakshi
Granite Nandi at Lepakshi

The monolithic granite Nandi (Bull) is believed to be the largest in India. Built during the Vijayanagar period(14th C CE) it is part of a large temple complex. The exquisite carvings of bell garland, jewellery etc. stand out beside the size.

It is 4.5 Mtrs high and 8.25 Mtrs long. The Thanjavur Big Temple Nandi is smaller.

Monk at Chele La Pass

Monk at Chele La Pass
Monk at Chele La Pass

Chele Le pass is the highest point in Bhutan at 4000 mtrs. Yet it is easily accessible by a motorable road. We, a group of senior citizens, went near the peak in a van and trekked a few yards. Though we avoided the highest point we had a very good view.

A number of monks were also there enjoying the scenery. Here a lone monk walks through the ubiquitous prayer flags.

Badami

On the way to Shivalaya temple, Badami
On the way to Shivalaya Temple, Badami

On the way to the Shivalaya group of temples Badami, Karnataka.

Badami, formerly known as Vatapi, is a town in  Karnataka, India. It was the capital of the Badami Chalukyas from 540 to 757 AD. It is famous for its rock rock-cut structural temples. See wikipedia for more….

It is real: not all bull

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Nonchalant Nandi  in a shop

In January 2015 on a visit to Varanasi, a curious sight caught our eyes. It was a bull squatting non chalantly in a textile showroom under a Shiva idol  while the  customers and the staff went about their business uninterrupted. We captured the image and moved on.

Only later we learnt that the bull visits the shop every day without fail. The locals attribute this to the Siva idol in the shop. Maybe the shopkeeper feeds the bull too. On holidays, the bull just hangs around outside. The shop is called Chikan House – Exclusive.

I have seen many social media posts of this bull and the shop. This post is only to assure that the bull’s visit is real and not all bull like many social media forwards. These images are taken by me. I can not, of course, vouch for the regularity  of the bull’s visit as I was there only for two days.

shiva's bull
Bull in a textile showroom
Nandi in a kurta shop
Chikan House – Exclusive. Kurta, pyjama,sarees, salwar suits, tops, and materials

There are episodes where the Nandi hides darshan of Shiva, but here is a situation where the Nandi provides not only unhindered darshan from the street but  uninterrupted business too.

There are a couple of YouTube videos  taken in 2011 and 2014. You may watch those too if you wish.