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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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….
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.
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.
Most of us know Aurangazeb as a tyrannical and bigoted emperor who tortured and killed his family members, suppressed non-Muslims,fought many unnecessary wars which drained the exchequer. He is also known as the one who paved the way for the decline of the Mughal Empire.
But how many of us know the ‘softer’ side of this emperor? I have read in my school history book that Aurangazeb used to stitch caps and transcribe by hand copies of the Koran to sell anonymously to earn money for his burial and tomb.
The remains of the mighty emperor who lorded over the sub-continent for about five decades lie in a modest tomb in a non-descript town of Khuldabad, about 30 kilometers from Aurangabad.
Aurangzeb died in Ahmednagar(1707 C.E.), but he had a desire to be interred near the tomb of his Islamic guru, Sayyad Zainuddin Shirazi at Khuldabad.
Originally, his tomb was open and on all sides. Lord Curzon directed the then Nizam to put up marble panels all around. The top is still open to the sky.
A blind caretaker Sheikh Hakim was at the site when I visited and was most helpful.
Flowers for the emperor
Aurangazeb’s son and his wife are also buried near the emperor’s tomb and Zainuddin Shirazi’s dargah is just behind. Behind the dargah there is a small room which is believed to house the robes of the prophet.
Across the narrow and busy street is the dargah of Sayyad Burhanuddin another notable teacher. The tomb of the first Nizam is also in this complex.
The dargah of Sayyed Burahnuddin
Nizam’s second son lies here
The tomb of the first Nizam
The whole complex is devoid of any visual or architectural attraction but it stands as a testimony to the frugality of a mighty emperor who hailed from a dynasty which took pride in building grandiose monuments and tombs.