Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gateway of India

Gateway of India
Gateway of India, originally uploaded by Ruchi Palan.

An evening shot of the Gateway of India, Mumbai.

Gateway of India, Mumbai

Side view of Gateway of India, Mumbai.

Humayun's Tomb

Text by the photographer follows:
I finally made it to India, a place I have always wanted to come visit. We are here to set up customer service with iEnergizer for WebWars, which by the way got a nice preview over at John Quain's site at his JQ site .

This is a picture of the Tomb of Humayun in Delhi. I arrived during Diwali, the biggest annual festival that involves a burning a lot of things. Most of the tombs, mausoleums, temples, and the like were surprisingly empty, giving me clean access to cool places like this without dopey tourists getting in the way of sweet photography.

It is the next morning now and the air in Delhi is covered with the smoke from last night's festivities... There is this acrid smell of stale carbon and it's not exactly like a trip to Sedona. Luckily, I am getting out of the city today because my hosts have been kind enough to give me a ride up to Agra to visit the fort and Taj Mahal... more pictures coming soon, so stay tuned! :)

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal
Farewell India, originally uploaded by Stuck in Customs.

The text added by the original author follows.

I had a great time in India! I am very thankful to my various hosts for showing me such a good time.

Besides a weekend trip to the Taj Mahal, as you can see above, I was also treated to a full immersion into Bollywood here in Mumbai, the center of the movie world here in India. It started with a 3-hour viewing of Om Shanti Om, complete with a pre-show standing for the Indian national anthem. Afterwards, we ate dinner at Olive's, which is a trendy place where many of the Bollywood stars go to see and be seen by the Page 3 newspapers. My host was leaning over to me telling me who was the sister-in-law of whom and which directors were entering while escorting which starlets.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Neela kurinji and Shola forests

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Neela kurinji flowers

Neela kurinji flowers
neela-kurinji, originally uploaded by S.Guruvayurappan.

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Neela kurinji - Strobilanthes kunthiana


kurinji, originally uploaded by ~Panache.

Hill tops covered with abundantly flowered Neela Kurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana).

Neelakurinji 2006


Neelakurinji 2006, originally uploaded by harisankar.

Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana) is a bush with several branches. The species name Kunthiana has been derived from the River Kunthi which flows through the rich expanse of the renowned Silent Valley National Park in Kerala, India. It means that the plant has been first described from the vicinity of this river. The plant grows profusely in Shola grasslands and mountain slopes of the mighty Western Ghats and Nilgiris in India. Neelakurinji blooms in a clustered manner on typical inflorescence stocks once in every 12 years. The flowering season ranges between August and November with a peak period of late September and October although some varieties exhibit little variation in their phrenology. The flower has purplish blue colour when aged. It looks light blue in the earlier stage of blooming.

Tea Plantation at Munnar

Tea Plantation at Munnar
DSC_0194, originally uploaded by santhosh_trans.

Neela Kurinjee flowers at Munnar


IMAGE_00081, originally uploaded by santhosh_trans.

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Reflection

Reflection
reflection, originally uploaded by santhosh_trans.

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A Red Hibiscus of Kerala

A Red Hibiscus of Kerala
A Red Hibiscus of Kerala, originally uploaded by santhosh_trans.

The author of the photo adds, "The Hibiscus is used as an offering to God Kali and Lord Ganesha in Hindu worship, white hibiscus is considered to have medicinal properties in the Indian traditional system of medicine, Ayurveda. Roots make various decoctions believed to cure various ailments."

Vattakotai at Kanyakumari

Vattakotai at Kanyakumari
Vattakota @ kanyakumar, originally uploaded by santhosh_trans.

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Valluvar "The Poet"

Valluvar

Valluvar
valluvar, originally uploaded by akhilraj.

The statue of the great Tamil poet, Thiruvalluvar, one of the tallest statues in Asia, at Kanya Kumari.

Gandhi Memorial in Kanya Kumari

Kanya Kumari seen from Vivekananda Rock

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Vivekananda Memorial

Vivekananda Memorial
Kanya kumari, originally uploaded by Hareesh.P.

Sunrise at Kanya Kumari

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Chempakam (Michelia champaca) Frangipani

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Kumarakam - sunset colors

Kumarakam - sunset colors
Colors at dusk, originally uploaded by kdinuraj.

Golden Sunset at Kumarakam


Golden Sunset at Kumarakam, originally uploaded by kdinuraj.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Munnar - nature defying imagination

Munnar - nature beauty

Munnar - nature beauty
Nature beauty, originally uploaded by Arun Kumar Sinha.

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Munnar - romance in air

Munnar - romance in the air
romance in air, originally uploaded by Arun Kumar Sinha.

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Munnar - a paradise

Munnar - a paradise
A paradise, originally uploaded by Arun Kumar Sinha.

The author of this photo adds: Munnar, one of the most popular hill stations in India is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Located at 1600 m above sea level, this was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, trekking and holiday facilities make Munnar a unique experience.
Munnar - breathtakingly beautiful - a haven of peace and tranquility - the idyllic tourist destination in God's own country.
Set at an altitude of 6000 ft in Idukki district, Munnar was the favored summer resort of the erstwhile British rulers in the colonial days. Unending expanse of tea plantations - pristine valleys and mountains- exotic species of flora and fauna in its wild sanctuaries and forests - aroma of spice scented cool air.

Poovar - magical moments

Poovar - magical moments
Magical moments, originally uploaded by Arun Kumar Sinha.

The author of this photo adds: Poovar is a small coastal village in the Trivandrum district of Kerala state, south India. This village is almost at the southern tip of Trivandrum and there is not much distance from here to the Kerala - Tamilnadu border. This village has a beautiful beach which attracts tourists. There are also some good tourist resorts.

Poovar lies very close to Vizhinjam, a natural harbor. Poovar has an estuary which connects with the sea during high tides. It's natural beauty enables it to be a quiet tourist spot.

Poovar was a trading center of timber, sandlewood, ivory and spices. It is believed that the trading ships of King Solomon landed in a port called 'Ophir', which is figured out as Poovar.

Sunset

Sunset
Meet you tomorrow, originally uploaded by Arun Kumar Sinha.

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Sunset in mountains

Sunset in mountains
Sunset in mountains, originally uploaded by Arun Kumar Sinha.

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Sabarimala Hills 2

Sabarimala Hills 2
sabrimala hills 1, originally uploaded by Arun Kumar Sinha.

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Sabarimala Hills

Sabarimala Hills
sabrimala hills, originally uploaded by Arun Kumar Sinha.

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Red Anthurium

Red Anthurium
Red Anthurium, originally uploaded by Arun Kumar Sinha.

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Pink Anthurium

Pink Anthurium
Pink Anthurium, originally uploaded by Arun Kumar Sinha.

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Munnar, heaven on earth

Munnar, Kerala, heaven on earth
Munnar-Heaven on earth, originally uploaded by Arun Kumar Sinha.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Kovalam beach - blue beauty

The author of this photo notes, "Kovalam beach is known as the "Paradise of the South".
Kovalam is a beach town on the Arabian Sea in Kerala, a state in south India. It is located around 16 km outside Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) City in the Thiruvananthapuram district. There are a large number of beach resorts in and around Kovalam. The sea port of Vizhinjam is about 3 km away and famous for its special varieties of fish, old Hindu temples, big churches and a mosque. The Proposed International Trans shipment Terminal at Vizhinjam is also close to Kovalam.

Kovalam was among the most prominent tourist spots in India during the hippy era. It still has a high status among tourists, who arrive mostly from Europe and Israel. Kovalam is finding a new significance in the light of several Ayurvedic salons, and recuperation and regeneration resorts which provide a wide variety of Ayurvedic treatments for tourists.

There are three beaches at Kovalam, separated by outcrops jutting out to the sea. The larger one is called Light House Beach for its 30 odd metre high light house. The second largest one is Hawah Beach named thus for the topless European women who used to throng there. It was the first topless beach in India. Topfree bathing and parading is banned now except in private coves owned by resorts. Visitors frequent these two beaches. The northern part of the beach is known as Samudra Beach in tourism parlance. A large promontory separates this part from the southern side. Samudra Beach doesn't have tourists thronging there or hectic business. The local fishermen ply their trade on this part. The sands on the beaches in Kovalam are partially black in colour due to the presence of ilmenite and thorazite. The normal tourist season is from September to May."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Monsoon at Athirappally

Monsoon at Athirappally
Monsoon@Athirappally, originally uploaded by PrasanthC.

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Sundown on a Monsoon Day

The author of this photo says, "The monsoon is here in Kerala and it has been raining off and on, bringing much needed relief to the sun dried and parched earth of this country.

Some evenings can be pure eye candy. An evening, like this, when the nimbus clouds lift away. The skies open up and great banks of yellow and black cumulus, move as if in a trance skitting across the glorious sun setting over the waters of the Indian Ocean.

This shot is from Wilingdon Island in Cochin."

Trivandrum Golf Course

Trivandrum Golf Course
Trivandrum Golf Course, originally uploaded by vinikon1.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hussain Sagar Lake


One wouldn't want to miss Hussain Sagar Lake, at any cost, when you visit Hyderabad.


Hussain Sagar bridges the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. It constitutes a continuum between history and contemporaneity. While Hyderabad represents the old and ancient part and Secunderabad the latter day addition the two were culturally different and still are.

Love is like the moon...

“Love is like the moon, when it does not increase, it decreases”

It was full moon and moon looked gorgeous from balcony with the clouds playing hide and seek

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Golden Temple 2


golden temple, originally uploaded by kaurpomal.

Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab, India

Golden Temple Sky Light

Golden Temple Amritsar: wallpaper
GoldenTempleSkyLight-1024x768, originally uploaded by kaurpomal.

Golden Temple, Amritsar: wallpaper size 1024 x 768

Monday, June 16, 2008

Links Exchange

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An epiphany in azul !!

Infinity is a lovely mathematical postulate but when applied to a multi layered level of water and sky, it is quite a finite thing really.

To attain true Infinity you have to be in the water and be looking at the wonder that is here and not be outside taking pictures of alleged Infinity pools.

Kovalam, Kerala 2007
Text by the author of the photo

Varkala on a Summer Day !

Varkala in the monsoons wears a deserted look sans the tourists.

The Arabian Sea beats some heavy spray onto the air and the land and there is almost no beach left.

The fishing boats are hauled to higher grounds and kept covered in plastic sheets and coconut leaf thatchings.

Looking at Cochin !

Of late, mine is a small universe. Not much traveling. Not too many outings.

Whatever I do is within the confines of this shot. This shot taken in a late evening while waiting for the ferry to start from Nettur to Thavera.

Kerala is blessed with an abundance of water. Sweet or saline, it is there everywhere that your eyes can travel.

Hello Sun !

Talking to the Sun!

Or perhaps a loved one somewhere, a gentleman on a boat describes the flaming reds of the beautiful sunset over the western waters of Cochin.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

2008 - Monsoon Arrives in India !

The much awaited monsoon arrived in the night. Don't trust the weather man !

An urban look at the rain fall activity over the waters of Thavera.

Lighting provided by the lightning flashes that accompanied the clouds.

Maybe more rain tonight.

28 May 2008

Bird on a Wire !


The white-throated kingfisher (scientific name: Halcyon smyrnensis, also known as the white-breasted kingfisher) is found in many European and Asian countries like Bulgaria, Turkey, India, Philippines, Israel, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, etc. The population of birds found from Burma to the Greater Sundas are now lumped into fusca subspecies (the photo here shows a pair of fusca).

White-throated Kingfisher is a common species of a variety of habitats, mostly open country in the plains, but has been seen at 7500 ft in the Himalayas with trees, wires or other perches.

The White-throated Kingfisher breeds at the onset of Monsoons. In its courtship display the male perches near the female and spreads out the wings with bill raised high and displaying the white throat and front. Its nest is usually a tunnel (50 cm long or more) in an earth bank. Nest tunnels in a haystack have also been recorded. The eggs take 20 to 22 days to hatch and the chicks fledge in 19 days.

Outside the Window !

There are sunny skies and gently banking clouds. Lovely light and melodious sounds of birds in the trees.

Now the monsoon has begun and this which was reality just a few days ago is now a figment of my dream.

Much as I love the rains, but it is good bye to blue skies, for now.

Hark ! the Monsoons Come !

This year the monsoons are much delayed.
Normally it is the last week of May when the rains come to Kerala. Though it did appear that it was so, it did not happen. Not much rain.
The skies cleared and the light was unbelievable for a few days.
These shots are adroit reminders of what the skies can be in Kerala.
Right now though it appears that the monsoons have set in, albeit on a sedate scale. - text by the original author.