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Malanada ~ The temple of Kaurava King

Peruviruthy Malanada or Malanada is the only Duryodhana Temple in South India. The story is that as part of his efforts to trace out the “Pandavas” in exile, Duryodhanan traversed the forests in the south and reached Malanada hill. The annual festival of Malanada Temple is known as “Malakkuda”. It is amazing to witness the ceremonial display of giant wooden horses and bullocks in connection with the annual temple festival.

Malakkuda Festival is celebrated during the summer, the second half of March every year in Kerala.

Bharatanatyam ~ Meenakshi Srinivasan

Bharatanatyam, a pre-eminent Indian classical dance form presumably the oldest classical dance heritage of India is regarded as mother of many other Indian classical dance forms. Conventionally a solo dance performed by women, it initiated in the Hindu temples of Tamil Nadu and eventually flourished in South India. Theoretical base of this form traces back to ‘Natya Shastra’, the ancient Sanskrit Hindu text on the performing arts.

Sharing here few moments from Meera Bhajan , performed by charismatic Meenakshi Srinivasan.

 

 

Dawn at Mullayanagiri ~ the highest peak in Karnataka

Located in the Chandra Dhrona hill ranges of the western ghats, Mullayanagiri is the highest peak in Karnataka.
It was my second visit to the hill, first time I couldn’t make it to the hill top. While standing on top of the Mullayanagiri hill at dawn, the chilling wind murmured in my ears… “welcome back to the moments” 🙂

 

Mullayanagiri is the highest peak in Karnataka, India.

Redemption ~ Annual festival of Kodungalloor Bhagavathy Temple

These photographs taken at Kodungallur Temple, Kerala during the annual “Bharani” festival. Thousands of oracles, both men and women from different tribes come there wielding swords, clad in red costumes, singing and going around the temple.

Legend is that Hindu Goddess Kaali after defeating and Killing Darikan (an immensely powerful and arrogant demon) was still angry. To make her feel better,  “Bhoothaganas”- her soldiers sung songs and danced. Now yearly devotees gather and sing to appease the goddess and also seek redemption and unburden their sins.

To invoke goddess Kaali, the ecstatic devotees sing wielding swords. All the Oracles (the mediator between God and devotees) are  in a trance due to deep devotion to the goddess.

This is the most challenging photograph I have taken during the ceremony. There is a huge space constraint as thousands of devotes throng the temple during this festival. The oracles, who are in a trance due to devotion stand in front of the sanctum sanctorum with swords in their hands. I wanted to capture their emotions from close in low angle and managed to sit just in front of them.

Due to the huge crowd, people were nudging each other and I could hardly move. My concentration was on getting the right frame but at that time one of the oracles moved forward with his sword. It was really risky as there are many oracles moving with swords. This particular oracle in the photograph wielded the sword, where I was sitting at least thrice. The challenge here was to get the right shot without being hurt.

Since the space was very restricted, I used my wide angle lense here. My Tamron 10-24  Di II performed pretty well to get the focus along with my Canon 60D. Even though it was a sunny day,  the specific area was less in light because of the huge crowd. Thus I kept the ISO range between 600 and 700 with shutterspeed of 1/400s and with a maximum aperture value with f/3.5

Kodungallur Bhagavthy temple, Kerala, India

Rosemala ~ less explored eco tourism spot in Kerala

This is our second trip to Rosemala. Our first trip was a failure as we ventured out in a car. We were forced to stop in the middle as the car would’t take us any further owing to bad roads. It’s easy to get a Jeep from Aryancavu to Rosemala,the fare is Rs 400 perside. There is also a bus route to Rosemala but for that we will have to travel early morning.

But if you miss this bus the only option is to depend on the jeep. The untarred path to Rosemala is heavenly for both eyes and soul. The only sounds that one could hear in this serene place was the humming of the wild and the roaring of the jeep.

Our truck driver was really helpful as he doubled as a guide, explaining to us each and every part of the forest.


Streams are common on the way to Rosemala. And the water is chilling even at noon.

Small temples are common in the forest, we have also seen several like this at Arippa forest.

The gates were wide open when we reached Rosemala, normally it is closed by night because of wildanimals.

This is the only hotel in rosemala. Meals available there. If you need any special dish it has to be ordered in advance. We had meals with fish curry and fry. Their food was mouthwatering, especially the spicy fish curry.

After reaching rosemala, we headed to the main hill, the view from there was splendid as we could see Rosemala and the other side. View of Kallada reservoir from Rosemala is breathtaking.

There is an old shiva idol temple on top of the hill which is facing rosemala. The renovation is till going on. An idol of Lord Ganesh (ganapathy) can also see on top of the hill.

After a tiring trek to the hill, went back to the hotel and had the delicious lunch.

We are planning to visit Rosemala again as our guide promised to take us to the origin of Palaruvi waterfalls, which is inside deep forest.

Rosemala, Kollam, Kerala, India