All posts tagged: featured

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 …

മാൻ‌ചേൽ മിഴിയാളേ ~ Kalyana sougandhikam Kathakali

മാൻ‌ചേൽ മിഴിയാളേ നിന്നാല്‍ വാഞ്ഛിതങ്ങളായീടുന്നോ- രഞ്ചിതസൌെഗന്ധികങ്ങള്‍ അഞ്ചാതെകൊണ്ടന്നീടാം Bhima, the son of wind god sets out in search of Kalyanasougandhikam, a rare flower as requested by his wife Panchali. Kalyanasougandhikam, a chapter from the epic Mahabharata, depicting the travails of Bheema who goes in search of Sougandhika flowers at the behest of his beloved wife Panchali. On the way, he meets his half-brother Hanuman and the story unfolds in the unique dramatic style of Kathakali. Posting here few moments from Kalyanasougandhikam Kathakali performed at Vyloppilly Sanskriti Bhavan, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Kathakali make up is an elaborate process lasting for many hours. It helps in giving a super human look to the actors. The make up of the male character is tedious and is directly applied to the face and it does not obstruct the full expression of face and eyes. All the colours used in the make-up are obtained from natural substances and herbs. The richness of this classical dance is its magnificent mixture of colour, expression, music and drama that are unparalleled in any other art form.It …

Dance of god

Theyyam is a traditional art form of Kerala which incorporates dance, music and enshrines the fundamentals of ancient tribal cultures which attached great importance to the worship of heroes and the spirits of ancestors.  The staging area of Theyyam is known as Kaavu. Theyyam is also performed at home (Tharavadu) and fields. Theyyam’ performers belong to one of the Hindu communities (Malayan, Vannan, Velan etc.). Each individual caste has the right to perform certain deities and all performers must poses a wide range of extraordinary skills. They must know the ritual and character of every deity. They have the inherited right to perform, know-how to sing, dance with the drum, do the complicated make-up, costume style and character of each heroes and deities. Through these series of photographs I am trying to say the story of “Kandanar Kelan Theyyam”. Legend is that Kandanar Kelan is a yesteryear warrior. While he was out hunting, the forest caught fire. He climbed a tree, which was the home of two snakes. Fire consumed the tree, snakes and Kandanar Kelan. …