Thursday, 26 November 2015

Nandi Hills Monsoon 2015

Cold, wet morning...lazy beginning to the weekend...chill in the air...persistent mild drizzle...grey sky... i mean ...everything that can make you go Ooooooo....and curl up in the bed! That's when we made up our mind at last to checkout namma own hill station Nandi Hills!

Long time ago, it had earned a bad name for being the haven to perverts and those who couldn't afford to "Get a room". The stories of broken liquor bottles strewn around, drunkards making merry and couples in conspicuous poses would scare families away. Till recently, I'd never considered this place to be safe for a quick visit. Off late though, several fitness enthusiasts have been posting amazing pictures of biking and trekking here. Well pictures always move me, even in this case they did.

So, off we went early in the morning. It takes a good 90 minutes from South Bangalore (about 70 kms) to reach the top of the hill (8kms climb). Oh what an amazing experience the journey was! Grape vineyards along the road, many bikers racing in their gear, trekkers  in small groups huffing and puffing, some steep bends, some sharp rises...excellent! Btw, there is Nandi Upachar for breakfast at the point on Bangalore-Hyderabad Highway where the road diverges towards Nandi Hill. A couple of small time eateries are available on the hill.

It was quite a shocker to see soooo many visitors at the top despite the hundreds (probably even thousands)...we had to look for an empty parking slot for a long time....but once we found our space, there was no stopping!

Good road to get there, even the climb...Only a small stretch on the hill is very bad...Rs.150/- per car for entry and parking...many view points....well landscaped area...Hotel Mayura non-functional (rather, looked so)...though I could not get the weather's favour, its perfectly positioned to enjoy sun rise as well as sun set...very clean place....loads of dust bins...the only let down was toilets - very dirty and inadequate to handle the size of the crowd.

Now enough of my reviews. Checkout some of the pictures I could make:

The Vistas

Panaromic View

Lone sentinel

Drama in the sky

Winding roads to the top

Such magnificent view from Tippu drop....probably the only consolation for those who got pushed by Tippu from here


On the Hill

Cabin in the woods

Some more of the windings

A forgotten pond

Way up to enlightenment

Fort walls

With so many people around, we are the minorities around here today....

Along the walls

A viewpoint

Crazy Choco Baa

Amrutha Sarovara

Mantapa beside pushkarani

Mossy steps


Some abstracts I took away

Hole in the wall

Wall made of Shades of grey and a hole in it :-P

Colourful Rock surface

Another shot of the monolith

Did you know:

- It's a huge monolithic granite rock formation sitting at the top of the Nandi hill

- Tippu Sultan would drop those to be punished from Tippu drop, and its a straight 600 mtr fall! This has been a suicide spot off late

- Name Nandi because it resembles a sleeping bull

- Amrutha Sarovara has water all year round

- Palar river takes birth as a small spring on the eastern side of the hill

Well, hope you enjoyed our visit to the hill!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

My Version of Alice's Wonderland

This story dates back to 2005 when I'd visited the highlands of Scotland, and specifically the northern end called Isle of Skye. We were returning from a near risky adventure along a cliff with extreme weather. Very strong winds and incessant rains had battered us. We were still driving back to our base, the island town of Portree when our driver Collin stopped around the most wonderful corner that looked "out of the world"! He called it his version of Alice's Wonderland. 

It truly was that beautiful, almost magical! The rain added that misty feel to the beauty when we looked through the window. Despite it being a gloomy day, there seemed to be some sort of glow under the trees that lit up every pretty flower. And there were bunches and bunches of flowers everywhere, most delicate. They bore colours so gentle, and yet those colours were co-ordinated among the flowers of all the trees. Occasionally, a creeper or two played peek-a-boo from the short tree canopies, weighed down by the flowers. Even upon nudging, none of us moved from our car seats. Our clothes and shoes were rain soaked and the chill had set in. That day, all we'd wanted was a warm place to rest our feet and a hot cup of coffee. 

Its been 10 years since, but I've visited those vivid memories several times wondering if I should have actually stepped out of the car, braved the rain, stood under those lovely flowery dreamy trees, and felt what it was like to be Alice. The irony is that I don't have a single picture of this place. I still nurture the wish to go back to that place, but what if I cant find Collin to take us there? Because it was Collin's Wonderland....and with so many years of deliberation, I'm almost certain it was a dream. Reality could never be so beautiful!!

So, here I've made an attempt to construct my own version of the wonderland, with my favourite flowers, favourite colours, textures and formats. Enjoy a trip through it. Sit back, increase the image size to suit you, play your favourite music, stretch :-) Look into the details of each image. The petals, their edges, the glow, the texture and experience the joy I did when I created these images. Enjoy!















The images are from a recent trip to Singapore, and specifically their National Orchid Garden which was in full bloom just in time for Chinese New Year celebrations in February.

Friday, 5 June 2015

The piggyback diaries

For years, I've been visiting the cultural fairs in Bangalore, and for years, I've noticed one common aspect about tiny tots. They all grow taller!! Taller on their dad's shoulders and get that vantage view point to enjoy the visual extravaganza. That's an advantage even I was bestowed upon, and I still cherish the scenes I'd watched from above my dad's shoulders!

So, all these years, as a curious photographer, I've just watched and appreciated the dads in awe while I was busy capturing the typical scenes of the fair. For once, it struck me that its these dads who should be the points of focus. While there is quite a lot said and appreciated about women and their contribution to a family and raising kids, men who play the quieter role of providing unconditional support are given lesser attention and due appreciation. Now getting back to the fair, whats been consistent over all these years is that dads are always the ones who carry the children around, and with such flair! Afterall, the piggyback rides are the most adorable sights to look out for.

Kadalekai Parishe 2014 gave me a fabulous opportunity of documenting dads and their piggyback rides. What I did not expect though is the diversity of expressions and activities I'd be exposed to during this exercise.

Here we go checking out the summation of hundreds of my observations.

My daddy strongest

Got to go miles
Carry the tiny angels to their destiny
Do my best to provide all that I can
And learn in the process, sometimes from the child and sometimes from others
Baby comes as a package you see
She was gifted to you  coz you're the most deserving one
You are there, for anything, even for a basic hand grip
The baby clings to you for love, even if it chokes 

Fun with daddy

Daddy makes for a great partner to share munchies (even to snatch!)

He can listen to a lot of my creative compositions

Infact, he is the perfect specimen to test the noise limits

"Me and my daddy" moments

He is usually happy
Sometimes grumpy
Adores me
Admires me
Manages my sleep
Manages my PR
But all he's trying to do is find a reflection of himself in me

The habitual multitaskers

My dad afterall is a posterboy of multitasking
He can do many things while carrying me
Enjoy a book with me in a fair
Catch a moment for himself
What better way to describe him than to say "He is my hero"


I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did creating it. It did bring back a myriad pleasant memories of my dad from the bygone era.

Thanks for stopping by!!!!!

The images of people used here are simply a representation of the spirit of the theme and in no way are intended to cause any trouble or interfere with their privacy. All the above images are copyrighted by the author of this blog post. Re-production  or storage or transmission or usage of these images in any form even electronic is strictly prohibited.

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