Sunday, July 6, 2008

Rosary Church Shettihalli

What remains of the main entrance of Rosary Church ...

Sunset at Rosary Church, Shettihalli, Hassan

The Rosary Church at Shettihalli, near Hassan in Karnataka was built by French Missionaries in 1860. The village of Shettihalli had to be relocated due to the construction of the Hemavathy Reservoir but the Rosary Church got sumberged and this is what remains of the church. Strangely, the waters have depleted its structure but not the peace and serenity of the place.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Seebi or Sibikshetra as it is known, is a day trip from Bangalore. It is home of a beautiful 18th century temple. This temple looks very plain and deceptively simple from the outside but hold your breath , for the beautiful stucco figures on the parapet will defy everything that you might imagine to see inside.

The entrance to the Narasimha (Lion God) Temple at Seebi. The figures are the door keepers or Dwarapalakas who are also considered the guardians of Heaven. Two majestic elephants form a prop to the stone stairway.

Some breathtaking stucco figures that line the four walls of the outer parapet of the temple. These have survived the ravages of time and stand testimony to the eye for detail and excellence of the sculptors in the 17th century

The Narasimha Temple at Seebi with the stucco figures of the imposing Lord Narasimha (Lion God) disembowelling the demon with visible trails of the intestines. Also featured is the Holy Cow Kamadhenu, also known as the Cow of Plenty.

The frescos in the sanctum sanctorum of the Seebi temple take you completely by surprise , just as the stucco figures would, when you enter the temple.You least expect to find something so breathtaking in what I define as a deceptively plain temple .
This is a painting of the Lord Vishnu depicted as the Lion God . A very unique portrayal that I have never seen before.

Friday, May 11, 2007


I have lost count of the number of times I have visited Goa and often wondered why I never tire of visiting this place. These have been my most recent experiences at Goa and I am absolutely sure that another beautiful face of Goa will feature in my blog in future .

Hiring a gearless scooter and driving around is possibly the best way to explore Goa. And make sure to travel light in case you spot a great beach that lures you into a swim. I passed by a beautiful Portuguese home of Joazinho Da S.F.A Martin .These are some slices of their daily life at their Salcete home.

Mobor is a great beach in Goa. The white sand is magical and makes a sibilant sound when you walk. My theory is that it has therapeutic property and gives a great foot massage.

Lazing around the many shacks beside the beach is another pastime one must indulge in.

Soak some Goa sun..dip for awhile in the warm water...then walk in the sand and stop by a shack to sip a drink and steal a quick nap. Now repeat this over and over. Thats my recipe for revival!

A Chapel at Orlim. Had to stop to capture this frame in midday sun. The Sunday mass had ended awhile back and it was amazing to see how peaceful and quiet this place had become .

Friday, February 16, 2007


Wayanad in Kerala is possibly the best spot in the South if you want to get back in touch with Nature. Even a weekend stay in the verdant coffee estates, nestled amidst the hills, is adequate time to bring back a sense of sanity to a wornout city dweller.
The Tranquil Resort near Kalpetta would be my recommendation for the offbeat traveller.
The hospitality of the hosts Victor and Jini Dey add that personal touch that truly makes this a home away from home.

The journey to Wayanad is just as good since you pass through the Mudumalai forests and through rich fields .This one caught my attention in particular...a veritable carpet of gold.

Wayanad and its raw beauty ... a curtain of mist just uncovering a breathtaking mountain scene on our way to Edakkal .The caves at Edakkal were prehistoric dwellings and have interesting carvings depicting life in those times .

The poolside at Tranquil and the tree house beside it. The tree house was my favourite place ; reading a book, sipping coffee and doing some thinking or writing . Everthing you do here should ideally be with yourself..In Quiet.

Our cottage at Tranquil was as quaint and peaceful as the surroundings. The eye for detail is evident .Everthing has a role and place out here ..nothing less nothing more ...Just Right !
Kudos to the host and hostess !

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sterling Swamimalai - Back to My Roots !

Imagine a similar morning in the 1940's. Imagine a lady stepping out of this traditional South Indian home to say a prayer facing these first rays of the morning sun...and then stepping in again to start her busy household chores.Now that could have been my grandmother.Getting to Sterling Swamimalai was a journey to find my roots understand my past . These traditions are revived in every way at this resort starting from the traditional South Indian welcome that includes a foot massage.

This Courtyard is the venue for the morning Yoga Lessons . I attended these religiously throughout my stay there . This was also the venue for cultural performances in the evening. Experiencing the performance of flautists and percussionists playing Karnatic music against this perfect backdrop was an enthralling experince.

The well that is a characteristic feature of backyards of traditional South Indian homes and the main watersource for the house . I remember bathing by the well as a young boy at my Grandparents home ..drawing up buckets of cold water and often being reprimanded for taking too long and wasting too much water ... That was such a long time ago .

This traditional "Kollam" or pond has been creatively reconstructed into a swimming pool.
I spent most of the morning here ..reading a book by the pool after a sumptious South Indian breakfast that comprised famous Kumbakonam "degree" coffee.

Watching these geese enjoy a swim at the banana plantation was another pastime at Sterling Swamimalai. How the knew when the water would be released each day at the plantation is a mystery I could never unravel through my stay there.

Say Cheese !

This little buffalo calf will always be a strong association for me with Sterling Swamimalai. It was really strange that everytime I approached this little calf, it appeared to break into a grin like this..

Around Swamimalai

Swamimalai is a temple town and a feast for any pilgrim and I often wandered aimlessly around, capturing on camera, places and people of interest. The Gopuram or Dome of the Sarangapani Temple above was simply magnificent and I could not help but admire at this architectural feat that loomed high above us and appeared to touch the sky . A good pastime would be to sit at a reasonable distance from this structure and count the many fables and stories that unfold layer by layer until you reach the top.

One of my favourite spots in Swamimalai..The Pattibiraman Temple by the riverside. An ideal day for a swim in the river and soak some hot Swamimalai sun.(though not for long)
If only my pace of life was like this everyday. Sometime in the future possibly...

All temples close around noon and a post prandial siesta is a must for the priest of this temple before he resumes work from 4 pm. The heat could get to you with mercury touching 38 degrees C with a very high sweat factor. It is wise to travel very light but avoid shorts since permission may be denied at some temples.