Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

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the golden temple, namdroling monastery, byleguppe © Anuradha Prasad, 2017

“The eagle perched above her empty nest
can go now. Because settling in and listening
to what remains of her fading sorrow
is becoming less important
than surfacing elsewhere,
breathing in new air
of a nurturing current
as she regally soars.”

  – Susan Frybort via My VividLife

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A heritage site, the Bhoga Nandishwara temple is a Shiva temple at the foothills of Nandi Hills. The original temple dates back to the 9th century. There are numerous granite nandi (bull) idols here, sacred to Shiva as it was his choice of transport. Since it was first built, the temple complex has seen renovations made by ruling dynasties.

The temple complex follows a Dravidian style of architecture. So you’ll see sandstone pillars, temples, relief carvings, mantapas (outdoor halls, a kind of gazebo, where dances, music, and festivities were hosted), and dhwaja stambas (high pillars that are believed to protect temples from lightning apart from carrying a religious significance).

A highlight is the large kalyani (pool). The water is a startling green against the grey-beige symmetry of steps descending into it. Some say it is rain water that collects here; others that it is fed by an underground river, and could be the origin of the Dakshina Pinakini river.

© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

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© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

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© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

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© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

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© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

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three bears (yes, those black smudges) and a peacock (perched on a rock, extreme right)               © Anuradha Prasad, 2017

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palm oil and jaggery smeared on rocks explain the bear hugs © Anuradha Prasad, 2017

Sculptors at Work-Anu

© Anuradha Prasad, 2017                                                                                                                               

 “I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey work of the stars…” – Walt Whitman

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Dubare Elephant Camp, Coorg © Anuradha Prasad, 2016

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© Anuradha Prasad, 2016

“Blue is the color of longing for the distances you never arrive in, for the blue world.” – Rebecca Solnit

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© Anuradha Prasad, 2016

My father and I would walk up the monolith. At the top, looking out at the other side – an expanse of trees that emanated a frail, lonely, abandoned air – he would tell me about the tiger who lived there. As my eyes searched for the tiger both apprehension and anticipation would grip me. That was thirty years ago.

I stand here once again, alone. I look for the rock sliding into a tree copse. Ah, but memory is fickle. The scene exists only in the child who believed in the tiger lurking among trees. And she is still in there waiting for the sinewy cat to show itself.

***

LB 1

The Lal Bagh Botanical Garden is an ornamental garden. The monolith that has been classified as a Peninsular Gneiss is 3000 years old. It is 7am, the sun is still choosing the day’s colour for the sky, and the place is already crawling with people and a few dogs.

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Atop this rock, sits one of the watch towers erected by Kempegowda I to mark the limits of Bangalore. The city outgrew these limits a long time ago.

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A child runs down the hillock barefoot just as we did as children. It is easier with your shoes off, and the rock feels both firm and cool against the feet.

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There are morning walkers who are catching up on gossip post-walk. Groups of tourists are guided by tour operators.

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Some are trying to meditate. Like this man who sat away from the crowd. A plumeria tree with buttery blooms stood a little distance from him.

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Vidhana Soudha, which could once be seen from a certain point, is no longer visible. Instead there are hazy, nondescript buildings rising up in the distance.

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Solitude does not wrap you here. How then will the tiger appear? It is time to go.

© Anuradha Prasad, 2016