20 June 2010

Bhoganandishwara Temple, Nandi Hills, Bangalore

This Saturday morning, we packed up some stuff and headed out for Bhoganandishwara temple. The temple is located in the foothills of a famous tourist destination "Nandi Hills" at the outskirts of bangalore City. As you passover the bangalore international airport and stretch over devanhalli, this temple lies in the serene and calm surrounding of Nandi village.
 Starting early was a good option and also exciting was the fact that our 3.5 months old daughter was to make her first outing with us this day. Hence we were stacked with anxiety and also thrilled about the same. We could only start by  7:30 am, due to all household chores and managed to reached the temple by 9 am. From the main road, once you take left for Nandi hills, you need to continue on the same road, till you reach a T-junction where lot of small hotels and shops are located. It should not be a problem identifying this T-junction since thats the only one in the whole area. If you take left from here, you would head towards Nandi Hills but for the bhoganandishwara temple you have to take right. The temple is approx 5-6 kms from here.The roads are great and luckily the weather was great on this day as well. It had been raining and have been overcast in bangalore for almost 2 weeks now, and i was almost sure of getting some washed out photos, but the sunny morning gave great hopes.
(Name etched in stone at the entrance)
(lush Lawn outside)
  The temple entrance is a huge gate which gave us initial glimpse of the huge lawn area to both the side. The walls corroded, with lush grass on one side with beautifully maintained ferns at the corners. This looks like an ideal setting for shooting a documentary. Lot of maintenance work seems to be happening here, which is encouraging enough. We move in taking shots around and reading about the place. At the entrance of the temple, there was a beautiful set of huge circular stone wheels on one side and a cart of wood being prepared on the others. There are ample trees though the campus and the wind was blowing past the leaves making beautiful sound. We could hear the birds chirping and amazingly, your hearing abilities start to catch these sweet sounds, whenever you break your city life routine and come out to a countryside like this. We were already feeling very relaxed and the environment was adding to it.
 (Serene Place)
 Though the time was not very early for a saturday morning, there were no visitors here. We were the first ones to enter the temple. A security gaurd greeted us on the main gate and asked us to do the darshanas. Buying the tickets, we took some photos and then finished darshans of lord shiva and other deities of the temple.

(Beautiful carvings on the wall)

      The first impression was of a very beautiful, extremely clean temple which is a marvel in the history books. Bhoginandishwara temple stands tall for more than 1000 years now and has amazingly rich cultural connect. You can read lot more stuff about this temple online or the priests should be able to give you insight. We thoroughly enjoyed small conversations with them. Built in dravidian style, it has a set of mantapas, with each having history tied to them. The most famous being the "Vasantha Mantapa", which if is to be believed, is where Shiva and parvathi got married.

(Main Mantap in the inner sanctum)

The sanctum of the temple which is exactly in the middle, comes from the chola dynasty and is more than 1000 years old. The gopuras, as you would notice were built by the vijayanagara empire. The most interesting part was the maintenance of the place, the silence around and the carvings in the stones. The combination of these three factors was just intoxicating. We moved around and then came across an opening through which we entered into the pond area. this is a huge pond with three entrances and chautaris on all its side. The view was beautiful here and we spent sometime here.

(The famous pond)
 Finally, we came out, spent some moments in the outside lawn and then started back to bangalore. Here are some facts/details about this trip and leaving you with some photos. Do share your experiences if you have been here or do write to me if you need more details on visiting this place. An exciting day all in all.
Distance: From Tippasandra, bangalore to Temple-Up & Down:125 Kms
Road Condition: great Roads through out the journey.
Direction: Catch the nandi hills route, from the T-junction take right and 5-6 kms thereafter is the temple.
  1. No videography or stand photography(using tripods/monopads) is allowed.
  2. If starting early you should club visit to this temple with nandi hills trip.
  3. In case you stop in the village, the kids/some people are in habit of chasing you and asking for some money. I personally don't think they should be entertained since this just sets a very wrong trend for others as well.

12 June 2010

Pottery Town revisited

This Saturday was the day when i had to go out. Few of my friends, and especially om had dropped by couple of times in less than a months time to check if i had stopped writing for any reasons. Essentially, i was busy in hand-over from my old job to new one and a little tight schedule spending time with my daughter, hence i was not shooting much or traveling.
 Cutting the chase, had been wanting to visit Pottery town for sometime now. The beauty of this place is the chance to experiment and amazing number of combinations of those clay figures, let you never run of of options.  You can keep coming back to this place and find nothing but the same old earthen clay pots, cups and various other items and yet go back with different perspectives in your shots, everytime.
I just wanted to get some time off my routine life and spend on some creative stuff, and this was it. the weather was cloudy and typical June morning with drizzling cloudy cold environment, which makes driving down to any part a heavenly experience. we cruised through to Pottery town, which is just near the Cox town and spent sometime clicking through. we also went to the house of a potter and spent some quality clicks capturing the majestic phenomenon of making clay items on their electric wheel. Leaving you with some shots from the morning. 
Do share your experiences, if you ahve been there!! it might be that you plan to visit it or you have been an avid visitor and a fan of this place, do share how have you felt about it.