31 July 2012

Dashboard for getting better at photography

A shot taken in my car, and i named it dashboard. I loved the color combination in the dashboard, as the sun goes down in the evening. the contrasting greens and reds, with my hands-free and sunglasses in front, made for an interesting shot.
Dashboards are such an important piece, when it comes to driving anything, be it a project, vehicle or business. Dashboards let you get a view of the key metrics which help you make decisions.They also help you gauge in what direction are you heading in.
The same applies to the photographer inside you. Keep clicking photos, and also always keep a track of your favorite photos. Always keep yourself involved with local communities, and upcoming events. Also, keep clicking and get into a habit. Click different perspectives. You would be surprised, by the outcomes at times. I keep some of my favorite pictures bookmarked and tagged with a keyword which helps me reach them quickly. Keep looking at other photographers work. follow them. if you find something tricky, ask questions to understand how a certain shot was taken.
Keeping your eyes open, being curious and consistent click would be key to a photographer to create his own niche.

29 July 2012

Association Of People With Disability-Indiranagar

Are you someone who loves greenary, keeps plants in their balcony or home garden?  Or are you someone, who has been wishing to start this as a hobby. If so, here is a suggestion. Do visit society for disabled in indiramagar, if you haven't been there yet. Believe me, you would be blown away by this place.
The place houses huge variety of indoor/outdoor plants, trees, shrubs, water plants, ornamental plants,bonsais, medicinal as well as herbs. The options are endless. 
It's a huge property, and extremely well kept. I have been thoroughly impressed with this place, since the time i first got to know about, around 5 years back. I have made it my habit to go there for all my plants buy. All the persons who help you choose plants, load them in your vehicle, are disabled individuals. They also are the ones who maintain this place. I am sure, this gives a sense of equality and self-dependence to all the persons who work there. Even when you offer to pick up your stuff, they still insist that they can load the plants in your car.

About the pricing, this is best place i have seen. Much better than those road side nurseries, where you are offered the plant at thrice the price and hence either you bargain or pay through your nose, unless you know the chap. At this place, everything is labelled with price, and believe you me, they have the most reasonable prices, atleast as i have seen around bangalore.

Here is the address for the interested people. On most national holidays, its closed, so i recommend you call before you head out, but a must visit place.

Association Of People With Disability
No.3, Near Horticulture Training Centre, 9TH B Main Road, 10th Cross, LIC Colony, Jeevan Bima Nagar, Bangalore - 560075

28 July 2012

Growing up is fun

Growing up is fun. These are my daughters shoes, which she has outgrown so fast. she is just 2 years, and 3 months.
When we go out shopping for her, i am always lost in the frenzy of options available for kids these days. Beautiful and soft clothes, colors which probably you would never wear as you grown up. World is your play ground. You do whatever you feel like doing, and you wear what catches your eye. Do the colors match, does everyone approves of what you are wearing, do the dress and shoes go along well! these questions would not even cross your mind.
Growing up is fun! but i say, if i could turn back the time, and get back to my childhood, it would be even more fun.

27 July 2012

West Palm Beach Travelogue- Part1 –Juno Beach

Well, I have definitely spent quite a lot of time (if I can say so), in the south eastern united state. I am not trying to make it sound like a riddle, but to put it simply, the state of Florida, The sunshine state. 
The state which has more water surroundings, more sun, Lamborghinis, rich and old people, vacation homes, swamps, crocodiles, beaches, bikinis and everything under the sun which a connoisseur would like to have. In Florida, West Palm Beach has been the place where I have spent all this time. Travelling on a work assignment, I have spent close to 6 months at this small city, if you will. I have travelled there twice, and the roads, restaurants and malls, now well known, feel like those of a second home to me. 

West Palm Beach is south of Tampa and just 70 miles north of Miami. The place is well centered from some of the most important tourist destinations, like Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and never too far from the southernmost tipping point of US, Key West, and hence enjoys its benefits. Great housing options, hotels, well connected, though a little expensive, but quite nice. The water is turquoise blue, the real estate market, has seen its worst, lot of business still to rev up to their golden best, the housing communities have some of the best landscapes, the car rentals  which never run out of business, and the summer break and Florida continue to be synonymous to the whole country.

I choose to start writing about West Palm Beach, and being by sharing my views on Juno beach. This is primarily, because Juno beach happened to be the first place as well, which I visited after getting there.  Find more about Juno beach location and geography details here. 

  The beach is definitely beautiful. Clean shores, turquoise bluish water, facing the Atlantic Ocean is majestic. The beach also paves way to the ocean drive, which serpents along the coast and houses some of the nicest houses, and good restaurants and pubs.
The entry points of the beach are also spread out, quite wide offering easy access to joggers and visitors. The main fishing pier attracts lot of people, who would spend some time fishing over the pier, and enjoy a beautiful view of the sea. There are few coast guard towers at the beach, who are vigilant, and they also methodically follow the flag method of alerting everyone about the conditions and the weather forecast of the sea waves, hence very useful for the ones who are planning to spend a day and venture into the sea.  Juno beach has also strict guidelines around the turtles and them by chance, getting hooked to one of your fishing hooks, hence be wary about the same, and exercise caution and be sensitive towards the turtles.

A yacht gushes through the calm sea waters, on a Saturday afternoon. Can you spot another big boat in the background.

A beautiful Sunday morning at the beach. you can see the sea weeds on the shores

A small board near a small entry to the beach, announcing the palm beach county and sea turtles at the beach.

The fishing pier is fascinating to me all the times. I have taken endless shots of this place, and always enjoy looking at its pictures.

A calm Sunday on the pier for fishing, reading or simply chit-chatting.

A shot from the pier, showing the nice shores and the coast line. Not to forget, the puffy clouds loom large.

Some other tips:
1. Carry your stuff. The beach, though beautiful doesn’t have any stalls or shops nearby, hence carry your own lotions, lots of water to save you from dehydration, eatables, chair, beach towels, your favorite book. Though there is small shop at the entry of the fishing pier, which has couple of drinks and few crackers available but I never relied on it.
2. The sections of the beach, as I found were quite lone. Though the whole area is calm, exercise caution while going too far from the pier, essentially where the whole activity is.
3. The weather can turn on your very fast, hence be cautious and take the warnings by the coast guards seriously. If not weather, at times sharks have been reported very close to the shores, so listen to the coast guards and act accordingly.
4. Do not miss out on the Loggerhead turtle Park, which is set just next to the beach. It’s a delight to visit, especially if you have kids with you.
5. There are some very nice restaurants, just off the A1A, so you can always plan your lunch nearby. We used to go to Lana Thai, Thirsty turtle which I can remember now.
6. For essentially, there is a big CVS pharmacy, just on the A1A, very close to the beach entrance. Though, if you are driving then there are numerous options available near-by.

Keep reading. I would be writing about other parts of west palm beach, and my experiences in the forthcoming posts.

Troops scramble, gears shift, strategies change.

A Morning shot at a hotel in Bremen, Germany.

Friends, Change is the only constant. I am firm believer in the same.
I am changing some strategies and merging couple of my blogs into the primary blog
 Since few years, i was trying run different threads of daily photo blog and an extensive photo blog for photo essays and travel, but time has come where these paths have to meet. 
I am hoping that this would help me focus better, and also the same for all the readers and followers who have been reading and viewing my content.

Its my birthday today, so not a better date to keep track, remember and initiate this change. Also, for a change, rather than gifting myself anything, i am making this resolution. Resolve to post some thing everyday, and also continue to post photo essays and travel reports as appropriate and time goes by. Hopefully, i should be able to stick to it, else, next birthday, i would gift some thing to me instead.
Jokes apart, during my blogging journey yet, I have had lot of friends who have supported the posts, and shared their inputs via the social channel or in person. I also want to take time to thank each one of them and would seek their feedback further as well. I also want to thank people who read through my posts earlier, and wish that they drop in with their inputs, on what else would they like to read or what would make it better. 
  Without support, feedback and directions, one is like sailing in the middle in the ocean, not knowing their location, direction, situation and are lost. I am happy that atleast i have all my instruments working well, in the cockpit.

So, keep plugged in. This is turning to be more fun, much more photographic and lot of work. This is turning into a daily photography blog, with lots of action come our way.

25 July 2012

An old historical City-Srirangapatna

This was an enchanting experience and a wonderful experience. I have been crossing over through SriRangapatna for long time, but never got down to stopping here and exploring around the old town. Its since childhood, and the "Sword of Tipu Sultan" can i find my connection to this place and also my acquaintance with the people here. A plan over the weekend, to experience the grandeur was something on the cards and matured into memory on photos and now a script through the writeup.
SriRangapatna, is located 120 Kms away from Bangalore, and is just a leap before the other major historical City of Karnataka, Mysore. I am sure if you are visiting srirangapatna from Bangalore, and god forbid, the tasty masala dosas from Adiga's or A2B engulf you in sleep, you are sure going to wake up at mysore, which is just 15 kms ahead from this place. The roads are a treat to drive on, and we have had some of the best times, while driving down this excellent mettaled road.
The plan was to cover the famous Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary first in the morning and then continue to explore the vicinities of the city and then next day head towards Mysore. I have already written about Ranganthittu trip which can be read here. We started early from bangalore and reached Srirangapatna by morning 9:30 am. The city is situated on the national highway and spread across both its side. Its a typical indian town with lot of hustle bustle during the day time, since these places play host to most of the villages around for shopping their daily bread and butter. The bus Stand gave us the first signs of that, with not many options lucarative enough to call us in for the breakfast. The best we could never have imagined to us, happened. While trying to get some basic information about the place and some decent eating joint around, i asked this Autorickshaw Driver, named "Raja". I was suddenly surprised by his eloquence and willingness to discuss. he even went back to his auto and got some small postcard of the photos of srirangapatna and told me about the places around the city. I candidly asked him if he worked a Guide too, which he didnt feel bad about, but replied with a no and smiled. As with the conversation, we found that he was a good fellow and so very unlike other Rickshaw drivers talked sensibly. We finally decided among us and booked him for the day, for some 300 Rs to take us through the city.

First destination was a Hotel for breakfast prescribed by Raja in the city centre, as a pure Brahmin hotel having repute for food. As the auto pulled out of the bus stand, the stalls and pheris around the road disappeared and came across a huge entrace, typical to all the forts in india and that marked the entrace to the town also. Soon, i discovered that its a town, set in the fort vicinities and so is not a huge place to deal with. The market place also confirmed that, with a smaller coverage. To some extent it looked like a market atop a hill station with not many super markets and top of the town goodies on sale. Soon, the auto pulled over near a small house, with a wodden door and quite dusty surrounding. It took me a while to realize that this is the place, where we would be relishing the tasty dosas and kesri baths. The insides gave me a feel of some olden day restaurant. The place was though quite old but clean. The walls with huge photos, and of godess lakshmi on the counter, embraced the place. Also we could see that not many visitors come to the city, and if they come over, they dont come inside on such a typical eating joint, which is a definite miss for them. Soon a huge sized, old man but in excellent health, with moustaches seen never before appeared in front of us. He was wearning a clean shirt and tilak on his forehead, probably living the customs of a brahmin hotel. As he took our order, we observered the place. the breakfast lined up at our table in no time, and thats what we took to finish it off, no time. The experience was good and soon we were again onboard our personal vehicle for the day. Now the promise was to visit the famous Ranganthittu bird sancutary. As we returned from the sanctuary quite satisfied with the exploration, Raja waited patiently. Now the plan was to head back to the city and see the old & the golden places from the times of tipu sultan.

1, Raghunath Temple:

First on Raja's mind was Raghunath temple. A short drive and we came across this beautiful temple with huge carving on the front, as is seen across most of the temples in south india. Its work seemed quite peculiar and there was market just outside it selling all sorts of things. Raja told us that we could buy all of those local items on an govt. emporium than buying from there. We followed the suite and soon entered the Temple. It was a marvellous work with a complete stone rock being carved to make out this temple. The walls were huge in size, and aroma of dhoops and flowers in the dark shades of the interiors gave a great feel. The floor was amazing cold because of stones and it was a real delight to see not much of crowd inside the temple. The outskirts of the temple had carving of god's various forms. There was a Section to store & hold water on one side and a Yagy-Shala next to it. The huge pillars offered us some solace and we transcended to those days when the raja would have come to the temple with all his glory and offered his puja. Outside the temple was a chariot parked, which is used during the yearly festival to carry the Diety around.

2, Tipus Tombstone:

3, Water Gate & Tipu's masjid:

4, Summer Palace:

5, Sangam:

Mysore place- the magnificent and most tourist-ed place

Being in bangalore, its almost impossible that one would not have visited the timeless beauty, the Mysore palace. At a distance of 140 Kms odd, mysore city is never too far away for bangaloreans. I have been to the palace many a times now. Once it was first time for me too, but later it became a place to take around guests and family for outings. I don't plan to write about the details of the palace and other things from the history. That's not my forte and also, there are neumorous articles written on it. Read more about the palace here.

Mysore palace, Mysore reaching the top spot for the most popular tourist attraction in India, itself stands for it. Lonely planet, counts the palace among the top 31 places on the globe to be visited.

While, i have taken a lot of shots, i would leave you with some photos, and some tips for the visitors to the mysore palace. Hope you have a good time.

Tips for the visitors to mysore palace:
1. For people travelling by cars, i have noticed them, parking cars in the near by markets, to come to the palace. Well, this is a no brainer, the palace has a huge parking right at the entrace, which is great for long time parkings.
2. If you are visiting the palace over the weekend, see if you can stay or plan your visit around Sunday evening. from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm on sundays, the palace comes alive, like no other thing. the palace walls hold around 25 lakh bulbs, which are switched on, and it is a visual treat to see that. During Diwali, Dashera and other major festivals too, the palace is lit up, which you dont want to miss.
3. The main palace offers a great tour to the insides of the palace, and its a visual treat. Though, photography is banned inside. the irony is, that while inside, you would notice, almost everyone taking photos with their phones, in front of the security personals. This has been a very odd situation, but thats how things are. I would suggest, please be cautious and if possible dont click. atleast someone needs to be following the set rules.
4. Inside, while taking the tour, you would notice that there are lot of signatures and dirty notes handwritten by people visiting and touring. Where the security people are there to deter people, this is our responsibility too. It is not going to make your love story remembered for ever, if you try to do something silly like that. Rather deter others, who may indulge in this. Remember, these palaces and sites of national heritage, are our responsibilities as well.
5. After the main palace's tour, most of the people go towards the cauvery store for shopping and move ahead. Dont forget to check out the smaller summer palace at the back. The entrace of it, is just next to the exit of the main palace, with a separate ticketing available.
6. If you are accompnaied by a foreign visitor/friend, then the recorded handsets are available in multiple foregin languages, free of cost. Just you need to deposit an ID card. THis is excellent option and gives a great tour of the palace.
7. Cauvery store inside the palace, is a great place to shop some famous and authentic karnataka stuff-be it the wooden handicrafts, silk sarees, perfumes or thousands of articles up for grab. Do find some time for it.
8. Although inside of the palace, photography is prohibited, in the outside area, feel free to make most of it. For camera, a sepearete fee has to be paid. WIth the foreign visitor, the fees are almost 10 times or 20 times the fee an indian pays. Same is true with the entry fee at both the points. I am sure this is lot of revenue for the tourism department, but somehow i didnt like this idea.
9. There is a cloak road inside the palace, just next the entrance, for those who are carrying stuff, and are on the move.

Hope you find those tips useful. Enjoy the photos!

Mysore palace, in a side view. My favorite photo of this majestic palace.

Another side view, covering the garden around it.

The front view of the palace. you would see during the palace tour, the public hall and how this place, shows through the inside.King's view of everyone in the crowd.

Another heart-throbe of this palace. the roaring lions. many of these are situated through the outer compounds of the palace and you can see people doing funny things to them.

23 July 2012

Top 5 locations in bangalore for people Photography

People photography is something, which involves clicking people, and daily life around them.
Be it on the street, or a busy market, shooting people is fun, hard work and sometimes an experience in itself.
For years, among photographers, people photography has been a point of discussion and that too, of great interest. Where there are many new comers, who always have butterflies in their stomach, when someone talks about people photography, there are many pros in the field, who have won accolades in photographing people, and have shown the faces, which were not seen before.

With the limited amount of photography which i have done in bangalore, and across the globe, I have made my favorites alongside as well. As you venture into street photography, some of those tips would be helpful, so do check them out before you head-out. 
For today, here is a list of my top 5 favorite places in Bangalore, for clicking people. While these are  my favorite from the point of view of having plethora of subjects, and range on offer, i would also like to suggest a thing of two about the sensitivity of people here and the amount of creativity, one can get to work with. Ofcourse, one can always argue, that creative person can shoot at a usual place and bring a different perspective. True, but i mention creativity in terms of range of subjects available for shooting. The more the options, the more fun it is. Its like the more colors to paint with, the more freedom and fun it is to paint.

1. Russell Market
A Vegetable vendor looks on, while i shoot on an early saturday morning. Click the image to check out the photo essay.
Best Time to shoot: Russell market is one of the oldest landmarks of Bangalore, and to the current report, has been closed off. I am yet to validate that news myself. But, assuming that the market is still pretty much there, the best time to shoot would be during the mornings, or late evenings. That is precisely, because in the mornings, you can shoot the beginning of the day, loading/unloading of the vegetables and flowers, which come in interesting packaging and the market in itself is something else to observe. In the late evenings, you would be able to do some low light photography, which should again be an interesting experience. A lot of portion of this market is inside, hence low light photography is always an option, even while shooting in the mornings.
People & Sensitivity: This place is very well versed with photographers visiting in, so a good place to shoot. In my shootings here, most of the times people have been co-cordial, and mostly come along and talk as well. Please be cautious around the meat/mutton market adjoining, which sure may be very tempting to shoot for interesting pictures, but in past, we have noticed their dislike for someone shooting there, hence seek permission and gauge the mood accordingly, in case you plan to take a shot.
Creativity Meter: I would rate it as 3/5 on the creative meter, purely, because, the low light options can make for interesting shoot, else the diversity of the subjects isn't that great.
Read more about Russel Market visit in the morning.

2. KR market
A Baba, outside the mosque, looks on, while i take his picture, after a brief chit-chat.  Click the image to check out the photo essay.
Best Time to shoot: KR market is mecca for photographers. Flowers, colors, trading in bulks, huge number of people everywhere and play of light in and around the market. It doesn't get better than this, as per me. The Flower sellers and vendors, and all sorts of related business, thrive in the early hours of the morning, so head out to this place early morning, and it would not disappoint you. 
People & Sensitivity: In terms of sensitivity, I have often found curious eyes here, purely because apart from the vendors, there are so many people, who are obviously going to get curious and intrigued by moving photographers. Still, the place offers a lot of shoot. At times, you can maintain a distance, and take some really good shots. At times, you would suddenly be among a large group of enthusiastic people, and have a gala time shooting their pictures. 
Creativity Meter: I rate it as my highest, 5/5, solely because as per me, all the elements which you can think off, are on your disposal, and can be clicked. the options are endless, and it is all left to your creativity, imagination and abilities, on what you can get from this market.
Read more about KR Market visit and photos.

3. Avenue Street:
Amma (old lady) who sells flowers, looks on, while i took her pic. Click the image to check out the photo essay.

Best Time to shoot: Avenue street is one of the oldest areas and markets in Bangalore. It is situated among very busy city center and hence enjoys a lot of trade. Mostly, i would suggest going in early, since there are very beautiful perspectives, mainly due to newspapers sold in bulk, milk vans, a very famous coffee board's huge mobile coffee vehicle, who stands at the very beginning of Avenue street. Starting early would also give you opportunity to click in the smaller streets, joined to Avenue street, which call for beautiful play of light and dark.
People and Sensitivity: The place is always thronged by people, and hence its a mix bag place. There would be few people who would have read and seen enough, and would be fine with photographers moving around, though there have been times, where people have also objected to shooting in the areas, mainly for security concerns and usage of photographs taken. Also, particularly, i have enjoyed shooting here a lot, since i came across a lot of curious people, asking about what do we do with photos, do we come from press, and a peek-a-boo at the camera screen, brought a smile to everyone's face as well.
Creativity Meter: 4/5. Mainly due to variety of subjects to shoot in this area. do check out the saree weaving thread, which was a small in-house factory, i had found while shooting in the nearby ally of avenue street. A great place to click people and lot of other elements on the avenue street.
See the Avenue street report and photos from the street. 

4. Madivala Market
Old Baba, looks on as he smoked his beedi. Click the image to check out the photo essay.
Best Time to shoot: Madivala market is at a very busy junction of Madivala, in Bangalore. The market is spread across both sides of the road. I have shot here, twice, once in morning and the other time in the evening. Hence, this is a good place to experiment low light shooting if you enjoy so. The morning, shoot is alike any other market, hence nothing different. Apart from being a new and another place to shoot, Madivala market remains a good place to shoot for me.
People and Sensitivity: In both the situations, i have felt that though people here have had a fairly large number of times where photographers have come down, still there are nerves, when a camera is flashed. On both occasions, i felt that either people were very conscious and didn't want to be shot or very little fazed. Though i had a good time shoot, since explaining your reasons, and being friendly always help, i would still advice, that newbies exercise caution. you can read some tips to do better at street photography here. 
Creativity Meter: 3.5/5 A good place to be creative, with the life at the market, flowers(not traded in large here), vegetables and patterns and small hotels and fish shops who are there by the market.
Check out my visit to madivala market.

5. Pottery Town
A potter, carefully shapes his creation.Click the image to check out the photo essay.

Best Time to shoot: Pottery town, features as one of my favorite spots to shoot on a given day. first things first, the location of this place is a very calm, side neighborhood to that of cox town. I have met a lot of people, who when saw this place first time, exclaimed that they never knew about this place, even after living so close to it, for years. I definitely had countless visits to this place, and it has something on offer, everytime i go. You should visit this place, not too early morning, in case you want to shoot the making of pots. Normally potters start working by 7:30-8 am and sundays it could be a little late. (timings can change based on their schedule. the timings here are for guidance and previous experience)
People and Sensitivity: When it comes to sensitivity and how people react, i think this is one of the most receptive place i have been to. Most of the people are very comfortable around camera, and they are used to, seeing photographers coming all the times. Also, I have noticed an urge to showcase the local talent. Lot of times, people have driven me, or shown me around if they know about someone doing some interesting work. Often, they let you come inside their house, and shoot there, while some member of the family may be making pots or other articles.
Creativity Meter: 5/5: There is nothing else apart from a top ranker, in my list. Perspectives, abstracts, shapes, sizes, people. There is no end to what you can shoot here. Not to miss, during durga pooja and ganesha festival, the pottery town gets very busy with making Ganesha and other idols. A Treat to watch and click.
Check detailed reports on pottery tow here.

So, that's my list of 5 top locations in Bangalore to shoot people and some interesting perspective. 
Do share with me, what you liked and what you dont! Do you have a favorite place? do share with me.
Hope you enjoy this post.

16 July 2012

Colors of KR Market, bangalore

Markets in India are a very different place. For millions of people, this is their place of work. They get everything to the market, sell and earn their living. There are a number of businesses attached to these markets, also to earn their lively hoods. Someone, like a lorry driver, a rickshaw puller, who would ferry the goods to the market from nearby lane, or a bogie of a train which just arrived with the goods or via road from a neighboring state. On the other side, there are consumers. Lots of people visit the market place because they want to buy and fulfill their needs. A similar chain of people is associated with the buying aspect. Some are retailers, who buy from wholesale markets and make their living by selling them in stores and shops. Some try to be smart, and for personal use, buy out of bulk markets.
Whatever be the permutation or combination, sale, or purchase, its a busy market, mundane and hardcore job for the ones who are here all the time.

12 July 2012

10 of My favorite B&W photos

Bangalore Rains-Photos

This year, it hasn't been raining a lot in Bangalore. Infact, everyday, clouds hover around and give lots of hope, but seldom do they really drench the thirsty soil. The above image, is what i choose in relation to current situation and i title it 'longing'.

10 July 2012

Punjab fields- A photo treat

On a recent trip to my hometown, I took sometime out and went out the fields. Since childhood, i have always loved being in the green cover around. And now, when I dont live in punjab, whenever i visit back home, I ensure to wander out in the open.  The greenery around is always so peaceful to the mind. from the hustle bustle and deadening lifestyle of the metros, its always such a relief to be able to breath fresh air. A small feast of photos from the land of five river. Enjoy!

A Green field! Little overcast skies. it was delight.

08 July 2012

The Big Banyan tree-Outskirts of bangalore

Well, most of the times, I drive around over the weekend and find some different place, but this was a little out of routine. There was a client cum friend visiting india, and on a Sunday, i decided to take him around. We plan to head out to Mysore, and in between i decided to show him the ever famous 'Big banyan tree' on the outskirts of bangalore.
I remember,during my trip to florida too, while i was touring the Jupiter lighthouse, the guide did mention that the largest banyan trees were in india. Boy, i was proud of the mention. well, first some logistics and factual information. 1. The biggest banyan tree is not the one you have in bangalore. the biggest, is in fact in calcutta. the one in Bangalore comes #2. 

  Reaching there: 
1. Head out towards Mysore from bangalore. 
2. Watch for rajeshwari engineering college on the highway(NH-17). After the institute, watch for the 4 way crossing. the marking is clearly marked for big banyan tree directions, so, you would not miss it. 
3. Take right at the crossing. From the highway, if i am not wrong, its shouldnt be more than 10 kms from here. The straight road would take you directly to the big banyan tree.

The place:
The place used to be famous, but nothing much left here. the whole tree circumfrence has a park kind of enclosure. A guard is there, who is to ensure that people dont misuse this place. I definitely felt that the place was well kept, but could do with a little bit of help and upkeep. 
The tree is huge, but portions in the middle have died off, making it more look like collection of trees, though paying attention you can easily envision the complete expanse of it. There are benches around to sit, which are well done, and painted. A small temple in the middle, which whenever i have visited, is closed. may be opens in the morning during 'puja' times only. 
You can also get a view of ISROs facility, which is a little distance from there, from the park itself.
With kids, you would surely have some fun, since there are lot of monkeys here.

What to do:
1. Not much to do here, after the initial feel of such a tree seeps in. Earlier when i had visited this place, the tree was literally out in nowhere, but now, there is a full-fledged market here. There is a bus stand here and hence, a commercial surrounding of a village. Its more of a one time visit place, and better done while on the route to Mysore or returning from Mysore. Doesn't require more than 30 mins of your time, unless you are a person researching on old and huge trees.
2. The other option is to carry on to Manchinbelle dam. the same road continues further to the dam, which is one heck of a birding place. read my travelogue here.but , please remember, recently Manchinbelle dam has been declared closed for visitors coming for photography, visits etc. hence, please use your own thoughts as you plan to go further. The roads go through very peaceful and scenic field roads so i would still take a drive, if i am just driving to the big banyan tree.

Ok, here are some photos for you! enjoy. do share your thoughts. have you been there recently! did you like the place. any other places nearby, which i am not aware off.

(NOTE: All the images here, can be used on the internet, for any posts or illustrations( but without any retouching). The only condition is that you need to give credits and link back to this post)

07 July 2012

Beach @ Ocean Drive, West Palm Beach-A photo Story

bogunvillia bloom

With rain playing hide and seek with Bangalore, i just put together some of the pictures from my Bogunvillia collection. Hope it brightens your day.

(NOTE: All the images on this post, can be used on the internet, for any posts or illustrations( but without any retouching). The only condition is that you need to give credits and link back to this post)