Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Park Adventure.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), previously Borivali National Park, is a large protected area in the northern part of suburban Mumbai city in Maharashtra State in India. It encompasses an area of 104 km2 (40 sq mi) and is surrounded on three sides by India's most populous city. It is notable as one of the major national parks existing within a metropolis limit in Asia and is one of the most visited parks in the world.

The park has a mini train that takes you around, and if you are lucky you see a few lions and tigers.  I did see some, but they stayed way in the distance, on spotting me.

I visited this last weekend with a friend , and a colleague's family. A few clicks.

Taken on my Canon EOS 1100D

Just a pretty flower.

   Budding Lotus  in a fishpond adjoining an old monument in the park.

    Someone is enraptured with the Pink one....

   Karambola or star fruit;  tongue tickling ribbed juicy fruit, with a natural star shaped cross section, served on a green leaf with salt and spice . Totally Yum.

   Young local girl, selling cucumbers, guavas, starfruit, and roasted groundnut pods and berries, the stuff of my childhood...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Freedoom In The Woods.

Today is Independence Day. This morning i went for a walk near the campus guest house. Looks like someone else was also out for trips amidst the trees.

I clicked some beautiful pictures of the butterflies which you can check out below...

 In this pic the butterfly was sitting still so it was easy to click it....

Aperture : 5.6
Shutter speed : 1/400
ISO : 800

 In this picture as i was going closer, it would fly off... so i decided to click at a higher shutter speed and this was the result... it was about to sit when i clicked

Aperture : 5.6
Shutter speed : 1/1600
ISO : 800

 Here it was about to take off again...

Aperture : 5.6
Shutter speed : 1/1600
ISO : 800

 Clicked on a higher shutter speed.....

Aperture : 5.6
Shutter speed : 1/40
ISO : 800

 The most beautiful one i have ever seen...

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Beginning.

Ganesh Chaturthi is a month away and the expert artisans are busy making and giving final touches to Ganesh idols, which will be worshiped in the festival. 

The suburbs of Chinchpokli, Parel and Lalbaug in central Mumbai are the headquarters of  all the workshops that work on and give finishing touches to the various idols, large, big and small.

I recently went for a photo walk in these areas with some like minded people. 

Some vignettes

Please click to see the intricate details in a larger image.

Taken on my Canon EOS 1100D camera

Idols in various levels of preparation and details. Material is normally Plaster of Paris.

Finished and adorned idols on display. The small ones are usually taken to homes and large ones are part of a group celebration.

Resplendent in traditional festival jewellery. The Lord waits for His special day..

Friday, August 3, 2012

Prayer In Stone.

Continuing from the previous post .

I was fascinated with the inscriptions/ sculptures and the old ancient history.  And that the technology and the knowledge to build this without any fancy instruments existed as far back as 2nd  century BC.

Taken on my Canon EOS 1100D camera.

Structures and carvings outside the Bhaja Caves

 Detailed carvings/ structures on the outside walls of Karla Caves.

 Inscriptions on the pillars inside Bhaja Caves.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dark Shadows.

I recently went to a day trip to Lonavala to visit some of the ancient historical places such as the Karla & Bhaja Caves.

Karla and Bhaja Caves are located near Lonavala in Maharashtra. The Bhaja caves are regarded to be from the times of Hinayana phase of Buddhism, which is of 2nd to 1st century BC.

Karla Cave is the largest Hinayana Buddhist chaitya (temple) in India built during Satavahana's rule. Karla is the best example of rock-cut architecture, which is believed to carve out from a living rock. Some of its 2000 year-old wooden beams are still alive. It takes nearly 20 minutes to climb up the steep way of the Karla caves.

A temple has been built recently built at the entrance using pillars from the Buddhist period.

Taken on my Canon EOS 1100D camera.

                                                           Prayer room at Bhaja caves.

       Ruins of carved elephants (one in the dark) at Karla caves.

                                        Looking out from inside an enclosure at Karla Caves.

                                                           The glimmer of light.

Stay tuned for more pictures of ancient structures. Coming up shortly.....

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Aging Gracefully.

They don't go to beauty parlous, they don't use botox, they don't do facials or use Fair & Lovely. 

They enjoy their life on a tree and when its time to go, simply float down quietly drying out, showing you their inside strength

That's what aging is all about. 

Taken on my Canon EOS 1100D camera

Clicked against wooden balcony railing.

 The same leaf below clicked against the sky.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Over The Hill & Far Away......

We have a hill and a lake inside the IIT Campus. IITians and Campusite's frequently visit the hill for trekking, picnics etc. I recently climbed it one evening with my camera.

Different kind of developments have taken place on the different sides of the hill, ranging from luxury highrises to slums. Mumbai's water supply line snakes past the hill detouring around the main green area left here which is our campus.

Taken on my Canon EOS 1100D camera.
Looking southwards from the hill. Beyond the hill in the distance is the airport runway.

Powai Lake to the left, Vihar Lake to the right and Mumbai's water pipeline snaking round the base of the hill.

Our campus in the foreground and the Powai Lake with recent construction on its banks.

Chain link fences on the hill to declare ownership but you can still look and live through the gaps.

Looking north-east of the hill, random development and the Thane creek in the distance.

Is this possibly what the future is going to be?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Paradise Found!

I live on the banks of the Powai Lake. Recently visited the boathouse which was earlier in the wilderness but now has a interesting approach road studded with beauties of nature. Slowly winding down the road to watch a great sunset through the oar-rings of the boat is a great end to the walk.

All photos have been clicked on my Canon EOS 1100D camera.

         The offshoot from the main road circling the lake. Recently constructed.

                                         Some interesting berries in the jungle.

                                                  Mushroom sculptures in paradise.

                                                     Vignettes of a grand sunset.

Beauty and the hyacinth beast clogging the Powai lake.

Dragonfly doing research.

Rusty and trusty oar handles of the anchored boat.

Coming soon The sunset i clicked later from the same spot.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Insect India Fashion Week

"The world is wrong side up. It needs to be turned upside down in order to be right side up...."

                                                                                                ----Billy Sunday

The two insects/ants  doing their stuff below do not mess with changing the world. 

They work upside down themselves  

And just looking at their style, and  attitude, on the wrong side of the leaves, makes me wonder of they are doing a leaf ramp walk , participating in the Insect India Fashion Week......:-)

Clicked on my Canon EOS 1100D.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wind Travel

You learn so many new things when you do a photoblog. I found these things on the ground, on my way home and brought them home and clicked pictures.

 The next step was to find out what these things were called. Since I click a lot of insects,my mother thought these were some insects, at first. A Google image search didn't yield any useful information.

Till we posted it on Facebook, and got into an informative chat with our friend Sangeeta Khanna who is a veritable practicing plant encyclopedia herself. Turns out that this is the dispersing seed of the Calotropis plant, called Crown Flower in English, Madar in Hindi, as well as Rui, or Aak. (Another FB friend Anand Amembal also identified it for us , as the same plant ).   And the various parts of this Rui plant are of great medicinal value , in healing wounds, and migraines and many more things.

The seeds of this plant are dispersed by the wind. And basically, I interfered with the process. :-(

(Thank you Sangeeta Khanna and Anand Amembal)

 Clicked on my Canon EOS 1100D

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Burning Away The Evil.

Holi, the spring harvest festival, has many origins and meanings.  It signifies, the advent of spring and the end of winter.  It welcomes the season of color. It is also associated with the burning away of evils, and has several stories associated with it, relating to the Demoness Holika, who had a boon that made her fireproof;  she grabbed her Godfearing nephew and sat with him on the pyre, only to get burned to a crisp herself, while he survived it all.   

We celebrate Holi by having a symbolic burning  in our building compound.  And we use only dried deadwood and branches already fallen to the ground. No trees are ravaged. Holi is also celebrated by playing with colors. (Rangapanchami).

 Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the Indian lunar month Phalguna .

Clicked on my Canon EOS 1100D

Burn !

Burn !

The full moon watches it all through the trees and flying cinders.

These are actually the emanating sparks in long exposure....

     At the end , a fire slowly dying down,  and the burnt wood in its skeletal glory .

Friday, March 2, 2012

Smooth as silk....

The trouble with buying things in supermarkets  versus  your friendly neighboring vegetable vendor, is that you end up buying all kinds of stuff packed well, but with no life, as such ... 

Saw some baby corn in the local daily market yesterday . Along with some broccoli. Bought some to do a stir fry with greens. 

When I peeled the baby corn covers, these tresses of corn silk spilled out.  Real golden silk. 

Clicked with my  Canon  EOS 1100D...


Monday, February 20, 2012


It was election season in Mumbai recently.

 And I am sure the ducks housed in our guest house premises by the lakeside and pondside, were, as they say, "seized" of the matter.

 One kept hearing about election commissioners, codes of conduct, candidates following it, some defying it, and so on. 

It even affected the ducks.

 Clicked on my Canon EOS 1100D

As commissioner, I must remain alert at all times. Never know what these ducks
are up to.

   A quickly organized cleanup by the candidates, before the TV people come. Earlier we scratched each others backs.  Now it's difficult to reach our own ....

          We always, but always, Follow Our  Leader....

Of course there are same money minded unscrupulous types, who fly the coop to other parties...

And then some really nice, quiet, obedient ones, who quietly sit and wait for an opportunity to shine

Of course, even there, there are some restless types who gossip among themselves  right under someone else's nose.......

     And finally, an observer-duck ! This guy takes rounds around all the voting booths to ensure there is no hanky panky happening.   Amidst all the qualified candidates, sometimes, you end up  hearing a loud quack !

Captions by Suranga Date