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The Elephanta Caves

The Elephanta Caves , located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri, about 11 Km off the coast of the Gateway of India, Mumbai, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to these caves, excavated probably in the 6 th century CE, is awe-inspiring, and also thought-provoking. Over the years, I have visited the caves a number of times, and also attended a number of talks by experts in the fields of art, history and archaeology on the caves. Together, they help me understand these caves, their art, and the people they were created for, just a little bit better. Every new visit, every new talk, every new article I read about the caves, fleshes out the image of what the island and the caves would have been like, at their peak. I last wrote about the caves on this blog, in 2011, almost exactly 11 years ago. Since then, my understanding of the caves has, I would like to think, marginally improved. Hence this attempt to write a new and updated post, trying to bring to life, the caves of Elephan

The cycle of life

The tree opposite our house has many visitors, from the omnipresent crows to bulbuls, parrots, sunbirds and many other birds. However, the tree didn't a resident bird, until the last month, when we saw a pair of crows busily building a nest. Of course, I was all ready with my camera, and I managed to get a few decent shots of the birds in their nest.

I hoped to get a glimpse of the eggs, but here I was unsuccessful, since they weren't visible from my house, and they were well hidden by the branches when viewed from the terrace. However, a few weeks later, I did get a glimpse of some feathers which indicated that there were young ones inside...

It was only last week that we finally caught sight of one of the baby birds....... which was eagerly awaiting its parents, hungry for the food they would bring. I spent almost 2 days looking at the young one and photographing its antics. The rain thankfully stayed away, allowing the bird to peep out regularly....

Then the rains struck once again, and I wondered what the poor bird would be doing, and started worrying when I didn't catch sight of it after the rain stopped...What had happened? Had the birds succumbed the winds and the rain? had they fallen off?? No idea... but the fact that they were not around any more was very very clear when the nest finally fell off and the parent birds went off....... a tragic ending to a story which I had hoped would end with the birds flying off free.....


  1. Oh that's a sad ending..

    Hats off to you Anu.. Brilliant captures. The pics were the little one is fed are simply superb. Great job, Anu.

  2. Sorry to hear that it ended this way Anu but the pictures are nice.

  3. Interesting photo-story. It must have taken hours of waiting to get all those images.

  4. You can speak so eloquently with your camera...
    these are so touching

  5. very good shots...nice story also

  6. acha laga post aapka with nice photographs...

    mere naye blog par bhi aapka sawagat hai..

  7. It is certainly interesting for me to read this post. Thanks the author for it. I like such topics and everything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more soon.

    Joan Simpson

  8. I like the way you have captured the whole sequence of action. Alas it had to end this way, but that's the way of nature and we have to accept it...Thomas

  9. Fantastic sequential capture.The baby bird might have been rescued.

  10. @Jayasree: thanks so much!! it was really sad.. i had hoped to get some pics of the young ones learning to fly, and when they suddenly disappeared, we all spent a day looking for them!

    @Why Egypt: thanks

    @Mridula: thanks.... wish it had been otherwise!

    @Arun: thanks.... but it wasnt all that dificult, since it was right opposite our window.... so i just clicked whenever i had time!

    @ssstoryteller: thanks so much, sowmya!

    @AswathiBabu: thanks so much!

    @Sonal: thank you....and i liked your blog too... it just took me a long while to read them... which reminded me of how long it was since i read hindi!

    @Joan: thanks so much!

    @T&S: thanks so much! and as usual, i thought of you guys while taking these pics, thinking about your camera and how you would take better pics!! i am getting closer towards buying that better camera!!

    @P.N.Subramanian: thanks so much! Unfortunately, we didnt know when the birds fell off or died, since it was pouring really heavily and all our doors and windows were tightly closed.... wish we had been able to help!

    @Shobhana: thanks so much!


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