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Showing posts from August, 2015

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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

Skywatch Friday - Mountains and a Temple

There is something about mountains that inspires devotion. Maybe it is the thought that they reach out to the skies, and are our connection to the heavens. Yet, the temples we build, are but specks against the backdrop of mighty mountains such as these..... We saw this small temple with the Dhauladhar Ranges in the background, from the top of the Kangra Fort.  It was a beautiful sight, a lot more impressive than my camera managed to capture, and it reinforced the thought of how small we were, and how insignificant, as compared to these mountains, which have stood here for centuries. Yet, it was deeply spiritual. No wonder someone wanted to build a shrine here!  This post is part of Skywatch Friday . For more beautiful skies from around the world, visit the Skywatch Page.  

Scenes from a small railway station in the hills

Passing via Kangra Railway Station en route to the Kangra Fort, it was impossible for us to simply pass by, without taking a closer look. 

Vaikuntha Vishnu at Masroor

I am back, after two whole weeks offline! It has been rather difficult to get back to writing, with so many thoughts churning inside my head, but, making a monumental effort, here I am, continuing with the last place I wrote about before I left – the Masroor Rock Cut Temples . We saw this image at Masroor , and neither the guide, nor friends I asked after I returned, had any clue as to who it was. The figure looks male, but what about the side faces? Those were definitely not human! I had seen something similar in a Vishwaroopa figure of Vishnu, but that one had many more faces. Besides, who were those two at the bottom he had his hands on?