Friday, January 31, 2014

Break Fast in Thanjavur

We had traditional South Indian vegetarian breakfast at the extremely popular Subbiahs Mess located at a stones throw from Hotel Tamilnadu where we were staying.It was not a very fancy place. We had delicious idlis, dosas,vadas,puris and rava dosa with generous helping of sambar and a variety of colorful chutneys. We ate in traditional South Indian style - on plantain leaves and used our hands. No knives, forks or spoons ! We had a wholesome,delicious and fulfilling breakfast for which we paid a kings ransom of Rs.230/- or US.$.4/- for 7 persons.
Spongy Soft  Idlis - made from rice-lentil batter
Fluffy Puris made from wheat dough
Crisp Vadas made from lentil-black grams
Well roasted Rava Dosas - made from rice-rava batter
Eating on plantain leaves

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Big Temple Thanjavur Part 3 - Amazing Sculptures

A "bootha gana" or fat bellied dwarf playing flute supporting the water spout on his head - You can also see the 1000 year old writing on the stone wall on either side of the dwarf.
The water spout to channelize the holy "abhishekam" water & other fluids from the sanctum into a large trough. Abhishekam is the process of bathing the deity; It may be "simple" by just using holy water or "elaborate" when it includes milk, curds, honey, ghee, sugar, coconut water, sandal paste, fruit juice, viboothi, kunkumam,panchamiritham, oil etc
Sculptures on either side of stone steps leading to various sanctums - Above & below.
"Yaali" is a mythical creature in Hindu mythology

To see previous posts in this series you may log on to:

Big Temple-Thanjavur

Big Temple - Thanjavur Part 2

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Big Temple - Thanjavur Part 2

This is a continuation of the previous post which you can view here: Big Temple-Thanjavur. I am posting some more pictures of the Big Temple. This was a fabulous trip.Weather was superb with temperatures around 27 degree Celsius.
Devotees stand in queue for offering prayers to "Lord Dakshinamurthy" ( another form of Lord Siva)
View of the Trapezoidal Vimanam as seen from the first floor where the sculptures gallery is located.
View of the Nandi Mandapam in front ( Pavilion of Nandi or the celestial bull) and the Entrance Tower behind ( Raja Raja Tiruvayil) - Picture clicked from the first floor.
Another view of the entrance tower.
Views of the sprawling inner courtyard and pillared pavilions all around
View of the sprawling inner courtyard and pillared pavilions all around
Another View of the sprawling inner courtyard and pillared pavilions all around
Three charming ladies who traveled in our group
Group Photo of the entire team that visited Big Temple ( clicked on the first floor). I am tall guy seated third from left dressed in white dhoti and shirt.
Another group picture - Can you spot me ?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Big Temple-Thanjavur

The Big Temple continues to fascinate me ever since I first visited (in the year 2008) this 1000 years old temple  built by Raja Raja Chola during the 9th-10th century AD. I was in Thanjavur (Tamilnadu,India) once again last Sunday and witnessed this amazing temple all over again. Here are some breathtaking views clicked on a fairly bright and sunny day with gentle white fluffy passing clouds and blue sky :
The Nandi Mandapam (the pillared pavilion housing the celestial bull Nandi) and two entrance gopurams (entrance towers)
Breathtaking views of the trapezoidal Vimanan or tower
For detailed history, statistics,information and more pictures about this temple please log onto:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Women Weavers from SAARC Countries

From Jan10-12 there was a weavers & handicrafts exhibition at RMKV Silks at Brookefields,Coimbatore. Women weavers from India, Bangladesh,Afghanistan,Bhutan,Nepal & Pakistan participated. Some of them were provided with looms and actually demonstrated their weaving and embroidery skills.SEWA -a self employed women's association has tied up with SABAH an organization funded by SAARC Development Fund to help craftsmen from South Asian Countries and to bring alive dying crafts and help these women become self reliant. Products on display included sarees, stoles,cushion covers and home decor featuring Baluchi Kandaharjoshi,sapma & tipma weaves,jamdani patchwork,applique and intricate hand embroidery were on display. Naazish from Pakistan talked with enthusiasm but refused to pose for a picture. Pema Shering and Gem had carted table mats,shawls,sweat shirts,laptop bags and pouches made from yak wool all the way from Bhutan.
Tandin Wangmo from Bhutan is seen weaving  a Kira - a traditional Bhutanes dress
Devumaya Nimpu from Nepal weaves sarees, shawls & caps. Here she is seen weaving a shawl

A woman from Tamilnadu seen here weaving a Kanchipuram saree.
Two young ladies from war torn Afghanistan proudly posed with their finished products
Handicrafts from Afghanistan including their national Flag
Raniben from Gujarat.India is all concentration as she intricately embroiders a dress. - above and below

Monday, January 13, 2014

Kapad Beach - Calicut,India

Kapad Beach is at a distance of 19 Kms from Calicut. The drive is smooth and the traffic is thin. After a river crossing,we turn left off the highway and travel around 5 kms to reach the beach. This stretch comprised mainly of fishing hamlets and there is lush greenery all around ( thickly dotted with coconut palms) so representative of Kerala ! Truly called Gods Own Country ! Kapad beach near Calicut (India) is an important location in History - Vasco de Gama landed here in 1498 thinking he had discovered America. There is a small insignificant monument on the road side to record this historical landing. Kapad beach in itself is a beautiful beach.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Niagara Falls Freezes

The polar vortex that has gripped the U.S. and Canada this week has led to some spectacular icy images. The latest come from Niagara Falls, which partially froze Tuesday when the temperature hit a record low of minus 2 degrees.
Aaron Harris, a photographer for Reuters, took several shots of the 167-foot frozen falls Wednesday. The ice formed on the U.S. side of the falls, which straddle the border with Canada.
While unusual, it's not the first time Niagara Falls has frozen. Photographs from the early- and mid-1900s archived at Niagara Falls Public Library appear to show frozen falls, though some experts have questioned their authenticity. Of course, the eye-catching freeze did not completely stop water from flowing.
Amazing & intricate sculptures on frozen ice

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

USA Freezes

This is the Headline News in newspapers in India: US freezes, New York temp plunges to 118 year low.Lake Michigan has frozen and Chicago is being called Chiberia - temperatures nosedived to -26 degree Celsius making it colder than South Pole in Antarctica(-23) and Novosibirsk in Siberia(-21). Anana the lone Polar bear in Chicago's Lincoln Park zoo has been moved to a climate controlled environment. More than 4300 US Flights were cancelled on Monday and 6500 were delayed.Schools were closed and residents were warned to remain indoors. Indianapolis has banned driving except in emergencies.(Pictures taken from the web)
Images of Frozen Lake Michigan

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Snow in Boise

Boise is the capital and most populous city of the U.S.State of Idaho as well as the county seat of Ada County. Located on the Boise River, it anchors the Boise-Nampa Metropolitan area and is the largest city between Salt Lake City and Portland.As of the 2010 census, the population of Boise was 205,671. It is also the 99th largest city in the U.S. by population.
My daughter Bhavana lives in Boise along with her husband Rohit and two charming daughters Mira aged 7 years and Nandita aged 3 months. In December they had heavy snowfall and I am posting some pictures snowfall in and around my daughters house there. Boise had received some of the heaviest snowfall of recent times.


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