Monday, June 19, 2006

Kottayam

IMG_3326kottayamThis is definetly one of my fav photosHosted on Zooomr

As much as one tries to omit the greenery in Kerala, it is entirely impossible not to gush over it. This of course is my favourite shot for this half of the story. Will tell you later how I got the shot.

Now lets move on to the view between Ernakulam and Kottayam. OH MY GOD would be the best phrase to describe the beauty of the place.

IMG_3300ernakulamHosted on Zooomr
There's a long stretch of coconut trees lined waterways that give brilliant reflections. All these shots were taken from a moving car. I decided making my driver stop every 5 mins will crack him to his limit ;p

IMG_3297ernakulamHosted on Zooomr

Our first stop was the Udayanapuram temple near Vaikom. There's a very interesting story regarding this temple. Enshrining Subrahmanya, the temple had originally been meant for Bhagawathi. However as the devi had taken residence at the nearby Kumaranallur temple that had been meant for Subrahmanya - they exchanged places and hence her temple town took on the name Kumaran-alla-ooru (not for Kumaran).
Http://www.templenet.com/Kerala/kumaranallur.html

IMG_3306umayalpuram

Its quite a big temple, where the inner temple structure boasts beautiful carvings and sculptures. Take a loook at this shot closely and you'll some beautifully coloured sculptures against the white back drop of carvings. Psst this photos are sneaked shots, was sitting and singing so no one bothered us. He he he

IMG_3304umayalpuram1

It seems Thaipoosam is celebrated here with great grandeur where Kavadis make their way to Vaikom Mahadevar temple first. The temple is closely associated with the vaikom temple and looks somewhat similar as well. Read more for the festival info. Http://www.templenet.com/Kerala/udayana.html

IMG_3311umayalpuramHosted on Zooomr

Its a nice temple to walk around and sit, was very quiet. And the view from one of the doors as you can see is quite beautiful. One thing about the temples around this stretch are most of them close by 10 am. Yes that early.
IMG_3308umayalpuram

That's how we missed the etumanoor temple, passing it the wrong times. That was a temple I'd wanted to see for its carvings and murals. http://www.templenet.com/Kerala/ettumanoor.html

The Vaikom Mahadevar temple is a huge temple and a celebrated one too. Associated closely with Udayanapuram, the festivals of both the temples coincides. Both the temples celebrate the slaying of the demons by skanda.


When we arrived at the temple, it was burning hot, it was one of those summer days. Rain was very funny in Kerala, it would start splutter some water, and then thats about it. We arrived at abhishegam time, so we got to see this beautiful abhishegam. Unfortunately women can be so weird, after getting shoved a few times, we left. The inner temple here too was beautifully adorned with carvings.

"It is believed that the Tiruvilaiyaadal associated with the tamil saint poet Manikkavaacakar, where jackals were miraculously transformed into horses - occurred here."

Http://www.templenet.com/Kerala/vaikom.html

We didn't go around the temple, one coz of the heat and two mom and her friend were feeling a bit weak since we hadn't had food since the day before's fasting.

IMG_3318kottayam

Later that evening we headed to Chakkulathukavu through an even more beautiful road. It was as if the river was leading us to the temple. The place was just so beautiful. One of those rides only your mind remembers, again couldn't make the drier stop everywhere you know. En route we passed by this duck farm and beautiful paddy fields. Did make him stop at the duck farm and that's where I caught the first photo.

IMG_3321kottayam

If you're ever at Kottayam take this route to Chakkulathukavu or the Thiruvalla temple, its worth the time. It passes through coconut grooves, waterways, paddy fields, villages and more.

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My visit this time to the temple was a quiet one. Good thing the place was almost deserted. We had a wonderful darshan. The devi is a small image yet so pretty. Its one of my fav temples. The first time I'd been there, the place had been submerged by the raaga revati - this time it was all peaceful.
Http://visithra.blogspot.com/2005/07/revati.html

IMG_3312kottayam

We reached Tiruvalla as the last rays of the sun vanished, so you can imagine what a drive it was. The Tiruvalla Sri Vallabha temple is an alwar sthalam and quite and ancient temple. If you look up into the wooden ceilings covered with beautiful carvings, you'll find bats have made homes there. Vallabha is portrayed as bearing a conch, a discus and a lotus.

This is another temple with a big courtyard and stage. It seems in this temple devotees offer to sponsor kathakali performances as their offering to the temple. None was done the day we were there, but we did get to see the pooja done that evening.

IMG_3313kottayam

As you can see rather than the temple I was bewitched by the moon, it was shinning so bright days before the full moon of chitirai. I was standing for a long time admiring its beauty, it was one of those days. Quite romantic too, standing by the dimly lit area with the moons rays for company.

Temples closed early even at night, probably its a practice to remain open longer only during festival months? We missed the Tirunakkara Mahadeva temple in Kottayam town that night but got to see it the next morning. You have to climb steps to reach the temple. Nice temple.
There are more to see in this stretch including Allepley, some palaces, impressive churches, more temples but we missed quite a lot of them, given our limited time. Well good reason to go on another backwater ride ;)

ps : don't mind the photos title - it was a typo mistake.

17 comments:

Pramod said...

Tooooo goood yaaarrr...
Are you a proff photographer? :)

BawangMerah said...

Oh yeah, the picture of the lonely boat is nice.

"He waited by the river bank,
For a wave, a simple tug,
For the one he had missed,
With all his forlorn heart"

- dedicated to the boat yang terdampar keseorangan.

My days(Gops) said...

amaidhi'aaana nadhi'niley odam..
photo_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.

on the move'la eppadinga "shake aagama photo edutheenga?" really nice photos...

u r lucky enough to get a chance to shoot all the temples...
surprising, enga oorla temple'a photo edukanum'na special permission needed..

"dhisti suthi podunga"..ungalukku illa, unga camera'ku..
lol

Aravind said...

>> Quite romantic too, standing by the dimly lit area with the moons rays for company.

India-vukku enna velaiyaa vandheengaLo, ahdha velai mudiyalaiyah?? :P
mappillai kedaikkaliyah? (he he.. naanum "h" pottu ezhudharen... "Visit" style!!)

R. Balaji said...

A great series of pics. I particularly liked the one of the coconut trees mirrored in the water.

Me said...

...any first timer here will see all these photos and think it is some mallu girl's blog... :p

Keropok said...

Visithra, you are too good. Intha photographs ealam paakum pothu oru professional eddutha maathiri photograph.

Tonight the World Cup gets heavy: fixtures now determine who plays who in knock-out rounds, en route to July 9th.

Didn't know you were an England fan. My blog-le England fan ealam nalla slam pennuroum. Antha manager mothalley sack pennenoum. Terrible con-man, antha aal.

visithra said...

keropok : huh!! how could u call me an england fan! gaspp dont the colours of my blog tell you otherwise

am brazil all the way ;) only BRAZIL

mydays : is the eng fan - hes the one whose gonna be sad

will reply to everything else later - i so cannot take being called an england fan ! ;p

Keropok said...

Aiyayo, romba sorry. How could I NOT know that! Put it down to some confused understanding.

But truly, unggal photographs solla muthiaathu, orreyy style-aana photographs.

Are you in Kerala now?

Keshi said...

Whoaaaaaaaaa so beautiful!

Keshi.

visithra said...

Pramod : aww thanks but no am not a pro photographer - just love taking photos - look at a lot too ;)


Bawangred : oh wow that so fits the image ;) thanks i was looking for a poem for that shot ;)

thanks ;)


mydays : thats a song right ;) sathyama purialeh but thanks ;)

sometimes u can - its luck - weather cannot be very cool will affect the lens u dont get a good shot

yeah most temples r like that for the inside area - but that one was sneaked ;p normally i only take the outside - drishti? - athu yerkanave pahniyachuleh - cameraku than ;p

visithra said...

Aravind : vandhone bully ah?? Ithu not fair - ipohthan ithu die off achi ipdhi vandhu restart pahnriyeh pa - bah!


Rbalaji : thanks - yeah me too - i so love reflection shots ;)


Me : heheheh mallu gal supporting brazil eh? Hheheh oh well - need to change the track after this ;p



keropok : aww thanks - well im still learning nothing pro about it ;) but thanks

yeah waiting for the ger- ecu game

lol calling me an england fan - no way im converting

but its ok - heheh yeah i think u got confused at one of the comments ;p

thanks ;) nope am back home - how can i travel during the world cup? - that too in a cricket country where theyre not showing half the matches!

Was travelling early may kerala - karnataka - had a good time


keshi : thanks ;)

sreekrishnanv said...

though am from TN ...was living in Kottayam for 7 yrs..and then shifted to chennai ! ...

was great to see these pics ! ... and unexpected from your blog !!

btw: great stuff with your camers ..im referring your link and using some photo's for my photo blog which i started few days back !!
http://itsframed.blogspot.com

Jeevan said...

what a beautiful sight scenes!! this post is temple special, you haven't see any kathakali performances:(

ashok said...

aagaaa...supeerrrrrr

visithra said...

Sreekrishnanv : long time no see ;)

ahhh thats interesting u must have had fun ;) i just got back from a holiday ;) thanks ;)

sure no prob as long as u give me credits ;) will check it out ;)


Jeevan : thanks ;) i did see but a very brief one n couldnt take photos was standing in line ;)


ashok : thanks ;)

arvindh said...

This shot is just amazing!