Monsoons hit Kerala

As a nation that depends on the Monsoons for most of its water requirements, the onset of the Monsoons are a much awaited event and its progress is tracked with religious fervor in India. This year amidst conflicting predictions from the Indian Meteorological Department and Skymet; and anxiety over El Nino effecting the volume of rainfall, the monsoons arrived in Kerala, the first coastline it hits, a few days earlier than its traditional due date of 1st June, much to the joy of all!!

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Monsoons arrive with a magic wand … transforming even the mundane into things of beauty

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So looks like the bud on the right is flirting with the bloom and asking it for a dance in the rain

Weekly Photo Challenge – Nostalgia

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WordPress’s Weekly Photo Challenge – Nostalgia invites us to share nostalgic moments brought to the fore by the change of seasons.

The changing seasons has heralded the “festival” season in India – they are lined up one after the other from august onwards till December and provide the perfect excuse for family celebrations and friends get-togethers. It brings back memories of college celebrations and the nostalgia of college days. Ceramic figurines were our preferred gifting option specially by my friends to me because of my love for the same – and these now form the centre-piece of my little collection.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Half and Half

So much for the rule of thirds! When I saw this week’s photo challenge I though I would definitely be able to get a couple of sunset shots in my archives to meet this challenge. It turns out I could find only one sunset image but a large number of other landscape images to meet the challenge.

Note to self: Need to keep rule of thirds in mind next time onwards while shooting landscapes.

Along Powai Lake - flowers and leaves.

Along Powai Lake – blend of yellow and green 

Mumbai Skyline from Airoli Bridge

Mumbai Skyline from Airoli Bridge

The plateau of Mahabaleshwar against the sky filled with monsoon clouds

The plateau of Mahabaleshwar against the sky filled with monsoon clouds

Western Ghats in the monsoons

Western Ghats in the monsoons

Navi Mumbai urban skyline against the sunset

Navi Mumbai urban skyline against the sunset

The Heritage Trail 1: Old City, Hyderabad

A. P. Tourism conducts “Hyderabad Heritage Walks” in the old city every weekend. Recently we participated the in “Walk 2: From Charminar to Badshahi Ashurkhana”. With the vision of spreading awareness and to help with conservation, the tourism department conducts these tours for a paltry sum of Rs. 50/- per head.

Our guide met us at Charminar at 8 am and started with a brief history of the city. Hyderabad was established in the late 16th century by the Qutb Shahi Dynasty which continued to rule for almost a century before the Mughuls captured the region. The Mughuls set up the post of Viceroy in the region and this post was taken up by the Nizam Dynasty. The Nizams continued to Rule the Deccan a princely state under the British Rule.

All the iconic monuments of the city including the Golconda Fort, the Charminar and some of the palaces were built under the rule of the Qutb Shahi Rulers, and are a mix of architecture was Indo-Persian, a culmination of Hindu, Moorish, Mughal and Persian architectural styles.

Charminar: The iconic monument of the City.

The Iconic Building of the City.  Details of minarets and the arches.

The Iconic Building of the City -Photographed from the south eastern side
Details of minarets and the arches.

The interior - water basin and the dome

The interior – water basin and the dome

The various gates of the city: Charminar was supposedly set up at the centre of the Hyderabad City and the various sections of the city – palaces, bazaars, diwan ghaar etc were build in the four cardinal directions from this structure. All sections were accessed through large Gates called Kaman. 

Kamans: Vying to maintain their position in the now commercialised area.

Sher-e-Batil Kaman, Char Kaman, Diwan Dewadi Kaman: Valiantly trying to maintain their identity in the now highly commercialised area.

Pather-ghatti Market: The design of this market was based on the markets in Cairo. In recent times it is one of the most sought after wholesale market place.

The parallel lines of pathar-ghatti bazaar - consisting of some of the oldest shops still having slated wooden doors.

The parallel lines of pathar-ghatti bazaar – consisting of some of the oldest shops still having slated wooden doors.

Arched pathways providing access to the other side.  "Antiques" for sale.  Detailing on the pillars and roof.

Arched pathways providing access to the other side of the market. 
Curios for sale.
Detailing on the pillars and roof.

Badshahi Ashurkhana: The mourning hall for the shia muslims during the festival of Moharram.

Tiles originally set with semi-precious stones.  The high arched wooden roof and exterior minarets.

Tiles originally set with semi-precious stones.
The high-wooden roof and exterior minarets.

The walk provided great insights into the architectural designs of these monuments and it was increasingly brought to our notice the difficulty of maintaining these structures in encroaching push of the populace. These walks are the Tourism department’s way of increasing awareness of the historical heritage of the city, wishing to preserve these structures at-least in peoples’ memories.