Sagara- Home away from Home

Temple

Sagara has been my favourite place to visit and it is a kind of an annual pilgrimage , I undertake for photography to this pristine place. I was Invited to Sagara in 2018 by Mr KS Rajaram and “Sagara photographic society” ( SPS ) for their photography workshop at a place called Heggodu which is about 12 Kms from Sagara. The workshop was held at a temple for art and theater “NINASAM”. The place of workshop was enough for me to visit this place and share my knowledge. During my first visit to this place I fell in love with the place and its people!

I have visited Sagara many times after that , attended a workshop at SARA centre at Battemallapa, roamed around the area made lots of friends for life , shot many images and I thank Sagara photographic society for introducing me to this beautiful place.

I wish one day I make this town my Home.

Sagara the name :

The city of Sagara is located roughly 360 km from Bangalore, Karnataka. It has the state’s beloved Jog Falls in its proximity, along with a number of other places of attraction. Sagara is a name derived from Sadashiva Sagar, which used to be the name of the city’s lake. It is a man-made lake built between Keladi and Ikkeri, by Sadashiva Nayaka of the Keladi dynasty. The lake is now known as Ganapathi Lake.

Best Time To Visit Sagara October to April are the best months to visit Sagara. Since summer tends to get very hot and humid, the winter months are ideal to visit, when the temperature stays pleasantly low.

Photography trip January 2021.

We from Vismaya , decided to visit Sagara at the begining of 2021 and we (Sisir kumar and me from vismaya and an young upcoming photoartist Mr Nandan Hegde ) started from Bangalore and with the help of photography friends for (SPS) like Mr GR Pandith , Mr Eshanya Sharma, Mr Yogeesh Hegde , Mr AG Lakshminarayana did some amazing photography and here are some pictures from that trip.

Different Moods of a 17th century temple in the middle of a tank ( Champaka Sarasi )

Belligavi Kedareshwara Temple

Backwaters of Sharavathi

Misty Sharavathi

I would like to thank all my friends at Sagara Photographic Society ( SPS ) for being there with me and showing me these wonderful places

Good Light to all,

Goutham Ramesh

Poetry In Stone – Somnathpura

In India, the aim of art was never to imitate nature or to re-create reality through illusionistic devices. Rather, the goal was to produce an idealised form. Sculptors did not model their images on living beings: whether the subject was a god or a mortal, the artist strove to convey a stylised ideal. Here I present some images from Chennakesava Temple Somnathpura.

The Chennakesava Temple, also referred to as Chennakeshava Temple and Keshava Temple, is a Vaishnava Hindu temple on the banks of River Kaveri at Somanathapura, Karnataka, India. The temple was consecrated in 1258 CE by Somanatha Dandanayaka, a general of the Hoysala King Narasimha III. It is located 38 kilometres east of Mysuru city.

The ornate temple is a model illustration of the Hoysala architecture. The temple is enclosed in a courtyard with a pillared corridor of small shrines (damaged). The main temple in the center is on a high star-shaped platform with three symmetrical sanctums (garbha-griha), set in a square matrix (89′ x 89′) oriented along the east–west and north–south axes.The western sanctum was for a statue of Kesava (missing), the northern sanctum of Janardhana and the southern sanctum of Venugopala, all forms of Vishnu.The sanctums share a common community hall (sabha-mandapa) with many pillars. The outer walls, the inner walls, the pillars and the ceiling of the temple are intricately carved with theological iconography of Hinduism and display extensive friezes of Hindu texts such as the Ramayana (southern section), the Mahabharata (northern section) and the Bhagavata Purana (western section of the main temple).

Somnathpura – high star-shaped platform:
Godess

The outer walls of Somnathpura temple is covered with amazing sculptures of Gods, Goddess , warriors , people and Demi Gods. Each of these sculpture is a masterpiece; Intricate carvings of necklaces , bangles , toe rings , anklets and jewellery around waists are just pure bliss; Even the waist and the navel is perfectly carved! its beauty at its best . It makes me just wonder how it would have been during its glorious days.

Hand of God

This is mesmerising! Look at that hand , every finger , including nails , rings are sculpted with amazing dexterity, this was good 900 years ago ;The temple was ravaged by war and time however even now this looks amazing, we can just wonder the grandeur in 12 century AD.

Stanakas-–-Static-Postures-Vaishnavam

This is a posture which is depicted in majority of sculptures of Somnathapura.

Vaishnavam pose . in this the feet are kept two and a half Talas apart from each other. One of them should be on the ground in the natural posture, the other is lifted and turned sideways with the toes stretched and turned towards the shin. This amount of detail implies the person who sculpted this had knowledge of the Bharatanatyam , a classical and one the most expressive dance forms of south India.

There have been lots of effort to destroy these sculptures during wars of medieval India, you can see a sword impact line on this sculpture.

Half Lotus Pose (Ardha Padmasana)

An intermediate yoga position involving a greater arrangement of thighs, hips, knees, ankles owing to the elevation of one foot. It is an ancient asana in yoga, predating hatha yoga, and is widely used for meditation in Hindu, Tantra, Jain, and Buddhist traditions.

Feet of the Goddess

Most of the sculptures in Somnathpura stand in this position with feet perpendicular to each other , the details of toe rings, anklets and even nails is something to notice and here every sculpture is decorated with these ornaments.

Krishna

Krishna , or Keshava with flute , conch, Chakra and in Vaishnavam posture.

God and Goddess

Here you can Goddess on the lap of the God and her feet on the lotus . if you observe closely you can see the lotus flower bent due to the fact there is a divine feet placed on it, What attention to detail! Blessed we are to witness these treasured art in India. Incredible India.

Dancing Goddess

Amazing details on this one with every hand holding corn ( not sure i always thought corn was a later import) , lotus , chakra etc There are musicians also and again every ornament is intricately carved along with laced clothing and the position of the legs in Vaishnavam posture.

Dancing Goddess accompanied by musicians

This is a classical depiction of Dancing Goddess accompanied by musicians . The size of the Goddess is big compared to others in this, probably the artist wanted to show the power of the omnipresent figuratively. The details , especially the ornaments and the feminine posture and the smile on the face is just pure beauty.

Thanks for visiting and reading this , Let me know your thoughts and feedback.

Good Light to all,

Goutham Ramesh

Light in scapes ( Monochrome)

Light is the most important aspect of any Image; Light can come from the sunyour camera’s flash, a lamp, or ceiling lights. The direction, brightness, and colour of the light can have a dramatic effect on the appearance of your photos. I will show some monochrome images and share few things… keep reading.

Highlights and Shadows

In any photo, the light will fall on the subject in a certain way, creating highlights (bright areas) and shadows (dark areas). The highlights and shadows create contrast, which can help to make the photo more interesting but can also create problems in some situations. It is absolutely important to control these two aspects in-order to create a good image. Here i will talk about lighting in outdoor images specially in scapes.

If you’re taking photos outdoors during the daytime, your main source of light will usually be the sun. Depending on the time of day and the weather, the sun can give your photos a  spectrum of looks. If you are aware of how the light can affect your photos, you’ll be able to make adjustments to get the best results. I will share few things that i usually do when I shoot scapes

  • Shoot in Manual Mode and never use auto*** : Auto mode in camera’s are a good things but most of the camera’s tend to read the entire frame to give a balance lighting throughout the frame ! Sometimes this can lead to a flat image .. so the best thing to do is go manual so that you can control the exposure
  • Expose for highlights : Switch to spot metering so that i can expose for highlights , so that the highlights are not blown away.. This may lead to darker shadows, however darker shadows can be pulled up in post processing but blown highlights cannot be adjusted
  • Use Bracketing : Bracketing is a wonderful tool which can expose the same image in multiple stops , I do it manually with aperture, I usually expose for -1 , 0 and + 1 stops . This gives me two things a set of images i can choose from and ability to merge them if required to give me a better dynamic range.
  • Process with a good calibrated monitor which can show you all shades of grey.

Some Images shot using the above technique

Morning Mist Valparai

As a photographer , I chase light .. not just any light .. it is light among shadows . Shadows and highlights are important in any image … both together creates drama.. IMHO a good image especially black and white should have all tones of grey .. from rich black to pure white …

Canopy , Munnar

The beauty in any landscape is not just looking at it in a wide angle lens.. some times there are many dramatic canvases that is painted by light .. i use tele focal length a lot in landscapes to capture the minute drama of light .. here i used a 210 mm focal length to capture play of light among the canopy of sholas in Munnar.

Misty Mountains

Shooting against the sun , is always a challenge .. and it takes lot of adjustments to get the right picture. As I mentioned earlier I usually shoot in manual mode .. Auto does not do a good job . Closing the Aperture gives starburts

Heavenly Rays : Munnar

Thanks for reading this small post , let me know if you have any questions / critique.

Thanks ,

Goutham Ramesh

Kadlekai Parshe ( Ground nut festival )

Kadalekai Parishe (Kannada: ಕಡಲೆಕಾಯಿ ಪರಿಶೆ), is an annual groundnut fair held in Bangalore. This two-day fair is held near the Dodda Ganesha Temple in Basavanagudi. Apart from the Groundnuts, there are numerous stalls in the fair, selling Bangles, traditional toys and clay trinkets, plastic and glass dolls, Mehndi tattoos. There are a variety of food items, such as Bajji, Bonda, Batthaas (Coloured sugar candies), Kalyana seve or Bendu (Sugar coated gram) and Coloured sodas on sale during the fair.

Legend
In the past, Basavanagudi was surrounded by villages like Sunkenahalli, Guttahalli, Mavalli, Dasarahalli and other places where groundnut was cultivated. On every full moon day a bull would charge into the groundnut fields and damage the crop. The farmers then offered prayers to Basava (Nandi) to stop this and pledged to offer their first crop.

Subsequently, an Idol of Basava was found close by. It has been said that, the Idol was growing rapidly, and the farmers nailed an iron peg on the head of the idol, which is visible in the form of a trishula even to this date. Legend says that the night on which this Kadalekai Parishe used to end, Lord Basavanna – The big Bull, used to come in the animal form and eat up all the groundnut and peels left overnight on the streets.

After the idol was found, in the year 1537, Kempe Gowda, dedicated a temple to ‘Dodda Basava’ on top of the Basavanagudi hillock and installed the Idol. This temple is known as Bull Temple. Ever since, the farmers from surrounding villages come here every year and offer their annual harvest of groundnut as offering to Lord Basava. This is accompanied by the annual fair, which is known as the Kadlekai Parishe.