In 2015 I was on a four month trip round Southern India. In the state of Tamil Nadu is the town of mamallapuram, famous for many things but this slide show focuses on its wonderful lighthouse and it’s recent new museum.
Originally closed in 2001 during tensions between the country and insurgents, Mamallapuram Lighthouse has now opened to the public for exploration. The modern circular lighthouse (dating back to 1905) stands atop a rocky outcrop next to the country’s oldest temple/beacon, built in 640 CE. Enter the lighthouse and climb its many stairs for spectacular views of the sea and the ancient temple carved into the rock face. Come prepared to climb and bring plenty of water.
Mamallapuram Lighthouse has been open for public view since 2011. The circular masonry tower of the Lighthouse is made of natural stones . Climbing on the stones and atop the Lighthouse (yes, you are allowed to climb) can be a real treat. From the top, the view is capable of captivating its audience.
In 2015 i spent 5 months in Southern India, and photographed the Mysore Palace during the day. This huge area has four gates and many temples inside the grounds. What follows is some historical info ;
Mysore Palace is the central piece of Mysore’s attractions. The sprawling Mysore Palace is located in the heart of Mysore city. Rather the roads out of Mysore city appears radiating from the palace.
The interior of Mysore Palace is richly carved, intricate, colorful and architecturally thrilling.
It is from this palace the erstwhile rulers , the Wodeyars, ruled the Mysore Kingdom (see Maharajas of Mysore ).
Though Mysore is often referred to as the “City of Palaces”, the term Mysore Palace refers to the largest and the most opulent of all its surviving palaces located in the city center, called the Amba Vilas Palace.
Mysore Palace history spans for more than 500 years. But what you see now in Mysore is the modern palace built in 1912. As mentioned earlier the first palace was built during 14th century by the then Wodeyar kings. After the fall of Vijayanagar , and the subsequent power shifts in the region, Raja Wodeyar moved the capital to Srirangapatna from Mysore in 1610.
The palace in Mysore however continued to serve as a royal residence. The palace is basically a three storied structure with a 44 meter ( 145 feet ) central tower. Pinkish marble domes adorn the number of towers configured in perfect symmetry.
The first attraction is the Doll Pavilion as you enter the museum. Antiques made of gold, silver, marble , ivory from around the world are on display. Some of them as old as 900 years.
The central portion of the palace is a huge court open to the sky. Beyond is the royal Marriage Hall (Kalyana Mantapa ) , the most awe-inspiring portion of the palace.
The five storied tower of the palace makes a majestic dome over this hall. The walls along the corridors are decorated with oil paintings of royal themes. A host of ceremonies and festivals of the bygone era is depicted in these painting in all its vividness and details.
In early 2015 I visited Myanmar. During my three weeks I travelled from Yangon to Bagan, to Kalaw in the mountains and then down to Inle Lake.
This is the first slide show showing you Yangon and some of the wonderful colonial and modern buildings along with some of the religious buildings too.
Yangon stands on the east bank of the oceanic River Yangon, about 30km from the Andaman Sea. It came to prominence in the latter half of the 19th century when the British made it the capital of their new imperial possession. The colonial port area is still the commercial centre, though the heart of the city remains the gigantic gold Shwedagon Pagoda, visible from most places and so the main focal point.
Photography is not allowed inside the palace and is stictley enforced. So I took images of the outside before my visit inside.
The Palace of Mysore is a historical palace in the city of Mysore in Karnataka, southern India. It is the official residence and seat of the Wodeyars — the rulers of Mysore, the royal family of Mysore, who ruled the princely state from 1399 to 1950.
Wat Ban Rai (วัดบ้านไร่) is a wonderful and marvellous elephant-shaped Buddhist temple, located between Korat and Chaiyaphum in Nakhon Ratchasima, northeastern Thailand.
Located in the middle of a lake comprising an area of 48,562 square meters, it is one of the most fascinating temples in Thailand. Besides its stunning design in the shape of an elephant, Wat Ban Rai features amazing paints and statues.
The temple was conceived by the revered monk Luang Phor Koon Parisuttho พระเทพวิทยาคม (คูณ ปริสุทฺโธ), who passed away at 92 on Saturday May 16, 2015. Wat Ban Rai is one of the most significant temples for Isan people as well for all Thais.
Worshippers from across the country come there to pay their respect to Luang Phor Khoon. Wat Ban Rai is a 100 million baht temple (around 2,626,000 euros) which was built from donations and personal contributions.
I visited this weird and quirky place in 2012 when spending time in Laos near vientiane. It caught my imagination, I hope it does yours!
Buddha Park is more curious than spectacular – which makes for a curious spectacle. A rogue monk is said to have attempted to reconsolidates Buddhism and Hinduism into his own brand of mysticism through a prolific collection of sculptures depicting various deities and scenes from both religions. The information provided at the park is less dramatic, simply stating that Bunleua Sulilat constructed this sculpture garden in 1958 before fleeing across the Mekong to Thailand in 1978 and building a sister park across the river in Nong Khai.
In 2013 i was in Cambodia as part of my bigger Central and SEA tour for just over a year. In Battambang I took what is fondly referred to as “The Bamboo Train”, their proper name is a Norry or Nori and can get upto speeds of 50kmh. It certainly felt like it!!
Norries have low fares, and are frequent and relatively fast, so they are popular despite their rudimentary design, lack of brakes, the state of the rails (often broken or warped) and the lack of any formal operating system. Its simple construction and light weight means that a norry can be easily removed from the track – if two meet on the line, the one with the lighter load is removed from the rails and carried round the other. At the end of the line the vehicle is lifted and turned.