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 this slide show you will get a look at some of the wonderful places to visit when you are in srirangapatna, starting at ; Masjid-i-Ala (also called Jama Masjid)
Colonel Bailey’s Dungeon
Ragantha Swamy Temple
Dariya Daulat Bagh-Summer Palace
Srirangapatna was the scene of the last and decisive battle fought between Tipu Sultan and a combined force of 50,000 men provided equally by the Nizam of Hyderabad and the East India Company under the overall command of General George Harris. This battle was the last engagement of the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War. The Battle of Seringapatam, 1799, was truly momentous in its historic effects.
At the battle’s climax, Tipu Sultan was killed within the fort of Seringapatam, betrayed by one of his own confidants; the spot where he ultimately fell is marked by a memorial. For the last time in history, Seringapatam had been the scene of political change in the Sultanate of Mysore. The joint forces of the victorious army proceeded to plunder Seringapatam and ransack Tipu’s palace. Apart from the usual gold and cash, innumerable valuables and objects d’art, not excepting even the personal effects of Tipu Sultan, his rich clothes and shoes, sword and firearms, were shipped to England.
n 2013 I had the great delight of visiting the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden.
I would firstly like to thank and credit the Artists and creators of these wonderful Sculptures and apologies for not knowing their names.
Heralded as the first of it’s kind in the UK, The Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden has been proudly exhibiting contemporary sculpture in a unique and magical environment for over 30 years.
You can find out more about Hannah Peschar’s Garden at this link:
During 2012 following the Silk Route of Alexander the Great I visited Iran, and persepolis and this great Necropolis; Naqsh-e Rustam where the great kings of Persia, Darius and Exercese and Artaxerxes I Makrocheir, Darius II Nothus. A beautiful landscape and a place I will always remember….
The Amzing Temples at Maduri which I visited in 2015 on my 5mth trip round southern India. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
Wat Rong Khun, better known as “the White Temple” is one of the most recognizable temples in Thailand. The temple outside the town of Chiang Rai attracts a large number of visitors, both Thai and foreign, making it one of Chiang Rai’s most visited attractions.
Wat Rong Khun is a unique temple that stands out through the white color and the use of pieces of glass in the plaster, sparkling in the sun. The white color signifies the purity of the Buddha, while the glass symbolizes the Buddha’s wisdom and the Dhamma, the Buddhist teachings.
The Wat Rong Khun was designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat, a famous Thai visual artist. To date the temple is not finished. Eventually there will be nine buildings including an ubosot, a hall to enshrine Buddhist relics, a meditation hall, the monks living quarters and an art gallery.
On May 5th 2014 a strong earthquake hit Chiang Rai. Although the white temple was badly damaged, Chalermchai Kositpipat decided to restore and further expand the Wat Rong Khun.
History of the Wat Rong Khun Towards the end of the 20th century, the original Wat Rong Khun was in a very poor state of preservation. Restoration works on the temple started, but had to be halted due to a lack of funds. Chalermchai Kositpipat, a artist born in Chiang Rai, decided to completely rebuild the temple and fund the project with his own money. The artist built the temple to be a center of learning and meditation and for people to gain benefit from the Buddhist teachings. Today the works are ongoing.
Another amazing place in the Isaan Region
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.
Images from the Pottery Village at Dan Kwian, just outside Nakhon Ratchasima or Korat for short.
During my stay in Bangkok during the funeral of King Rama 9 I visited the Erawan Museum on the edge of the city.
A fantastic place with an enormous three headed elephant on an equally gargantuan pedestal. Beautifully ornate and stunningly detailed inside you find two dragons curling their way round the interior of the building creating the spectacular stair case.
As you ascend through the three floors you are taken higher and closer to heaven where you can see a most amazing coloured stain glass ceiling. Above that yo reach the nirvana, or temple of Buddha with again such wonderful blue painted sky and gold adornments. Half way down yo can look out through a window (the elephants stomach) and see across Bangkok.
The Gardens are full of not only beautiful plants and flowers but also detailed Thai sculptures and water features. The Elephant itself weighs a hefty 250 tonnes and stands at 29 meters high and 39 meters long and made from Bronze.
During my “Silk Route” journey in 2012 I travelled through Iran and of course the route Alexander the Great took to Persepolis the ancient City of Persia. Now in ruins, this UNESCO World Heritage is one that you really need to see to understand and get a feel of. The area of the site is vast and seems to just keep going and going. It is pretty amazing to walk around and imagine how it would have looked in the 4th century.