In 2015 I journeyed round the southern part of the Indian Continent. Starting in Goa and working my way round the peninsula to Chennai. In the beautiful state of Kerala I stopped in Varkala and after my amazing experience with the Theyyam traditional worship of the Gods in Malabar, I was keen to see the Kathakali.
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.
In 2015 I was fortunate to be travelling round the Southern part of India on a 6mth Journey of Indian Culture and discovery. In the place of Malabar in the state of Kerela I was deeply honoured to meet Kierian from “Costa Malabar” who arranged for me to not only visit but film and photograph openly some 3 Theyyam ceremonies. Lasting from a couple of hours to all day and all night and most of the next day. A tiring experience for the onlooker but a marathon for the participating Gods.
The people of Malabar and the Gods made me feel most welcome and it was a deeply touching cultural experience I will never forget. I can only hope that these images and videos give you a taste of what I witnessed.
The worshipping place of Muthappan is called Madappura.Many Madappuras are there in North Malabar .Of all such Madappuras; Parassani Madappura is the most prominent. Here Muthappan devotees of Muthappan who throng here being supplied with Tea, steamed pear and a small piece of coconut. Relief and consaltion is accorded to all devotees of Muthappan who come here and conolation is accorded to all devotees of Muthappan who come here and after the lighting of the lamp called Deeparadhana.Devotees are blessed with the ‘Holy Darsan’ by both Cheriya Muthappan and Valiya Muthappan when they conduct Thirivappana Vellattom
During my trip across Central Asia I journeyed to this amazing area of Northern Tajikistan. I will let the images speak for themselves. Yes the sky is that blue and yes the lakes are that colour! and glacial cold too! The Zeravshan Valley (also Zarafshan or Zarafshon) is situated in northern Tajikistan, embedded between the impressive mountain ranges of the western Pamir-Alai massive.“Zeravshan” – which means “Golden River” in Tajik –is the main stream which crosses the valley and which supplies its inhabitants with a most precious resource: water. The area is famous for its unique mountain landscapes and its beautiful lakes: the Alauddin lakes, the Kulikalon lakes, Iskanderkul Lake, the seven lakes of Shing among many others. While being an important tourism and recreation destination during the Soviet era of dispatch tourism, it is now an insiders’ tip among those interested in mountain trekking, alpinism and the little travelled branches of the silk road.