Hinduism

Daily Photo • INDIA – TAMIL NADU – KANYAKUMARI

Daily Photo • INDIA – TAMIL NADU – KANYAKUMARI

South of India, Tamil Nadu history dates back to several thousand years. This state is rich in monuments and temples that are ancient and each has its own story of religious, artistic and cultural accomplishment. It is a land where traditions and culture blend and continue to live. Month of April is full of ceremonies and that’s when I went to witness them. Three cities got on my list, Trichy, Madurai, and most south-est point – Kanyakumari. It is known for amazing sunsets and sunrises which draws western and local travelers. For local people it looks like has more meaning than just beauty of nature, every morning crowds come to worship sunrise while bathing in waters where Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal meet.
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Daily Photo • INDIA – TAMIL NADU – TRICHY

Daily Photo • INDIA – TAMIL NADU – TRICHY

Trichy itself has a long history dating back to the centuries before the Christian era when it was a Chola citadel the city and its fort, as they stand today, were built by the Nayaks of Madurai. Most famous landmark of Tiruchirappalli (Trichy)  is the Rock Fort Temple, a spectacular monument perched on a massive rock which rises abruptly from the plain to tower over the old city. Visited this city during Hindu new year and it was full of local tourists, pilgrims and ceremonies.
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Daily Photo • INDONESIA – BALI – AROUND BALI WEEK I

Daily Photo • INDONESIA – BALI – AROUND BALI WEEK I

Bali is a place with a lot of rice fields, temples, ceremonies and tourists. After some years I came back just to realize that It is truly one of most beautiful islands I ever visited. Tourism is in full swing here and locals quickly cashing in. Prices are up and most temples now requires entrance fee. Still, scenery around you makes up for it  and friendly Bali people contributes for a pleasant stay on this island. It is easy to get around on motorbike so after few weeks of driving I got some pictures to share.
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Daily Photo • INDONESIA – BALI – CEREMONIES

Daily Photo • INDONESIA – BALI – CEREMONIES

It is said there is never a day in Bali without a ceremony of some kind and if you include all the life cycle rites (baby ceremonies, puberty rites, weddings, cremations, Temple festivals), then this saying is probably true. Some ceremonies usually lasts day or two, but larger ones (which occur every 5, 10, 30 or 100 years) can last for 11 days or longer. During ceremonies many offerings are made which consists of fruits, rice cakes and flowers these are brought in on women’s heads, placed around the temple and then are blessed with holy water by the temple Pemangku or priest. The pilgrims then pray, after blessings, drinking holy water is complete offerings are taken home to share with their families. The gods have taken the sari or essence of the offerings, leaving the “leftovers” for the humans to consume.  Most of ceremonies involves spectacular performances of music and dance by local groups and gamelan music. Here is some pictures from around Bali and it’s ceremonies.
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Daily Photo • INDONESIA – BALI – NYEPI IN UBUD

Daily Photo • INDONESIA – BALI – NYEPI IN UBUD

Every nation celebrates new year the difference is Balinese open their New Year in silence. This is called Nyepi Day, the Balinese day of Silence, which falls on the day following the dark moon of the spring equinox, and opens a new year of the Saka Hindu era which began in 78 A.D. You are not allowed to leave your hotel or house, no loud noises, no cooking, no music may be played, and TV stations do not broadcast on Nyepi. The day before however there is big celebration, the ogoh-ogoh dolls being carried through the streets of any major city or town in Bali. People make as much noise as possible to frighten away evil spirits. Here is pictures from parade of Ogoh-Ogoh creatures with a touch of HDR photography.
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Daily Photo • INDONESIA – BALI – KECAK AND FIRE DANCE

Daily Photo • INDONESIA – BALI – KECAK AND FIRE DANCE

People say that every visitor to Bali should see at least one traditional dance. This time I choose to see Kecak Ramayana and Fire Dance in Uluwatu. The combination of ancient ritual, dance, drama, sunset and stage on the cliff makes Kecak and Fire Dance one of the most spectacular dance performances.
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Daily Photo • INDONESIA – BALI TEMPLES IN HDR

Daily Photo • INDONESIA – BALI TEMPLES IN HDR

Countless temples anywhere you go in Bali and probably people have seen many postcards and pictures of them so to make something a little more interesting I did shoot most of them in HDR.
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Daily Photo • INDONESIA – AROUND BALI WEEK II

Daily Photo • INDONESIA – AROUND BALI WEEK II

More ceremonies to attend more beaches to explore, another week on motorbike driving around this beautiful island brings this set of pictures.
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