Posts Tagged 'maharashtra'

oriental plain tiger

Posted by on 11 Apr 2014 | Category: photography, prakriti

The plain tiger enjoys a celebrity status of being the first butterfly in the recorded history. It was depicted in a painting, with its distinct colors and patterns, in the tomb of Nebamun in Egypt, circa 1350 BCE – that’s more than 3300 years before!

oriental plain tiger, male at korlai, maharashtra

It’s a tiger not merely in its stripes and colors. It is a terror to potential predators too! Their bodies contain toxic alkaloids from plants, which they have devoured as a larvae. Birds and predators memorize and associate the unsavoriness of these butterfly species with their patterns and habits, and try to avoid them. This, in turn, is found to have evolutionary consequences in other “edible” butterflies, which ended up mimicing similar colors and patterns in order to escape from the predators.

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castle curlew and its church

Posted by on 20 Sep 2012 | Category: india, photography

Peeping into the Arabian Sea, nestling between Alibag and Murud, the popular tourist spots of Mumbaikars, is a world much unknown to the most of Maharashtra – Korlai.

Korlai is a 2 faced village, both by its geography and its soul. Both sides of the village are straddled by the sea, with the marathi fisher-folks on one side, and the indo-portuguese speaking villagers on the other side.

Korlai Fishing Village at the foothills of Castle Curlew

Standing prominent on the rocky headland side of the village is the 16th century Korlai fort, built by the Portuguese. Accounts, though hazy, says that it was originally ‘Castle Curlew’, built by Felipe Mascarenhas who was the 26th Viceroy of Portuguese India. When it was functional, the fort was protected on the inland side by a ditch, and accessible only by a drawbridge.

One of the interesting pieces of work inside the Korlai fort is the St Mathew’s church built circa 1630. Though now it is an abandoned, idling edifice, its features still give out the strategies and thoughts gone behind its construction.
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female figures of ellora

Posted by on 09 Apr 2011 | Category: india, photography

The ancient (5~10th cent. AD) rock-cut caves of Ellora were oblivious to the outside world for several centuries – until they were redisovered in the early 19th century. In these caves are the goddesses, frozen in time, assuming their ultimate postures in the form of sculptures …

Cave 29. Parvati.
The brahminical caves of Ellora are Siva-centric and hence figures of his consort, Parvati, are seen in various forms. When she is with Siva, she appears homely and bashful. As an independent goddess, she is seen slaying the demons.

parvati with siva at cave 29, ellora

The female figures of Ellora – with small faces, firm and full breasts, narrow waist, wide hips and long thighs – are a treat for the eye and the senses. These sculptures follow certain guidelines for body proportions (iconometry). The iconometric texts suggest that the outer corners of the eyes, the breasts and hips should be slightly exaggerated than the actual measurement. The close set breasts should press each other tightly that even a lotus fibre could not pass through them. The vulva should be shaped like the leaf of the sacred fig tree. Most of the female figures, use diaphanous (thin and transparent) drapery which reveals all their charms, the beauty of every curve, even of the genitals.

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chaityas of ajanta caves

Posted by on 23 Mar 2011 | Category: india, photography

Chaityas are buddhist prayer halls that house a stupa. The word chaitya has its roots in sanskrit chita ~ meaning a pyre or a pile of ashes. The ancient rock-cut buddhist caves of Ajanta were built during the 2nd century BC ~ 6th century AD. All these caves and sculptures are carved out of the rocky hills of Ajanta. They start carving from top of the hill and reach the bottom, and hence do not make use of scaffolds for support.

In the next four chaitya images, you can see how buddhism evolved during the period, from the early hinayana style to the mahayana style of buddhism. Out of the 30 caves of ajanta, 9, 10, 19, 26 and 29 are chaitya grihas and the remaining caves are viharas, carved out of a horse-shoe shaped rock-cliff valley.

Ajanta Cave 10. Thought to be the oldest chaitya hall at Ajanta (2nd century BC). During the early hinayana period, stupa is the centrepiece and no idols are revered.
hinayana chaitya hall, ajanta caves number 10
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the lemon emigrant

Posted by on 16 Mar 2011 | Category: photography, prakriti

lemon emigrant butterfly, western ghats

It is lemony, and it is a migrant. Migration could be one of its strategy to deal with adverse seasonal changes, like the tropical rainfall. It also exhibits seasonal dimorphism: dark yellow colors(form crocale) in wet summer season and pale yellow colors (form pomane) in dry winter season. It is one of the mechanisms by which insects cop up with adverse seasonal changes. It could be either to adjust body temperature and metabolic rate or as a means for better camouflage.
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