It has now been a while since I spent a few days at the lovely Elephant Valley Resort in Ganeshpuram, Kodaikanal and I haven’t yet written a review of the place (I know, I’m slacking!).
One of the interesting activities that you can do around the resort is to go trekking in the vast area around the resort guided by Mr Madasamy- the resort’s own multi-tasking man on the ground. This 50 something, wiry, energetic man knows the lay of the land like the back of his hand and takes you on customised hikes depending on your fitness and energy levels.
When I was having breakfast the first morning, the resort manager hinted that there were a few megalithic dolmens that one could access by trekking for about a couple of hours. Having heard that there was no way I was not going to see the dolmens.
The trek was not very strenuous, lasting about an hour and a half one way mostly through forests of lemon grass plants. We encountered the odd horse and persistent bees.
The dolmens themselves were impressive. Perched on top of a hill with spectacular views of the surrounding area, these stone structures had survived through the times. I wondered how those people lived. Some of the dolmens had enough room for people to live underneath.
Madasamy kept talking about how we had to be wary about elephants that might choose to wander that way. I didn’t take it seriously until (on our way back) we almost ran into three elephants (one a calf) in the tall foliage. We had to run in the opposite direction (run discreetly with our heads down so the elephants wouldn’t notice). This also meant that I couldn’t take a close up photograph of the mini herd. It was lucky we met the elephants on our way back because otherwise we would have had to turn back without having visited the megalithic structures.
Incidentally the area around Kodaikanal and Madurai are dotted with remains of many megalithic dolmens. I wonder why so many have survived in this area and not in others. Clearly I have more questions than answers.
That’s right- It’s the weekend! Which means it’s time for the weekly photo challenge once again. This week’s theme is change. Change is constant just because time keeps flowing. Nothing ever is the same now that was a moment ago. So how do we capture change in photographs?
I know a lot of you may have already seen some of my Mt Fuji photographs (and some of you are probably tired of it already) but for this challenge I decided to post a series of photographs of Mt Fuji over a few hours- starting with the absolute darkness of 1am to dawn and sunrise.
As I had rashly left behind my tripod at Tokyo (so confident was I that I wouldn’t get a decent Mt Fuji sighting) these are handheld shots which means that the picture quality is not excellent but I hope that they still convey at least a small part of the grandeur.
The photographs show Mt Fuji through the night- the passage of time can be both seen by the movements of the moon and also by the changing clouds.
This week’s photo challenge (yes it’s that time of the week once again!) asks us to make a grid as the centre piece of a photo. I had to rummage through my archives before I came across the photographs of the fierce and impressive wooden statues of Nio guardians outside the Todaiji temple at Nara. The Nio guardians are a bit like the Dwarapalakas who guard the doorway to the deities at Hindu Temples.
Today, at Todaiji these statues are placed behind a mesh made of wires- I guess it’s to stop people from touching the delicate statues. but it creates an interesting photograph. Don’t you agree the statue looks fierce and scary?