Archive for Madhya Pradesh

From the Soul of Souls

Posted in Timeless Black & White with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2013 by designldg

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© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved. 
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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“What can I do, Muslims? I do not know myself.
I am neither Christian nor Jew, neither Magian nor Muslim,
I am not from east or west, not from land or sea,
not from the shafts of nature nor from the spheres of the firmament,
not of the earth, not of water, not of air, not of fire.
I am not from the highest heaven, not from this world,
not from existence, not from being.
I am not from India, not from China, not from Bulgar, not from Saqsin,
not from the realm of the two Iraqs, not from the land of Khurasan.
I am not from the world, not from beyond,
not from heaven and not from hell.
I am not from Adam, not from Eve, not from paradise and not from Ridwan.
My place is placeless, my trace is traceless,
no body, no soul, I am from the soul of souls.
I have chased out duality, lived the two worlds as one.
One I seek, one I know, one I see, one I call.
He is the first, he is the last, he is the outer, he is the inner.
Beyond He and He is I know no other.
I am drunk from the cup of love, the two worlds have escaped me.
I have no concern but carouse and rapture.
If one day in my life I spend a moment without you
from that hour and that time I would repent my life.
If one day I am given a moment in solitude with you
I will trample the two worlds underfoot and dance forever.
O Sun of Tabriz, I am so tipsy here in this world,
I have no tale to tell but tipsiness and rapture.”
(Jalal ad-Dīn Muhammad Rumi – Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic, 1207–1273)

This was shot before sunset at the tomb of Mohammad Ghaus in Gwalior in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
The light and shadows were playing through the jalis (latticed screen) in the galleries surrounding the Sufi saint mazaar (tomb).
The building, built in the late 16th century in the typical Mughal style, is enclosed on all sides by delicately carved lattices over which rises a large dome.
This place is a pilgrimage centre for both the Hindus and the Muslims and make this place of devotion is a symbol of brotherhood as this is where anyone can express his faith.

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Working with Atmosphere

Posted in Timeless Black & White with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2012 by designldg

© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“Technique undoubtedly helps make photography magical, but I prefer to work with atmosphere.
I think that the obsession with technique is a male thing.
Boy’s toys.
They love playing… but once you’ve perfected something you have to start searching for a new toy.
I would rather search for a new model or location.”
(Ellen von Unwerth – German photographer and director, b.1954)

This is a view of a side of Man Singh Palace, one of the most beautiful structures in the Gwalior Fort.
The fortress stands on an isolated rock, overlooking the Gwalior town, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

Within its rich history Gwalior Fort occupies a unique place in the human civilization as the place which has the first ever recorded use of zero.

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The Beauty of the Morning

Posted in Timeless Black & White with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2012 by designldg

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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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“Earth hath not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendor, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! The very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!”
(“Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802” by William Wordsworth, 1770-1850)

This view of Gwalior was shot from a window of the Karna Mahal, the palace next to Man Singh Palace, which stands on an isolated rock overlooking the city in Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

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Imperfect Beauty

Posted in Timeless Black & White with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2012 by designldg

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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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“There is desire in the perfect, beauty in the imperfect.
Thus I lust over the flawless,
and fall amorously forceless to the flawed.”
(From “Reminiscence of the Present: Spiritual Encounters of the Analytically Insane” by Ilyas Kassam)

North to Man Singh Palace, the magnificent and main palace in Gwalior Fort, lie a few ruined Mughal palaces.
This picture was shot inside the Karna Mahal which was the palace of the maternal uncle of the most famous Tomar Rajput kings of Gwalior State (today in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh).
The Karna Mahal was built in pure Hindu style during the 15th century.
It is a long two-storeyed building (200’x200′) with a large assembly hall and a bathing arrangement for women (hammam).

This is the fascinating kingdom of a world in decay where flows a unique beauty curiously flawed by time…
(With special regards to Ilyas Kassam for allowing me to use his poetry with my images)

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An Interior World

Posted in Timeless Black & White with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2012 by designldg

© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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“If the photographer succeeds in reflecting the exterior as well as interior world, his subject appear as “in real life.
In order to achieve this, the photographer must respect the mood, become integrated into the environment, avoid all the tricks that destroy human truth, and also make the subject of the photo forget the camera and the person using it.
Complicated equipment and lights get in the way of naïve, unposed subjects.
What is more fleeting than the expression on a face?”
(Henri Cartier-Bresson – French photographe, 1908–2004 /on subject, “American Photo”, September/October 1997)

This is one room of the Lakshmi Narayana temple on the top of a hill in Orchha, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
This place is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and was built by King Veer Singh of the Bundela dynasty in 1622.

In the temple’s inner sanctum, Vir Singh built a peeth, or seat, for offering sacrifices to the Hindu Goddess of Wealth which are made in a manner similar to those of the Tantrik cult.
Tantra can best be described as a yoga of action, not abstract contemplation.
Instead of denying themselves worldly pleasures, tantriks strive to gain the maximum pleasure from them.
The realisation of their enjoyment reaches such a crescendo that the energy released can carry consciousness to the peak of enlightenment.
Elaborate rituals and body magic, especially sexual intercourse, mark the cult.

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Happy Ganesh Chatrurthi

Posted in Timeless Black & White with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2012 by designldg

 

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“On the Ganesh Chaturthi day, meditate on the stories connected with Lord Ganesha early in the morning, during the Brahmamuhurta period.
Then, after taking a bath, go to the temple and do the prayers of Lord Ganesha.
Offer Him some coconut and sweet pudding.
Pray with faith and devotion that He may remove all the obstacles that you experience on the spiritual path.
Worship Him at home, too.
You can get the assistance of a pundit.
Have an image of Lord Ganesha in your
house.
Feel His Presence in it.

Don’t forget not to look at the moon on that day; remember that it behaved unbecomingly towards the Lord.
This really means avoid the company of all those who have no faith in God, and who deride God, your Guru and religion, from this very day.

Take fresh spiritual resolves and pray to Lord Ganesha for inner spiritual strength to attain success in all your undertakings.

May the blessings of Sri Ganesha be upon you all!
May He remove all the obstacles that stand in your spiritual path!
May He bestow on you all material prosperity as well as liberation!”
(Swami Sivananda – Hindu spiritual teacher, 1887 – 1963)

Ganesha Chaturthi is the Hindu festival celebrated on the occasion of birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, who is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees in the duration of this festival.
It is the day Shiva declared his son Ganesha as superior to all the gods, barring Vishnu, Lakshmi, Shiva and Parvati.
Ganesha is widely worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and traditionally invoked at the beginning of any new venture or at the start of travel.

This picture of Lord Ganesha was shot in a temple of Khajuraho located in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

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A Work of Women

Posted in In Search of Lost Time with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by designldg

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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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“Labor is work that leaves no trace behind it when it is finished, or if it does, as in the case of the tilled field, this product of human activity requires still more labor, incessant, tireless labor, to maintain its identity as a ”work” of man.”
(Mary McCarthy – American novelist,1912-1989)

This picture was shot in the temple complex of Khajuraho which is a village in in the center of India in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
The Khajuraho group of monuments has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, famous for their erotic sculpture.
Those ladies were bringing back into existence some of the splendor of those temples which was once the original capital of the Chandela Rajputs, a Hindu dynasty that ruled this part of India from the 10th to the 12th centuries.
The Khajuraho temples were built over a span of a hundred years, from 950 to 1050.
There were originally over 80 Hindu temples, of which only 22 now stand in a reasonable state of preservation.
After their abandonment, a number of them survived and were rediscovered during the late 19th century while the jungles had taken a toll on some of the monuments.
Those women asked me to take a few pictures, they were proud and happy that I gave them some time.

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Compassion For All Life

Posted in Jainism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2012 by designldg

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“What could have saved Indian society from the ponderous burden of omnifarious ritualistic ceremonialism, with its animal and other sacrifices, which all but crushed the very life of it, except the Jain revolution, which took its strong stand exclusively on chaste morals and philosophical truths?
Jains were the first great ascetics and they did some great work.
“Don’t injure any and do good to all that you can, and that is all the morality and ethics, and that is all the work there is, and the rest is all nonsense.”
And then they went to work and elaborated this one principle all through, and it is a most wonderful ideal: how all that we call ethics they simply bring out from that one great principle of non-injury and doing good.”
(Swami Vivekananda – The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 3, Buddhistic India – Lecture delivered at the Shakespeare Club, Pasadena, California, on February 2, 1900)

Jainism is one of the oldest religion, it prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings, its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation with compassion for all life, human and non-human.

Digambara monks and nuns practice strict asceticism and strive to make their current birth their last, thus ending their cycle of transmigration.
They wear no clothes, following the practice of Mahavira, they do not consider themselves to be nude.
Rather, they are wearing the environment, that is the quintessential, akasha or space.
Digambaras believe that this practice represents a refusal to give in to the demands of the body for comfort and private property.
Digambara ascetics have only two possessions: a peacock feather broom and a water gourd, they walk barefoot and sweep the ground in front of them to avoid killing insects or other tiny beings.
They practice non-attachment to the body and hence, wear no clothes, travel on foot and do not use mechanical transport.

This picture was shot along a road located in the center of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh where several devotees were waiting for those monks.
Some were walking with them for a while, others were seeking for their blessings and spreading a devotional atmosphere everywhere.

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The Pavilion of Heaven

Posted in Dreams in Disorder with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2011 by designldg

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“…I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stainThe pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again.”
(From “The Cloud” by Percy Bysshe Shelley- English Poet, 1792–1822)

This is Bir Singh Deo’s chhatri which stands on the bank of the Betwa river in Orchha, a town in Tikamgarh district of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
During the rule of his ally, Mughal Emperor, Jahangir, Raja Bir Singh Deo (r. 1605-1627) became the most illustrious ruler of Orchha and erected a total of 52 forts and palaces across the region which are a reminder of its architectural glory.
The term “chhatri” means umbrella or canopy, it is a cenotaph (empty tomb) or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere.
Those memorials are basic element of Hindu as well as Mughal architecture.

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The Oilman’s Temple

Posted in Dreams in Disorder with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2011 by designldg

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© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
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“If we want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out.
To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.”
(Mother Teresa of Calcutta – Albanian born Indian Missionary. Nobel Prize for Peace in 1979. 1910-1997)

The Telikā Mandir or “oil-man’s temple” located in the complex of Gwalior fort, in Gwalior in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, was built in the late eighth century.
Elevating to the height of 100 feet ( about 30m), Teli Ka Mandir is the tallest temple in the confines of the Fort.
The building was erected just as the Gurjara Pratihāras were asserting their power over central India.
It is actually dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of his mount, Garuda and this unusual image makes the circlet of the doorway.
The structure of this Rajput temple presents a perfect fusion of the northern and southern architectural styles of India.
The ‘shikhar’ (spire) of the temple is undeniably Dravidian in its style, whereas the ornamentation is done in the Nagara style (specific to North India).
Unlike other temples, Oilman’s Temple doesn’t have any ‘mandap’ or pillared hall.
The temple comprises a sanctum sanctorum accompanied by a porch and a doorway imprinted with elaborate carvings (amorous couples, coiled serpents, gods and goddesses).
The weird and wonderful arrangement of two architectural styles show how Teli Ka Mandir boasts about the heritage and rich culture of India.

“Teli Ka Mandir” sounds as an unusual term, but it has several theories behind its name.
According to one of the legends, Rashtrakuta Govinda III seized the Gwalior Fort in 794.
He handled the service of religious ceremonies and rituals to Telang Brahmins and as a result of this, the temple acquired its name.
Another legend says that oil merchants or the men of Teli Caste took the initiative of temple’s construction and due to it, the temple got its name.
The third speculation reveals that name is linked with Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh.
This revelation also approves with the synthesis of Dravidian and North Indian architectural styles.

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