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MUSSELS CURRY & FRY (Neeli Hinga Udda, Phanna Upkari)

We made this curry on the previous day of Deepavali. The technique is the same as previously described for prawn. However the addition of fresh mussels totally alters the flavor, and the resulting dish is extremely tasty.
Also, I have added the recipe of two other dishes, Phanna Upkari (bit spicy) and Rawa Fry. These are authentic GSB specialities, especially the hinga udda curry is something like a hallmark dish of Konkanis. I learnt all three from my Aunt who's nothing short of a master-chef, and shall briefly outline the technique here.
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Muktesvara Temple, Bhubaneswar

Moving on from the Brahmeswar Temple, Muktesvar Temple is acclaimed as a 'gem of Odishan architecture' and belongs to the 10th century AD. As a board erected at the entrance rightly claims, this has to be one of the most refined temples in Bhubaneswar city (and Odisha at large).  It is thought to mark the end of the previous phase of architectural style, and the start of the next phase of experimentation. The temple faces west, and consists of a rekha deul, and a pidha jagamohana (gopura). It is set on a low platform in the large area that houses the temple complex.  As it must be obvious by now, each temple has something that sets it apart from the others. And the piece de resistance of this temple is the great arch, the mangalatorana. The mangalatorana is lavishly decorated with human figures and artistic exaggerations. The deul (gopura) is also lavishly done in stone and is pancharatna in style. The carvings on the exterior are exquisite. There are graceful nayikas in alto…

Oh, Lilies!

Pictured here is a shot I got during late monsoon 2017 at my family home.  These are seasonal lilies that blossom when the first few showers of the season, touch the ground. I always find it nothing short of a miracle as to how this happens. Though we water the area all year round, how is it that they flower only once a year?

Evening Hues

I know sunsets are quite cliched as a subject for photography. Still, one cannot undermine the beauty of this phenomenon that happens everyday, every single day. The various hues that the sky takes on at various stages before, during, and especially after a sunset is something I cannot quite get enough of. Over the years, I have a collection of many sunsets shot at many places along the coast.
This one is from a moving car at my hometown, Mangalore. Sharing another picture here taken on the same day.  Have a look at other Sunsets taken along the West Coast of India: KochiMangaloreSunset over FieldsSunset by the RiverApsarakondaRatnagiriMarine Drive (Mumbai)
(Part of Skywatch Friday, a 'place to enjoy skies and views from all around the globe')

Brahmeswar Temple

I now move to the 11th century AD marvel, Brahmeswar Temple, in Bhubaneswar city. Certain historians date it back to around 9th century AD. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. One feature that sets this temple apart from the others, is the presence of four small shrines around the main shrine as seen below. You can also see the jagamohana adjoining the main the shrine. The vimana (gopura) is similar to the ones described earlier. The carvings are intricate (how many times have I written that already?) and beautiful. On a closer look, one can appreciate minute detailing of human and animal figures. A red flag flies high at the top. The outer walls have certain deities carved into them, which are worshipped even today. There is an area that has completely turned black, but then, it would be difficult to pull people from their faith. Probably they don't realise the importance of how old this temple (monument) is! One recurring feature is that of a warrior wielding a sword, atop …

Dashavatar in Ivory

Pictured here is a representation of the Dashavatara, the ten forms that Lord Vishnu descended to the Earth in, when Man was in trouble. In a very scientific sense, these forms of Lord Vishnu are at par with Darwin's theory of evolution, starting with the amphibian form, right up-to the Human form.
I shot this at the Salar Jung Museum at Hyderabad, one of the three national museums of India. I was awestruck at the gallery with pieces carved from ivory. The sheer craftsmanship behind these pieces was unimaginable. At the same time, think of the number of elephants, huge ones at that, that would have been murdered, just to get their huge tusks out! 
Cruel, isn't it?

Hands that Create Art

Ganesh Chaturti is a widely celebrated festival in coastal Karnataka. It is quite common to bring home idols of Ganeshji, have a day long/more than a day long pooja, and finally immerse it into the well in the backyard. Huge pandals that house 'samoohik' Ganeshas are quite common too. 
And where, or rather, who makes these Ganesha idols? Hands like these! Sharing two more pictures that I took at three Ganesha-making places a day prior to Ganesh Chaturti 2018.
Read more on traditional Chauti celebrations-CLICK on this link

Dashing thru' the Muck!

I shot this picture on New years eve' yesterday, at Cheliar Padavu, Suratkal, Mangalore.
In the past I have written aboutKambala, a traditional rural sport, that involves racing buffaloes. In the recent past, there have been lot of protests and appeals to ban this sport. The buffalo owners had actually brought their 'wards' to Mangalore city, and had taken them on a long protest march, which was quite fun to watch! 
Well, I personally would never support hurting animals, especially for the purpose of entertaining us. However, banning things for the sake of banning should not be encouraged either. Kambala did not happen in the year 2016 due to the long court battle. Finally the Supreme Court ruled in favour of not banning Kambala, and hence it resumed with renewed vigour and fervour for the 2017-18 season.
This was one of the good shots I got. I couldn't thing of a better way to end 2017.  For those of you making plans to catch a few good shots, find the schedule of th…