Salutations to the Portly One and Festival Greetings to all!

The festival of Ganesha will be celebrated on Friday, August 29.

Ganesha

Ganesha
5D Mark III, Zeiss ZE 50 f/2 MP

 
Excerpts from my introduction to the Ganesha photo gallery in The Huffington Post, 2010:

The story is told that the elephant-headed Ganesha and his brother Kartikeya, the god of war, were once locked in a dispute. To break the impasse they sought the counsel of their parents, the great God Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Lord Shiva proposed that the boys compete in a race of 3 laps around the universe. Kartikeya mounted his peacock and dashed out of sight, hoping to open up an early lead. Ganesha, on the other hand, was in no hurry. He walked over to Shiva and Parvati, went around them thrice and bowed, saying, “You, my dear parents, are the manifest universe. I have completed the race.”

This parable illuminates Ganesha’s character – loving, highly intelligent; a fount of wisdom. Immensely loved in India, he is acknowledged as a scholar nonpareil, music runs in his blood, and as his portly figure suggests, he is a confirmed foodie. It was Ganesha who transcribed the great Hindu epic Mahabharata in real time while the sage Vyasa dictated it.

Ties to Ganesha run deep in Hindu families where he is often viewed as a member of the household. He is invoked at the beginning of every new undertaking and his blessings sought at major events in life. Generations of students given to goofing off have been known to petition him for a lifeline just before writing their final exam.

The festival of Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated every year, and the festivities in western and southern India are especially intense.

 
 

My earlier posts on the Ganesha theme are at this link.

 
 
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  • vnm - August 31, 2014 - 2:53 am

    सरागलोकदुर्लभं विरागिलोकपूजितं
    सुरासुरैर्नमस्कृतं जरापमृत्युनाशकम् ।
    गिरागुरुं श्रियाहरिं जयन्ति यत्पदार्चिकाः
    नमामि तं गणाधिपं कृपापयःपयोनिधिम् ।।ReplyCancel

Remote wilderness.

At the northern boundary of Death Valley National Park in California, the mountains of the Last Chance Range ring the towering Eureka Sand Dunes, the tallest dunes in the park. Another elusive system of dunes is located in the area, the appropriately labeled Hidden Dunes. Eureka Valley is reached via a long drive on a rough gravel route.

Last Chance Range, Death Valley National Park

Limestone bands, Last Chance Range
5D Mark III, 100-400L IS

 
Last Chance Range, Death Valley National Park

Panorama (click on image for larger view)
5D Mark III, 70-200L f/2.8 IS II

 
Eureka Dunes from overlook in Last Chance Range

Eureka Dunes seen from Last Chance Range
5D Mark III, 70-200L f/2.8 IS II

 
Hikers at Eureka Dunes

Hikers at Eureka Dunes
5D Mark III, 100-400L IS

 
Big Pine Road into Eureka Valley

Big Pine Road into Eureka Valley
5D Mark III, 70-200L f/2.8 IS II

 

[Update: It was reported today (08/27/2014) that one of Death Valley's mysteries, that of the moving stones at Racetrack Playa, has been solved. See this and this.]

 
 
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Three’s company.

This is the next installment of Panjim Promenade, our series on the heritage of Panjim.

The concrete span across River Mandovi seen in the first two photos below is really two bridges. The original bridge, built in the 1970s, collapsed in 1986. The main reason for failure was determined to be “corrosion of the prestressed cable that attached the precast concrete segments to the piers.” (See this.) Shoddy workmanship, poor technical supervision and corrupt practices are the touchstone of Indian ‘engineering.’

A second bridge was constructed cheek by jowl and the original one restored later. Both are striking eyesores and boast third-rate build quality; other than that they are “majestic” (according to Wiki). Not one to rest on past laurels, the current Chief Minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar, has pulled another rabbit out of his IIT behind bonnet and commissioned a third bridge. After all, bridges and Indian politicians are natural bedfellows.

The first two images were taken from the roof of the Tourist Hostel building.

Mandovi Bridge, Panjim

Last light on Mandovi Bridge
5D Mark III, Zeiss ZE 50 f/2 MP

 
Mandovi Bridge, Panjim, Goa

Panjim on River Mandovi
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 

The old photos featured here are from the Central Library Archives in Panjim. The ferry was the main mode of transport across River Mandovi well into the 1970s.

Old Panjim

River Mandovi separates Panjim (right) and Malim (left), c. 1900
© Souza & Paul, Central Library Archives

 

In this image the Idalçao Palace (Adilshah Palace, which served as the Old Secretariat for almost three decades in post-Liberation Goa) is to the right of the frame. The arrow indicates the location of today’s Tourist Hostel from which rooftop the first two photos were taken.

Old Panjim

Panjim on River Mandovi c. 1900
© Souza & Paul, Central Library Archives

 

Panjim in the 1980s, showing early signs of decay (i.e. the advent of ugly Indian concrete). The original Mandovi Bridge is seen. The arrow again points to the Tourist Hostel.

Mandovi Brige, early 1980s

Panjim, early 1980s

 
Old Panjim

Panjim, looking towards Ribandar, c. 1900
© Souza & Paul, Central Library Archives

 

I shot a similar perspective from the second deck of the Doordarshan TV tower in Altinho (see final image below). It entailed going up a flight of rusty stairs inside the dank, dark tube and then praying that the platform on the deck would hold. Prayers and Indian ‘engineering’ always go together.

View of Panjim from the Doordarshan tower in Panjim

A recent perspective, 2007
5D, 35L

 
Doordarshan tower in Panjim

Doordarshan TV tower
5D, 35L

 

PS: Check out Ponte de Liñhares, built by the Portuguese in 1632.

 
 
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