Harvesting salt from the land is an ancient practice in Goa, one that predates the Portuguese by centuries. Not long ago, wide open spaces of salt pans graced the Goan countryside. Specific villages and sub-communities – such as the mithgaude (“mith” being the Konkani word for salt) – specialized in the occupation of salt farming.

As is now well known, Goa is being rapidly third-worldized. With their lands and homes under pressure from the real estate juggernaut, the traditional salters are now on their last legs. This going to seed of Goa‘s salt culture has been documented by Reyna Sequeira of Goa University (I haven’t read her thesis but am well aware of her conclusions).

It didn’t have to be this way. The salt harvested in Goa is renowned for its flavour and is a vital condiment in every traditional Goan kitchen. No Goan cook worth her salt will touch the packaged rubbish sold in stores. An American entrepreneur would have marketed Goan salt crystals in an attractive bottle, slapped the “Organic” label on it, and made a lot of money, and maybe saved the tradition in the process.

I recall my young days when farmers in bullock carts laden with salt went door to door during these final days of May before the arrival of the pre-monsoon showers. This coincided with the festival of purumento (“purumetachem fest”), a seasonal open bazaar where folks stocked up on provisions for the coming season.

Salt pans between Panjim and Ribandar

Salt of Goa's earth
5D, 85L II

 
Salt pans at Agarvado

Salt pans at Agarvado
5D, 24-105L

 
Geometry of salt

Geometry of salt
5D, 24-105L

 
Salt farming in Agarvado

In Agarvado
5D, 24-105L

 
Harvesting salt in Batim

Harvesting salt in Batim
5D, 24-105L

 
Fresh salt for sale by the roadside

Fresh salt for sale by the roadside in Batim
5D, 24-105L

 
 
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  • kunal bhamare` - March 13, 2013 - 9:09 pm

    nice snap…but in goa exactly where it is?ReplyCancel

  • Dr. Reyna Sequeira - July 1, 2011 - 8:18 pm

    WELL DONE. I AM EXCITED TO SEE THE PICTURES…………THEY ARE ALL VERY CLOSE TO MY HEART.ReplyCancel

  • Arun - June 5, 2011 - 10:40 pm

    Photographically speaking, “In Avargado” and “Geometry of Salt” are my favorites.ReplyCancel

  • gasper almeida - June 5, 2011 - 3:16 am

    Excellent photography.
    Keep up the good work.ReplyCancel

  • Vijay Kamat - May 30, 2011 - 1:10 pm

    You have taken me back to my childhood memories! I can smell the brownish salt and once again long to drink soda water (the one in a glass bottle with marble) mixed with this salt.ReplyCancel

  • Arun - May 27, 2011 - 2:08 pm

    I remember as a child reveling in the various flavors of sea salts (I used to eat salt neat).

    Here is an American entrepreneur. Maybe he can import from Goa?
    http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local/new_york&id=7962717ReplyCancel

  • [...] more here: Salt of the Earth Posted in General Tags: agarvado, conclusions, konkani, landscape, real-estate, reyna-sequeira, [...]ReplyCancel

News just out is that the sub-glacial volcano Grímsvötn beneath the Vatnajökull icecap in southeast Iceland has erupted today. A jökulhlaup – the burst of flood that usually follows sub-glacial eruptions – can be expected 10-12 hours from now.

The following images were taken on the stretch of Ring Road that runs across the great sand plain known as Skeiðarársandur, the area that would be vulnerable to any glacial pop unleashed by Grímsvötn. The last deadly jökulhlaup recorded here was in 1996.

Fjallsjökull, a tongue of the Vatnajökull glacier

Fjallsjökull, a tongue of the Vatnajökull glacier
5D Mark II, 24-105L

 
Driving into the wall of ice

Driving into the wall of ice
5D Mark II, 70-200L f/2.8 IS II

 
Remains of the bridge at Skeiðarársandur

Twisted remains of the bridge at Skeiðarársandur from the 1996 jökulhlaup
5D Mark II, 24-105L

 
Skaftafellsjökull

Skaftafellsjökull, another tongue of Vatnajökull
5D Mark II, 70-200L f/2.8 L IS II

 
Lómagnúpur

Lómagnúpur
5D Mark II, 24-105L

 
 
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  • Jon - May 26, 2011 - 12:23 pm

    It had been a while since I last looked at your photos. Still awesome!ReplyCancel

  • [...] more from the original source: Eruption in Iceland Posted in Archive, General Tags: 24-105l, bridge, fjallsjokull, glacier, kull-glacier, [...]ReplyCancel

  • Taimur Khan - May 21, 2011 - 7:14 pm

    You have that childlike attention to detail, Rajan Bhai, because when I look at these pictures, it seems like I’m absorbed in the road divider lines instead of the coldly terrific terrains lying ahead of them. Great perspectives!ReplyCancel

These are photographs from the volcanic region of Mývatn in northern Iceland.

In the first image, the peaks of Námafjall are circumscribed by a section of the Ring Road. Steam is seen rising from vents in the earth in this highly active geothermal area.

Námafjall

Námafjall seen from Dalfjall
5D Mark II, TS-E 24L II

 
Námafjall

Námafjall - a monochrome interpretation
5D Mark II, TS-E 24L II

 

One evening around sundown we stumbled into a dreamscape as a blanket of fog settled over Mývatn. The timing was fortuitous – we were already on top of Dalfjall as the luscious scene unfolded.

Fog over Lake Mývatn

Fog over Lake Mývatn
5D Mark II, 24-105L

 
A Mývatn Dream

A Mývatn Dream
5D Mark II, 24-105L

 
 
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With its sweeping views of the Arabian Sea, the bluff at Vagator on Goa‘s northern coast is an atmospheric location. On a recent outing, I had the pleasure of recording the bliss experienced here during sundown by young and old alike. The first four images below are of my little niece Saraswati.

Saraswati

Taking it all in: Saraswati in Vagator
5D Mark II, Zeiss ZE 50mm f/2 Makro Planar

 
Saraswati

Saraswati
5D Mark II, Zeiss ZE 50mm f/2 Makro Planar

 
Saraswati: Frolic in Vagator

Frolic in Vagator
5D Mark II, 135L

 
Saraswati

Saraswati sulking next to her grandfather
5D Mark II, Zeiss ZE 50mm f/2 Makro Planar

 
Lovebirds

Lovebirds
5D Mark II, 135L

 
Contemplation

Contemplation
5D Mark II, Zeiss ZE 50mm f/2 Makro Planar

 
Capturing the setting sun

Point-and-shoot
5D Mark II, 135L

 
Pappa in Vagator

Golden light: my father Motilal Parrikar
5D Mark II, 135L

 
 
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  • [...] earlier post on Vagator here.     Category: Goa, LandscapeTag: Arabian Sea, Beach, Canon 5D Mark III, Monsoon, [...]ReplyCancel

  • Nik @ ExPla.net - May 16, 2011 - 5:44 pm

    That’s a wonderful portrait and that 135L really really is a magical lensReplyCancel

  • Arun - May 8, 2011 - 8:55 am

    Golden Light, by a slim margin.ReplyCancel

  • jc - May 7, 2011 - 6:10 am

    Enjoyed 3 of the above pics: Taking it all in, Sulking and Love birds. I am sure your father enjoyed his trip to Vagator. Once again, thanks for the pics.ReplyCancel

Last year I found myself in the middle of a fierce storm in Death Valley, California. After the initial fury subsided, I positioned myself on Westside Road hoping to catch some of the late evening magic, and was suitably rewarded. The gusts were still very strong and these images had to be made handheld at ISO 400.

Clearing storm, Black Mountains, and Westside Road

Clearing storm, Amargosa range, Westside road
5D Mark II, 70-200L f/2.8 IS II

 
View from Westside Road in Death Valley

Amargosa range from Westside road in Death Valley
5D Mark II, 70-200L f/2.8 IS II

 
 
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