Tag Archives: hindu

Jama Musjid

Delhi final (2 of 10)

Wikipedia: “The Masjid-i Jahān-Numā (Persian: مسجد-ا جہاں نما, Devanagari: मस्जिद जहान नुमा, the ‘World-reflecting Mosque’), commonly known as the Jama Masjid (Hindi: जामा मस्जिद, Urdu: جامع مسجد) of Delhi, is the principal mosque of Old Delhi in India.[1] Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, it is the best-known mosque in India. Construction began in 1650 and was completed in 1656. It lies at the beginning of the Chawri Bazar Road, a very busy central street of Old Delhi. The later name, Jama Masjid, refers to the weekly Friday noon congregation prayers of Muslims, Jummah, which are usually done in a mosque, the “congregational mosque” or “jāma masjid”. The courtyard of the mosque can hold up to twenty-five thousand worshippers. The mosque also houses several relics in a closet in the north gate, including an antique copy of the Qur’an written on deer skin.”

India 2014: Leopold Love & Fort Cochin Sunset

The photo below was taken inside Leopold Café during one of the many nights that we spent their sipping on ice cold beer and eating warm curry or derivatives thereof.

The photo is named Leopold Love but I cannot honestly say that the couple sitting together glued to their mobile phones were or are an item. For all I know they could be friends, relatives or who knows what.

The couple are seen sitting at one of the downstairs tables where it gets a little hot at times even though the fans above are flying at high speed. The restaurant does have an upstairs section which is air-conditioned that to the extent that one might possibly be able to chill some beers.

“Leopold Café is a large and popular restaurant and bar on Colaba Causeway, in the Colaba area of Mumbai, India, located across from the Colaba Police station. The cafe was also mentioned extensively in the novel Shantaram. The cafe was an early site of gunfire and grenade explosions during the 2008 Mumbai attacks by terrorists. The restaurant was extensively damaged during the attacks. Gunmen sprayed the restaurant with bullets and there were blood stains on the floor and shoes left by fleeing customers. Sourav Mishra, a Reuters reporter and one of the first media witnesses of the attack, suffered severe bullet injuries. The cafe reopened four days after the attack, but was reclosed by the police as a safety measure after two hours because of the unexpected size of crowds gathering there.” ~ Wikipedia

If you have not been to the Leopold Café, then due two things right off each other in this order. Firstly, read the novel Shantaram written by Gregory David Roberts, and secondly, go pass a good few hours inside the cafe sipping on your favourite drink and eating the lovely food.

As of 01 March 2015, I’m busy on chapter 3 of Shantaram; happily reading this long thick interesting book for the second time.

Leopold Love

At the time of starting to work on the photo(s) below I was simultaneously “grumbling” about photographing sunsets and sunrises in India and how “hard” it is. Unlike in South Africa where you usually get a splendid fifteen minute or so warning in the sky that the sun is about to rise, in India the sun seemed to often rise without warning and only appear out of the haze once a few “centimetres” above the horizon. This is that same point it often disappeared at sunset before sinking below the horizon. Back home the sun can sink out of sight and below the horizon and then throw beautiful light back onto the clouds above.

Cochin Harbour

The photo(s) below was / were taken at Fort Cochin, Kerala at sunset and it was one of those lucky late afternoons where I got some action in the sky. A Chinese fishing net, rummaging dog, courting couples, hunting crows and boat entering the harbour complement the sinking sun.

Crow Playground

Fort Cochin is where we found Patrick and Mary of Heavenly Homestay, who really made us feel at home and exuded much love, respect and goodwill. It was the best place I have stayed in during three trips to India.

Heavenly Homestay address: 11/639, Machenzie Garden Road, Pattalam, Thamaraparambu, Kochi, Kerala 682001, India. Phone: +91 98470 33818.

Sunset Fort Cochin

To end off the section, I will include three further photos below showing the crows, one of the dogs and a ship entering the harbour. The one photo is called Crow Playground as they were a hell of a lot of crows flying and jumping around. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before and will surely same mention again: the crows in India are very healthy birds.

The other photo is called Sunset Stroll and shows some of the people, who gather at the waterfront to exercise, socialise and or just watch the sun go down. Fort Cochin could be described as the cutest little town I have discovered this far in India.

Sunset Stroll

India 2014: Alterations & The Customer

This is my second post related to the same location but with different photos.

I could read back on the comments made on previous photographs to see if I mentioned Leopold Café in Colaba, but decided against it and do know that I mention “my favourite restaurant” above.

Yes, I loved Leopold Café so much so that I seem to recall visiting it almost every night that we were in Mumbai. But, the inserted photograph is not about the restaurant but a good soul who works in a shop or two away.
“The Tailor” was always game for a little chitchat when I went outside the restaurant for some fresh air and to stretch my legs. He is one of the many hard-working persons I encountered in India and I seem to recall that he only closed shop at around 22:00 hours in the evening.

As you can see, he is not a spring chicken but despite his old age, was full of joy and patience while I took photographs and disturbed his peace.

I promised this gentleman that I would email him some of the photographs I took and felt a little guilty this morning knowing that I had not yet kept my promise. As I type this paragraph, it is before 10:00 hours in the morning at around which time my email to Filippo Boutique will be flying out of South Africa towards Mumbai at electronic speed!

Alterations

The Customer

 

Photos taken in Colaba, Maharashtra, India.

India 2014: The Tailor & Tailor-Made

I could read back on the comments made on previous photographs to see if I mentioned Leopold Café in Colaba, but decided against it and do know that I mention “my favourite restaurant” above.Yes, I loved Leopold Café so much so that I seem to recall visiting it almost every night that we were in Mumbai. But, the inserted photograph is not about the restaurant but a good soul who works in a shop or two away.

“The Tailor” was always game for a little chitchat when I went outside the restaurant for some fresh air and to stretch my legs. He is one of the many hard-working persons I encountered in India and I seem to recall that he only closed shop at around 22:00 hours in the evening.

As you can see, he is not a spring chicken but despite his old age, was full of joy and patience while I took photographs and disturbed his peace.

I promised this gentleman that I would email him some of the photographs I took and felt a little guilty this morning knowing that I had not yet kept my promise. As I type this paragraph, it is before 10:00 hours in the morning at around which time my email to Filippo Boutique will be flying out of South Africa towards Mumbai at electronic speed!

Tailor-Made
The Tailor

Colaba, Maharashtra, India.

India 2014: The Movies

We are still in Dharavi (Mumbai) with the next inserted photo which was taken outside the local cinema. When walking past we asked our guide as to the goings-on inside.

We were advised that the entrance fee is Rs.10 which is an amazing R 1.75 (0.158434 USD)!!!

Okay, it’s not big screen and the movies are apparently shown on a large LCD TV. Anyway, the cinema appears to have a ventilation fan and black dark curtain to keep the light out.

The Movies

India 2014: Day on the Run

It was one of our days in Mumbai that I pulled a fast one and ask the ladies if they wanted to go shopping the entire day and not be disturbed; they replied in the positive and were very excited. However, there were two rules: use your own money and I’m not joining you.

I set off on foot to explore the length and breadth of Colaba armed with my Canon 6D. We walked passed chaps selling books on the pavement and I made a mental note to return the next day (incidentally I did and purchased three Jack Reacher books secondhand for about ZAR 20 each).

My mission was to go to Camera Gulley, a small area littered with many camera shops. I found it but kept my money for Orms (orms.co.za) back home: nothing really grabbed me. However, some of the shops had really ancient cameras hanging in the window on display.

After that it was Bel Puri from a very busy vendor on the side of the road. My attention was drawn to this vendor as I witnessed students trying to climb over each other to get a dish. I stood up against a wall and ate my lunch trying hard to not drop curry gravy onto my camera.

I then trundled off for coffee at the nearby Starbucks where I ate up the free WiFi and drank a cup of coffee. On the way home I met up with the gentleman in the inserted photo. Like most persons begging on the road he was friendly after a small donation and fully supported our impromptu photo shoot.

This is the first post from my Lenovo tablet, a present that I bought for myself. It has proved super useful in getting me reading books again (free online reader).

image

India 2014: Gateway of India

I had two sunrise shoots at Gateway of India, the first being uneventful insofar as unwarranted attention goes. The light was beautiful but not what I am used to. The second shoot was spent explaining to an officer the necessity of using a tripod to shoot long exposure stills. During the day there are many “resident” photographers present taking photos of tourists with the Gateway as a background. The perimeter and surrounding area is heavily guarded and a section of the Wikipedia article below reveals why.

“The Gateway of India is a monument built during the British Raj in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India. It is located on the waterfront in the Apollo Bunder area in South Mumbai and overlooks the Arabian Sea. The structure is a basalt arch, 26 metres (85 feet) high. It lies at the end of Chhatrapati Shivaji Marg at the water’s edge in Mumbai Harbour. It was a crude jetty used by the fishing community which was later renovated and used as a landing place for British governors and other prominent people. In earlier times, it would have been the first structure that visitors arriving by boat in Mumbai would have seen. The Gateway has also been referred to as the Taj Mahal of Mumbai, and is the city’s top tourist attraction.

The structure was erected to commemorate the landing of their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary at Apollo Bunder, when they visited India in 1911. Built in Indo-Saracenic style, the foundation stone for the Gateway of India was laid on 31 March 1911. The final design of George Wittet was sanctioned in 1914 and the construction of the monument was completed in 1924. The Gateway was later the ceremonial entrance to India for Viceroys and the new Governors of Bombay. It served to allow entry and access to India.

The monument has faced three terror attacks from the beginning of the 21st century; twice in 2003 and it was also the disembarkation point in 2008 when four gunmen attacked the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower.

After the 2008 Mumbai attacks, there has been a proposal to close all these jetties and replace them with two newer ones to be built near the Bombay Presidency Radio Club nearby. The second and third jetties are the starting point for tours of Elephanta Caves, which is a 50-minute boat ride away by ferry. Other routes from the Gateway include ferry rides to Alibaug and Mandwa; these ferries are said to carry passengers above their certified capacity due to their popularity.

The Gateway of India is a major tourist destination and a popular gathering spot for locals, street vendors and photographers. In 2012, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation moved the “Elephanta Festival of music and dance” from its original location at Elephanta Caves (where it had been celebrated for 23 years) to the Gateway due to the increased capacity offered by the venue. The Gateway can host 2,000 to 2,500 people, whereas Elephanta Caves could host only 700 to 800 people.

A bomb planted in a taxi exploded near the gateway in the 2003. The gateway was also the site of a major bomb-blast in August 2003 and was the disembarkation point of the terrorists participating in the November 2008 terror attacks when four gunmen attacked the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower. Public movement in certain areas was restricted after the 2008 attacks”.

Gateway of India (2)

India 2014: Nariman Point

“Nariman Point is Mumbai’s premier business district and country’s first central business district. It was named after Khursheed Framji Nariman, a Parsi visionary. The area is situated on land reclaimed from the sea. It had the distinction of having the highest commercial real estate rental space in the world in 1995 at $175 per square foot ($1880/m²). Nariman Point hit a new high as a flat sold for a record $8.62 million (USD) on 26 November 2007 [1], at an astonishing $2488 (INR97,842) per square foot. According to the “Office Space Across the World 2012” report by Cushman & Wakefield, Nariman point is the 15th most expensive CBD in the world. The area is situated on the extreme southern tip of Marine Drive. It houses some of India’s premier business headquarters. Nariman point is the 25th most expensive office market in the world” ~ Wikipedia

We visited Nariman in the late afternoon to watch the sun set. Other photographers were there plying their trade and taking photos of themselves and friends.

Chaps selling various foodstuffs were chased away by two serious looking young police ladies who walked like cowboys in a Western movie.

The mood was otherwise very relaxed on the water’s edge where all gathered to watch another day end.

Nariman-Point

India 2014: Auto Rickshaw

During our time in India it was a case of walking, or hiring a motor vehicle taxi or an auto rickshaw – known by us in Durban as a tuk-tuk. A taxi between point A & B in the city might be as high as say INR 900 / ZAR 166, but you can hire a taxi for 8 hours straight in Mumbai for INR 1200 / ZAR 221. Yes folk, that’s only ZAR 221 to be driven around the city, waited on and given a basic tour (the drivers usually point out all the tourist sites they have been asked to show previously).

At this point I have to introduce Jay Krishnan telephone +91 98 33 272871 of Mumbai who was referred to us by a family member in Durban and fellow photographer in Cape Town; both of whom received top-class assistance from Jay. We had the same experience; what a wonderful chap.

It’s really a case of booking your flight to Mumbai, securing accommodation and then calling Jay to advise him of your flight number / arrival date / time. He or his drivers will fetch and look after you. Whether you want to know about mobile SIM cards, second-hand books or anything else, just ask Jay.

The inserted photo of the auto rickshaw was taken on the main road in Juhu Beach at the entrance of what appeared to be a small slum settlement.

Auto Rickshaw