Intl Saturdays 26: Wat Arun: Temple of the Dawn

As promised, here are the photographs from within the Wat Arun complex. This temple looked markedly different in appearance as compared to other Wat’s i had seen till then in Bangkok. There were no elaborate wavy sort of roofs around the complex, no excessive use of the golden colour on the structure and no sort of sanctum sanctorum so to speak. On reading up on the temple in its complex learned that the architecture is Khmer, which is of Cambodian origin. 
Wat Arun is a blend of Khmer and Thai architecture and commemorates the the Indian god of dawn Aruna – ah the amalgamation of cultures! One thing that is conspicuous about Wat Arun is the intricate detailing on the main structure – called as ‘Prang’ – and also the surrounding four structures. You will notice that a lot of the material used to adorn the sculptures and the temple exteriors is broken piece of glazed porcelain. 

The temple has these insanely vertiginous stairs leading upto the third terrace which has Lord Indra or as he’s popularly known in this part of the world Erawan riding on a multi-headed elephant on all the four sides. These stairs may look normal from the ground up, but as you ascend you realise that it is quite a steep climb and you will not dare to climb without holding on tightly onto the side railings. 

Like i mentioned above, the main ‘prang’ of the temple is surrounded by four smaller prangs. As you are climbing up the main prang and enter the third terrace from where you can get a beautiful view of this temple town and the Chao Phraya river, you hear a pleasant and repititive sound. You can’t realise the source immediately, but if you stare hard at the top portion of the picture, you will notice some golden coloured leaf-shaped structures. They are in fact windchimes which add an element of sound thereby taking the spiritual experience to a whole new level. A zoomed in image is attached below. 

The temple-guards of Oriental origins are found around the complex and with fine liveries at that.

Take Care,
Ciao

Intl Saturdays 25: Glimpses – Wat Arun

As you are crossing the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok to go Old Bangkok which houses the kings palace and a lot of temples also known as Wat’s, you come across these wonderfully architectured temples that take you back in time. This is what Wat Arun looked like as I was heading towards Old Bangkok. We shall go in next week.

Take Care,
Ciao

BMC building at dusk

Ok i agree, i have shot this building a hell lot of times. Guilty as charged. But there is just something about its architecture that makes me go all starry eyed, whenever i am in the vicinity. This time around i had shot it at dusk and i really loved the dark blue cloudless sky which gave a perfect backdrop to the structure.

And here are some Black and Whites of the same building. 

Indian Art Studio

I have always been fascinated with this studio, which is very very different from many other photo studios i have seen in my lifetime. It’s location, Kalbadevi, is a place which is bustling with activity throughout the day and then suddenly when you peep into the door, you notice black and white vintage photographs covering the interiors, it just transports you to an altogether different era. (Sadly on the day i made this photograph, the studio was shut).
Last night i was reading a wonderful article in Mint Lounge about this history of this place and how film is still respected at this photography studio. You should read the article  if you are big on nostalgia. 
Take Care,
Ciao 

Up close in CST

What do you get when you have a super zoom camera and are bored around the CST precint? Simple, just use the zoom and go deep on the gothic architectural marvel that is the CST headquarter building.

The gargoyles with their eyes popping out are my favourites though:)

This one’s on the BMC building on the opposite side of the road. Another superb building, which is as bad inside as it’s beautiful on the outside. Well, what do you expect when you have muncipality HQ inside such an awesome building?

Take Care,
Ciao

Candles by the Basilica

I never tire of checking out the Basilica of Bom Jesus popularly known as the Old Goa Church, whenever I’m in Goa. I guess it has to do with the fact that this is the only place that i know of, which houses the remains of a priest – St. Francis Xavier. The story is quite fascinating and may seem unreal  when you hear it for the first time, but when you see the casket housing the remains, you realise that it is the truth. 
St. Xavier passed away while enroute to mainland China in 1552. He was buried on an island temporarily before his body was moved to St Paul’s Church in Malacca. The body had absolutely no signs of decay after two months. It was ultimately brought to Goa and the body was placed in a casket in this church. In fact, just to be sure, one of his arms was detached from the body to check for any signs of any substance within which was keeping the body from decaying. None was found. 
Another thing that catches your eye is the very attractive baroque architecture. 

The casket is opened for public viewing once every decade, last time being in 2004. 

Take Care,
Ciao