Deepam, sociology and ecology (part one)

Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives

Jiby Charles, a photographer and graphic designer based in Bangalore has been creating visuals of the flora and fauna of Tiruvannamalai as part of Project 365. His interest also extends to the sociological dimension of Arunachala Hill… how the people of the land relate to the Hill and its ecology is an aspect he has been searching… the extent of people’s involvement in managing this ancient practice and how coordinated are the several thousand people in bringing ghee and other necessities for the festival… Even though Deepam is not Jiby’s direct concept, he has been attempting to bring out the connection between the people, the flora and fauna of this ancient town. More than being a mere witness to this grand festival, Jiby has become a part of the festival Jiby and Arnav started early in the morning, only to join the parivattam (a ceremony to respect t he ‘Nattar’ family who would be lighting the fire)… however, as the Nattar family was all set to climb up Arunahcala, Jiby and Arnav also joined them – they didnt get much time to neither have their breakfast, nor find proper shoes… they stopped a brief while, only to  buy a plastic bag to cover their cameras… the journey of four hours, climbing the steep hill barefoot.. mid-day sun didn’t fetter their passion !!! Deepam, the birth of Lord Murugan, the deity of Tamil language is celebrated by all as the festival of light… People from different caste, religion and belief play a role.. Nattars are traditional fishermen who light the lamp.. the Achary’s, the traditional wood carvers make the chariots…. the Chettiyars decorate the gods… Thousands of liters of pure ghee donated by people are carried uphill to lit the gigantic fire seen several kms around the Hill…

Jiby is hailing from a christian family… He has done his Bachelor Degree in Visual Communication from Hindusthan College of Arts & Science (Bharathiar University, Coimbatore). He currently lives in Bangalore. He is passionate about photography, design and traveling. Sharing few of his Deepam photographs.

Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives

Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives

Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives

Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives

Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives

Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives

Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives

Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis, Korkai and the Cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text by Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com/ FACEBOOK – Project 365

The procession of saint poets

Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives

And, the saint poets and their gods are on the road… fully decorated in their various vahanas (vehicles)!!! Giving dharshan to the thousands of devotees and others… Many are touched by their own overwhelming bhakti, whilst others are moved by the sheer joy and faith of the devotees.. there are quite a few who would be silently enjoying the beauty of this artistic expression.. These priceless idols of our culture being shown to the public to look and experience is a celebration by in itself. Project 365 photographers have also been swept away by the festive mood of this ancient town… halogen lights and oil lamps warms up the chilled nights and the team gets ready for their ever fresh encounters…. Most of the photographers are using their smart phone to document this extensively documented festival. “Intimacy is the key”, said Abul Kalam Azad. “We are not mere witness to this festival, but we are part and parcel of the whole celebration. The smart phone makes it necessary for the photographer to be very close with their subject… it means a dialogue, a smile, a hug, a word or any form of exchange is a prerequisite to the photograph itself”, He added. Leading project 365 photographer Dinesh Khanna was supposed to lead the Deepam documentation. However, due to the sudden demise of his beloved mother, he is unable to join the team now. So, Abul is continuing to lead the team. He said,, “Amidst this overflowing mood of celebration, we have received this sad news from Dinesh… Let us salute and respect this loving mother and thank her for gifting this wonderful photographer to our world.”

The online feed of Deepam festival is also made in Project 365 page facebook page and instagram feed #etpproject365

Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Periyapuranam chanting / Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Drumming / Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Manikandan, the sarathi of silver chariot / Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
The procession / Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
The women trumpeter of Sri Thirunavukarasar band / Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Panneer Selvam / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Panneer Selvam / Project 365 Public Photo Archives

As the temple and its surrounding bubbles with the festival, there are many a preparation that had underway to ensure the peaceful proceedings.

Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives

And the tireless work of the police department….

Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives

And the most awaited “Mattu Chanda”. Last year the absence of the mattu chanda (cow market) was very much felt and the upcoming mattu chanda is expected by the spectators and buyers alike… our neighborhood bulls getting ready for the chanda…

Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives

For more deepam photographs check #etpproject365 and #deepam

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis, Korkai and the Cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text by Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi  / EtP. Profile by Ami Jangal / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com/ FACEBOOK – Project 365

 

Deepam, the festival of light

Karthikai Deepam, festival of lights is one of the oldest festivals celebrated by Tamil people. Deepam is observed in every home and every temple, and falls in the month of Kārttikai (mid-November to mid-December) as per Tamil Calender. This occurs on the day when the moon is in conjunction with the constellation Karthigai (Pleiades) and pournami (full moon). This constellation appears as a group of six stars in the firmament in the shape of a pendant from the ear. Many legends and lyrical poetry have grown round this star. The six stars are considered in Indian mythology as the six celestial nymphs who reared the six babies in the saravana tank which later were joined together to form the six faced Muruga. He is therefore called Karthikeya, the one brought up by the Karthigai nymphs. Houses and streets are lit up with rows of oil lamps (Deepam) in the evening of the festival day. One of the earliest references to the festival is found in the Ahananuru, a book of poems, which dates back to the Sangam Age (200 B.C. to 300 A.D.). The Ahananuru clearly states that Karthigai is celebrated on the full moon day (pournami) of the month of Karthigai, as per South Indian calendar. It was one of the most important festivals (peruvizha) of the ancient Tamils, including now the areas of modern Kerala too. Avaiyyar, the renowned poetess of those times, refers to the festival in her songs. Karthigai festival in Tiruvannamalai is very famous. On Karthigai day, a huge fire lamp is lit up on the hill, visible for several kilometers around. The fire (deepam) is called Mahadeepam.

This ancient Dravidian practice has been documented extensively in verse and visuals. The gods and goddesses, the rituals and chariots, the crowd and girivalam, every aspect of this festival has already been documented. Team 365 has another important vision, to preserve the visuals of the changing culture and lifestyle. Many may have noticed the ever changing scenario every deepam, the absence of the Mattu chanda (cow market), the advent of machine made drinks / coffees, ever growing new buildings and shops…. the visually exciting days and nights of Tiruvannamalai Deepam festival has a different dimension to be portrayed. Photography in essence is a play between light and shade (absence of light). This deep connection, the changing people, scenario and the colors of Deepam is what team 365 decided to capture. The team would be per-dominantly using iphone photography with instagram applications. Few photographs from the instagram Deepam series:

Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Biju Ibrahim / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Biju Ibrahim / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Biju Ibrahim / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Biju Ibrahim / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Biju Ibrahim / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Biju Ibrahim / Project 365 public photo archives

roject 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis, Korkai and the Cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text by Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi  / EtP. Profile by Ami Jangal / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com/ FACEBOOK – Project 365

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‘The colors of Deepam’ by leading Project 365 photographer Dinesh Khanna

Karthigai festival in Tiruvannamalai hills is very famous. On Karthigai day, a huge fire lamp is lit up on the hill, visible for several kilometers around the hill. The fire (dheepam) is called Mahadeepam. As part of Project 365, Photographer Dinesh Khanna will be creating visuals of Tiruvannamalai Deepam Festival. A five member team, comprising of Project 365 photographers Arnav Rastogi, Bhagyashri Patki, Biju Ibrahim, Leo James and Shiv Kiran will be working with Dinesh Khanna and document the Deepam Festival.

Photographer Dinesh Khanna
Photographer Dinesh Khanna

Dinesh Khanna is one of the leading photographers of Project 365. He is based in Delhi. There are infinite ways of seeing. But when you see the world through Dinesh Khanna’s eyes, you are overcome with an innate sense of awe, besides many other emotions. The reason perhaps is the fact that he shoots from the heart. And it’s his incredible way of juxtaposing what he sees and what he feels that creates images that stay with you forever.

Even though his father was a professional photographer, Dinesh took his time to meander through his advertising career and eventually gave in to his true calling. His dad often urged him to use the camera, travel more often and take pictures of whatever he found interesting. He even grew up learning to make his own prints in the darkroom they had at home. But the rebel in him chose not to follow the conventional ‘son-takes-over-from-father’ routine simply because he felt it was against his principles to adhere to what the caste system followed, something he strongly did not believe in.

However, photography was not just in his blood, it was the one great love and passion of life he could no longer ignore. At first, Dinesh took up a lot of commercial work, which displayed his immense talent and creativity. Gradually, he began traveling more, exploring more, photographing everything that ‘engaged’ him and in the process, enjoying every moment of what he was doing. From Street photography, to portraits to interiors of homes and hotels, travel pictures, photo stories, editorial and food photography, Dinesh’s work spans a varied mix, with many a common aspect… a love for life, a love for colours and a love for people being a few.

His photographs radiate a powerful and positive resonance which is why we want to stop and stare. Not just to admire the sheer beauty of the image, but also to appreciate seeing things the way he sees them. It’s what you call ‘insight’ in advertising terms. For example his iphoto series on ‘kissakhursika’, is a series on chairs. A simple everyday object that we may not even give a second glance to. But the way Dinesh has interpreted this very khursi, as he takes us on a visual journey portraying the significance of the chairs common people sit on (be it watchmen or barbers or children) and the ironic symbolism of a ‘khursi’ in the political context is so basic yet so bold and captivating.

Dinesh’s ‘Incredible India’ series that was created to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Taj Mahal earned him much fame. So did his solo exhibitions and pictorial books ‘Bazaar’ and ‘Living Faith’ which were born from his many travels and beautifully captured images from various melas, markets and sacred sites in small towns and rural areas.

His works also include stunning portraits of “Artists, Musicians, and Writers” “Mothers & Daughters” and a series on common man at work called “Earning Dignity” which all capture expressions and emotions in a stark yet subtle manner. His photos have also been published in monthly columns like ‘Double Take’ and ‘Urban Trivia’ for First City magazine, which display India’s ironic ‘Tryst with Urbanity’ and also ‘Cellphone Diaries’ for Better Photography.

Dinesh is also the co-founder and managing trustee of the Nazar Foundation in Delhi, a non profit trust that promotes the art of photography through various workshops, interactions and exhibitions. Doing this is his way of sharing his passion with budding and even experienced photographers. This organization also sponsors the biennial ‘Delhi Photo Festival’ which is an incredible platform for photographers to showcase their works.

Dinesh Khanna has displayed his work at several solo and group exhibitions, nationally and internationally at The Habitat Center, India International Center, Palette Gallery, Vadehra Gallery, New Delhi, Oxford Gallery, Kolkata, NCPA, Mumbai, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, New York, The Asia Society, San Francisco, Mondavi Center, UCLA, Los Angeles, Whitechapel Gallery, London and at FotomuseumSwitzerland.
A few of his photographs were also recently featured in an exhibition of paintings titled Soul of Asia Art – an exhibition curated by Sushma Bahl as part of the 44th International Film Festival of India, Goa, 2013.

Based in New Delhi, Dinesh is currently working on his next pictorial book ‘Benaras: Everyday in Eternity’ apart from various other assignments. Whether he is taking pictures of martinis, majestic hotel suites, of a teenager on a terrace or bangles in a bazaar, his work exudes emotions that every viewer can relate to at a very simple level. And we look forward to more.

Dinesh will be reaching Tiruvannamalai on 30th November 2014. During his stay, he will also be presenting his works with our rural audience (the dates will be announced at a later stage). Thank you Dinesh Khanna, for being part of project 365 and visiting this ancient town.

WELCOME.

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis, Korkai and the Cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text by Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi Nadar / EtP. Profile by Ami Jangal / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com/ FACEBOOK – Project 365

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Director’s Anecdote II

Agni

Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 PUBLIC archives / 2014
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 PUBLIC archives / 2014

The word agni is the Sanskrit word for fire and light. Agni is called as Thee in Tamil. Agni occupies a prominent place in the Vedas and vedic Brahmanas works as a Hindu and Vedic deity. The ancient Indians recognized it as the power of heat and light and the will-power united with wisdom, they knew the human will-power to be a feeble projection of this power which they believed could be strengthened by the Rig Vedic chants to Agni. The Vedic people developed the worship of Agni, personified and deified Agni as the sacrificial fire, the priest of the gods and the god of the priests, who through yajna carries the oblations to the gods, the celestial controllers of the mysterious and potent forces of nature, to ensure the continuance of conditions favourable to mankind.  In Vedic deities Agni occupies, after Indra, the most important position. He is ever-young, because the fire is re-lit every day, yet he is also immortal.

Agni is the first word of the first hymn of the Rigveda (Sukta I.i.1) revealed to Rishi Madhuchchandah Vaishvamitah in Gayatri metre. The Rig Veda begins with a prayer to Agni, the receiver, holder and distributor of energy, who leads the devtas to victory in their battles against the asuras, and confers wealth of various kinds to the performers of yajnas. According to Agni Purana, which is the eighth in the list of eighteen Puranas, no god is approachable without the medium of Agni, and no divinity is without the presence of Agni; his element is earth. At the command of Bhirgu, Agni was brought down from the heavens for man’s use by Matarishvan in the later writings Agni is described as a son of Angiras who happened to discover fire and its uses. Agni as the immortal guest is the witness of all actions, supremely powerful, all consuming and irresistible but who commands all earthly and heavenly riches i.e. all temporal good. As the most potent and visible form of energy, useful but destructive at the same time, fire was both revered and at the same time feared by the Vedic people. Cow’s milk and its derivatives such as ghee (clarified butter) are integral parts of Vedic fire sacrifices, which are conducted by Brahmin priests; That’s why the Vedic priests who are the keepers of fire worshiped the cow that provide ghee to feed the fire.

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis, Korkai and the Cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text research Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com / FACEBOOK – Project 365

 

Inner and outer path, a 360degrees perambulation of the Hill

By seeing Chidambaram, by being born in Tiruvarur, by dying in Kasi, or by merely thinking of Arunachala, one will surely attain Liberation.” – Arunachala Mahatmyam

Arunachala refers to the holy hill at Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu. The hill is also known by the names Arunagiri, Annamalai Hill, Arunachalam, Arunai, Sonagiri and Sonachalam. Tiruvannamalai is revered as ‘Agni Sthala’ (Fire), one of the five elements described in shaivite philosophy. The Annamalaiyar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located at the base of the hill. Every year in the Tamil month of Karthigai (October–November), the Karthigai Deepam (Light) is lit atop the hill. The circumambulation of Arunachala Hill is known as Giri Pradakshina in Sanskrit and Giri Valam in Tamil. Every full moon, several thousand pilgrims perambulate around the Hill.  The pilgrims usually walk bare feet, chanting hymns and mantras dedicated to the holy Hill.

Inner path / Image (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Inner path / Image (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Inner path / Image (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Inner path / Image (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Inner path / Image (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Inner path / Image (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives

The 14km perambulation has two different paths. One is the commonly known ‘outer path’ and not so common ‘inner path’. The inner path is belongs to the Protected Area of the State Forest Department. The Life in outer path is versatile and alive with many pilgrims walking and chanting. The well made road and pavements are often crowded with different shops that serve the circumnavigating pilgrims. This path is vibrant with life and activities. The life in inner path is totally different. In reality, the inner path is an abode to the Sadhus of Tiruvannamalai. The perennial ponds, the lone trails, the animals, unique plants and serene silence adorn the protected inner path.

Project 365 photographer Maveeran Somasundaram
Project 365 photographer Maveeran Somasundaram

Maveeran Somasundram, Project 365 photographer will be documenting the life in inner and outer path. Maveeran is born in a village called Thiruthuraipoondi, Thiruvarur Ditrict, Tamil Nadu. He started exploring photography when he was very young. He has completed his MBA. He is currently based in Chennai.

Outer path / Image (C) Maveeran Somasundaram / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Outer path / Image (C) Maveeran Somasundaram / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Outer path / Image (C) Maveeran Somasundaram / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Outer path / Image (C) Maveeran Somasundaram / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Outer path / Image (C) Maveeran Somasundaram / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Outer path / Image (C) Maveeran Somasundaram / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Outer path / Image (C) Maveeran Somasundaram / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Outer path / Image (C) Maveeran Somasundaram / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives

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Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis and the cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.”

Disclaimer:

All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com / FACEBOOK – Project 365