Monday, December 1, 2008


Rain at Hampi brings on a melancholic mood. As the lens sweeps the stretches of boulder- strewn hills on a particularly rainy and cold day, Hampi reminds one of the famous Greek philosopher’s favorite quote- `nothing endures but change…’.

This rock has stood testimony to the rise and fall of a dynasty.

A woman selling banana's to the visitors...

These boulders made me feel small...looking at them through my lens, gave me confidence- yes, it will fit the frame.

I was captivated by the off beat visual potential the place had to offer. My decision to avoid the often photographed and written about Hampi was right. There is another Hampi to be seen...

If you are headed to Hampi with the been-there-seen-that-done-this attitude, you will miss the real sights. Some sights are apparent only to the relaxed mind...
Auto's are everywhere...

Here too..
A pilgrim in Hampi Bazar...
Crouched in her tea shop, a woman bears the cold, waiting for a customer.

The Tungabadra river supports many activities of the localite. Washing clothes being one of them.

A hidden path to Vittala temple from Virupasha temple

Time has weathered the rocks.

A ruined temple

A man makes his way to the ruins. He has a bucket of water with him, to wash his behind after he is done with defecating in the bushes near the ruins. Truly a kings retreat.

5.45 am at the shores of Tungabadra- Hampi is waking up.

I headed back to the city...
Getting There (Text from : The nearest railway station is at Hospet. There are trains to Hospet from Bangalore and Hyderabad. You can get to Hampi from Hospet by auto-rickshaw, bus or rented cycle. It is possible to rent a chauffeur driven car in Hospet. It is convenient to get directly to Hampi by road. Goa is 10 hrs away and there are bus services from all over Karnataka to Hampi. Since this is a major tourist destination, any number of car-rentals will be happy to provide you with a car and driver for the trip. You can hire the car and take it around the entire northern circuit of Hampi-Hospet-Badami-Gulbarga-Bidar-Bijapur. It is also possible to hire a car at Hampi.

There are frequent bus services to Hospet (30 minutes) and from there on to Badami, Bijapur, Aihole, Gulbarga, and to the south too. You can also rent a car for the trip. There are trains from Hospet to Bangalore, Secunderabad (Andhra Pradesh), and Belur-Halebid. There is also a train to Badami.

Getting Around: The best time to visit is October. The weather is cool and a gentle breeze sweeps the countryside. The ruins of Hampi are fairly spread out so it is wise to rent a cycle for getting around locally. However, be prepared to do some bits on foot because in places the dirt track is not negotiable even on cycle. Auto-rickshaws and taxis are also available but not really conducive to a detailed exploration. Take along sturdy footwear if you are planning to do the ruins on foot.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Against Coco-colonisation in Plachimada...

Plachimada is a small village in the South Indian state of Kerala suffering from severe
water shortage since the global soft drink manufacturer Coca-Cola started their operations
there in year 2000 . The factory is located in a rural residential area several miles from the
nearest town. Groundwater is a common pool resource vital to us all but especially important
to a poor agricultural community consisting primarily of indigenous people.

The Cola factory has been temporarily closed. The operations have come to a stand still at the factory. This photograph (above), was taken in October 2008, almost four years later to the photograph below, which was taken when the factory was still operational, in 2004 and the strike had crossed a year.

The seventy year old Kannima (above), a resident of Vijayanagar colony next to the factory has been striking for more than four years now. The photograph below was taken four years ago, when she had completed a year long protest.

Crudely transilated, the plackard says that the anti coke strike has crossed 472 days.

Mailamma (center), the peoples leader who started the protest is now dead.

Four years ago (above), people had to collect water from the government water supply. Nothing has changed for the better even after four years (below).

The government has asked the residents not to use the water from this well at Vijayanagara colony as the water is polluted.

This woman, has no other go but to use the polluted water to wash clothes and utensils. The water cannot be drank- she says.

A light moment at Plachimada. It is amazing how the people of Plachimada have kept the strike on for so many days.
This pipe was laid by the government, but it has never supplied water.

Women, Mailamma (centre), collecting water, during heavy rains at Plachimada, four years back.

Students, who came to express solidarity with the protestors, had brought water in 7 up bottles. A paradox of our times.

This child is barely five years old.

The villagers of Plachimada have been protesting against the Coca-Cola unit for more than five years now. A continuos dharna or sit-down strike is held every day and night opposite thefactory gates.