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Inside the Bangalore City Market, there was a section of stalls selling religious products and supplies. Usually, one will find tall conical mounds of multi-coloured powder carefully compressed on large metal base plates for display. The powder is used by devotees in Hindu religious ceremonies.

History has it that the Krishna Rajendra Market used to be a battlefield in 1791 during the Third Anglo-Mysore war. It was a buffer zone then that was later turned into a small market place. Eventually in 1921, the market building was built and named after Krishna Rajendra Maharaja of Mysore.

For more reading on history, refer here

The humble roti eaten with scrumptious thick curries and boiled egg was an inexpensive trip to the culinary heavens. This tasty breakfast was taken at a modest eatery near the Krishna Rajendra Market.

We were checking out the bustling Bangalore City Market on our transit between Hampi and Alleppey. The market pulsed with traders selling every thing you could possibly buy and buyers crowding the place on their market shopping spree.

We had reached Bangalore from Hospet by train early in the morning. The plan was to pay a visit to Bangalore's City Market located at the junction of Mysore Road and Avenue Road. Curiously, right under the highway flyover at the junction is one of the city's busy bus stations.

The Krishna Rajendra Market was a throbbing hub that spilled out into the surrounding streets. Traders were split according to the products they were selling. The flowers section was placed inside the building. This image was taken from one of the flower stalls facing one of the entrances.

It was in the evening in the main street of Hampi. I was loitering aimlessly when suddenly this street band just appeared out of nowhere and started banging on their drums. There was also a string of trumpeters accompanying them at the right timing.

The locals and tourists were taken by surprise and were thoroughly delighted by the flash-mob style performance. Some of the old local ladies nearby started to strut spontaneously with the drum beat. Behind the street band is the iconic gopura of the 7th century-built Virupaksha Temple that is still in use up to today. Hampi was the seat of power during the days of the Vijayanagara Empire that conquered South India.

The locals believe in the monkey god, Hanuman and his birthplace to be located at Anjaneya's hill in the center of Anegondi, just across the Tungabhadra River from Hampi. To reach the temple dedicated to Hanuman, one need to climb up the stairs from the foothill to the rocky hilltop for about half an hour.

The view from the top is superb where one can have a 360 degrees view of the plains below. Networks of paddy fields, coconut trees, temples, ruin sites and the arid landscape of uncountable huge boulders strewn all over as far as one can see. The strong breeze adds to the experience on the hilltop. Monkeys can be seen everywhere looking for a quick feed of bananas.

This image shows the small Hanuman temple at the top of Anjaneya Hill.

This long building was the stable for the king's elephants in Hampi. Eleven domed chambers formed the structure with most of them connected to each other via the side walls. The one in the center was different from the other chambers and was possibly used by musicians and performers during ceremonies involving elephants.

The stables is located inside the Zenana Enclosure, which was believed to be the ladies' quarters. The two-storey Lotus Mahal pavilion is also situated nearby. The pavilion features fine stucco decoration and surrounded by a large lawn. It is believed that the Lotus Mahal was a socializing area for the women folks in the Hampi royal family.

This shrine that looks like a stone chariot is an icon of the Vittala Temple in Hampi. Elaborately carved, it has axis shafts for the four stone wheels. Previously, it is said that the wheels were free to rotate as the chariot does not rest on them.

Vittala Temple is one of the major highlights in the sacred area next to the Tungabhadra River. The temple is well-known for the 56 musical pillars that emit specific musical notes when tapped. In the sprawling complex, the various pavilions, halls, shrines and towers were also beautifully carved with figures and creatures.

Vittala Temple is counted as part of the UNESCO listed Group of Monuments in Hampi.

This unique stepped water tank was discovered when archaeologists were puzzled at a branch of aqueduct leading particularly nowhere in Hampi's Royal Enclosure. Digging underneath the spot revealed and exposed the 22-sq-m tank made of finely finished black schist stone blocks. The system of aqueducts consists of raised criss-crossing network of 'drains' to transport water across the land. These 'drains' were chiseled slender boulders linked from end-to-end to form an extended water irrigation scheme supported by stone pillars.

The aqueducts would have transported water into this stepped water tank for the usage of the Royal Enclosure residents. Hampi was once upon a time the capital of the ancient South India Vijayanagara Empire. In its heyday, it was said that the city had a population closed to 1.5 million and covered an area of at least 26-sq-km.

The Chinese Nets are the emblematic icons of Kochi, capital of the state of Kerala. They are located at the Fort Kochi area and are fixed installations on the sea shore. Based on the principles of counterweights on a set of cantilevers on opposite ends, balancing on a pivot at a wide V-shape angle, a team of fishermen lower down the suspended net into the waters below for a catch. After a few minutes, they pull down on the ropes fastened to the other end to lift the net up. This is done hundreds of times a day to accumulate the catch.

Various sources have conflicting theory on who had introduced the Chinese Nets to Kochi. Some thought it was the Chinese explorer, Admiral Zheng He. Others thought that traders from the court of Kublai Khan had the honour. Still recent research had argued convincingly that they were brought by Portuguese Casado settlers from Macau.

In any case, the locally known cheena vala have been in Kochi for centuries. It is probably the single most photographed icon of Kochi today.

To say that a houseboat cruise through the backwaters of Kerala is a serene and peaceful experience is a total understatement. The backwaters are a network of interconnected canals, rivers, lakes and inlets, lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast of the Kerala state. It cuts through numerous reclaimed paddy fields which lay 1-2 meters below sea level. Standing at the top of a two-tiered houseboat, one can clearly see the dykes that separate the waterways from the sunken and massive paddy fields. The landscape looks surreal and unbelievable.

Swaying coconut trees with the backdrop of the clear blue sky completes the tranquility of it all. The houseboats chugged along slowly in the waterways as one enjoys the breeze. There are river fishermen eager to sell the catch of fresh fish and tiger prawns for dinner. This image was taken as a houseboat was gliding by.

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Hello... I Am Josh

A Travel Writer & Photographer from South East Asia

A little about me

Josh For some, it's shopping therapy. Others, movie therapy. Yet more, reading therapy. For me, it's writing therapy.
 
Why writing? When I travel, I enjoy first-hand the experience like in shopping therapy. But when I write about my travels, I live vicariously the experience again, as if like a movie sequel (or more like GroundHog Day, except that this is fun!). Yes, writing evokes the memories, the fun and the not-so-fun but all-in-all it gives the satisfaction of reliving the sense of place once more.
 
With images, it enhances the experience down one's travel memory lane. With this in mind, I hope to share my travel stories in words and images with you. For your escape therapy! More...

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