Rangoli, Alpana, Kolam,Muggulu, Puvidal, Mandana , Chauk….. you can call it by any name but different patterns adorned on ground on various auspicious occasions all over India speak one language and that is of celebration, welcome and devotion.

In South India drawing the geometrical patterns at the entrance and Pooja room is a daily ritual. Different states have specific design patterns for specific occasions and specific Gods too. In South India these patterns are drawn with dry powder or wet paste of rice powder while in North India it is made with dry wheat flour. With the passage of time various other mediums are also being used to draw Rangolis. Innovations and experiments with new design patterns are also seen but the spirit of these motifs still reverberate on the same tune.

The design galore on ghats of Varanasi on Dev Deepawali day was spectacular.The magnificent display of patterns, designs, colors and lights was mesmerizing.Ghats after ghats one could see old ladies to young girls busy in drawing designs, filling those with colors, decorating with diyas.  Witnessing  three generations involved enthusiastically to fill the world with beauty and sacredness gave a deep reassuring feel. Air was filled with Shlokas, Bhajans.Innumerable lighted earthen lamps in flower bowls floated slowly, rhythmically, steadily on quiet Ganges. These tiny dots of light on wide  waters of holy river bathed in inky darkness filled the heart with gratitude and peace. Big round moon in the sky smiled benevolently  as if granting boon.


































All pics by Sunder Iyer.

Exposed roots of very old trees always fascinate me .To  me they possess an antiquated charm like bygone era. They make me nostalgic like those ruins of ancient monuments and in turn have a kind of sad impact on me.


For a very long period the roots lie in obscure  and intimate security of earth ,beyond the penetrating eyes of the world. The soothing murmur of the water deep down in the earth, the warmth of mother earth embracing the roots close to it’s breast, the soft whisperings, the cozy darkness…….how  they feel after their this intimate world is shredded away ?


The designs and patterns of exposed roots suggest various stories ,reflect different moods.We captured these roots on the placid,quaint bank of Cauvery……let us see what are they trying to say……………











Pics by sunder iyer

That morning while on way to Hogenakkal from Bangaluru we stopped on this bank of Cauvery river. Morning was still pretty young but fully awake. Multiferous activities, morning chores were taking place at the bank of river. Some were lying leisurely enjoying the oil massage, others were taking bath. The shepherd boy was taking the goats out to pastures. Fishermen were pushing the coracle in the water for fishing. Despite all the activities the atmosphere was lulled to serene quiescency. The river was flowing calmly, the small ripples glistening under soft sun rays. The rocks submerged in water appeared to be in deep meditation. At the other bank stretched the green forest beyond which the hills stood out majestically. I stood on the rock in shallow water seeping in the serene splendour, imbibing the quiet. It is always a wonderful feeling to feel at peace within.

The small rock I was standing on, was only a feet or so above water. One tip of the rock was smeared with turmeric and vermilion. At the bank under overhanging boughs of ancestral trees was an idol of some goddess, may be Goddess Cauvery. The lone goddess and the worn out faded paint of idol somehow created  melancholy feelings in my heart.

She might have been brought here accompanied with the echoing sounds of conch shells, bhajans and shlokas. In our culture every river is a mother deity and an embodiment of a philosophy, nurturer of art and culture. Not only various civilizations have flourished on the banks of river but to this day the river banks act as stage for performing arts and showcasing our traditions and culture through many fairs and festivals. That lone idol fueled my imagination to weave a live and throbbing fair/festival on the bank of cauvery………..fresh young laughter reverberating the atmosphere, the music of jingling ornaments, the colorful aanchals, flowers, kumkum and now she sat there alone rapt in silence perhaps guarding the scene till it is once again alive with footfalls…………….the guardian angel.







all the pics by Sunder Iyer