Saturday, May 29, 2010
I took this picture of the Perth city center from the opposite bank of the Swan river. This is just one of many pictures I have captured of this city at night. I do not understand my own obsession on taking photos of Perth city at night. But, I think one reason must be that its a very pretty sight.
I think the authorities have given a careful thought to the aesthetics when planning the location of buildings in the city center. With tallest buildings concentrated towards the mid point, it adds an element of symmetry to the city skyline. On the other hand, Swan river always provides a reflective surface to enhance the beauty.
Mian-jin, meaning Place shaped like a spike, is the name given to Brisbane by local indigenous people. Brisbane is the capital city of Australian state, Queensland. With a population around 2 million, it's the third most populous city in Australia. The river flowing through the city, as you see in the picture, is Brisbane river. In fact, the city was named after this river.
I arrived in Brisbane in February 2010, but, still did not get a chance to explore the place much. It is a little strange compared to how I covered most parts around Perth in Western Australia within just few weeks from when I arrived there. Well, at lease those that were accessible by public transport.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Traditional 'Naagaraaksha'(meaning Cobra-devil) Mask used for Devil Dancing popular in Southern Sri Lanka.
Devil dancing is a form of white magic to cure diseases, specially those concerned with mental illnesses. A shaman is involved, who would use a series of dances to drum beats, to summon spirits or devils to get their help to heal the patient. Masks like this are essentially used in those dances along with costumes to make them look like devils.
Ruwanweli Seya, also known as 'Rathnamaali Mahaa chetiya" or simply "Mahaa (meaning;great) Seya" is considered the most respected of all the stupas in Sri Lanka. Stupa is a Buddhist religious monument that would essentially contain Buddhist relics inside its core and a gem called "Chooda-maanikya" that repels lightning on top of its conical head.
The bigger stupa shown here is the aforementioned Ruwanweli seya while the smaller is one of the four attendant seyas around it. Ruwanweliseya stands 92m tall and has a circumference of 292m. Built in 3rd century B.C by the ruler then, King Dutugemunu.
This planted pine forest was met on the way to the "Mini-worlds end" in the Knuckles Mountains, Sri Lanka. These man made forest are creating an environmental catastrophe in the central mountains of Sri Lanka because they don't live in harmony with the indigenous plant and animals in the area.
Pine leaves take a long time to decompose naturally, at least in this particular environment. Hence they create a thick layer of dead leaves on the ground beneath and inhibit the growth of any plants in the undergrowth, destroying the natural habitat of both plant species and animals.
This replica of the lion statue in Yaapahuwa is, in fact, an ornament of about 6 inches tall that I bought from a local store.
The original statue is found at the flanks of the steep stair case leading to the rock fortress in Yaapahuwa, once the capital of Sri Lanka, built in 13th century AD by Sinhalese kings. This statue clearly gives away the Chinese cultural influence at that time.
Check the image of the original statue;
We had a 6-a-Side cricket tournament at Havelock Ground, organized by the company I work for. This, simply is the back of the drinks cart which provided everyone with refreshment. I liked the patterns created by various colored drink bottles (all from the same local manufacturer) under the shade of the orange roof canvas.
But, hope all these plastic bottles will be disposed in an environmentally friendly way, as they have already become a huge environmental issue throughout the country.
I caught this dragonfly sitting on a dry coconut leaf, on camera in my garden on a Sunday morning while wondering around the house. I'm not sure about the type species, nor knows any interesting facts about this fellow. May be someone of you might be able to tell us something about him!
This also was taken in my garden, in a morning. The flower, of which type, I do not know, was about to blossom. The capsule is just starting to uncover the stem within. and the seed like things were creating a breath taking pattern inside it. This flower is somewhat like an Anthurium, pinkish white in colour. The dark tender leaf of the same plant is in the foreground. i was lucky enough to get a pale natural light from behind to highlight the outlines.
Sigiriya (Lion's rock) is an ancient rock fortress and palace ruin situated in the central Matale District of Sri Lanka, surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs, and other structures.
A popular tourist destination, Sigiriya is also renowned for its ancient paintings (frescos), which are reminiscent of the Ajanta Caves of India. The Sigiriya was built during the reign of King Kassapa I (AD 477 – 495), and it is one of the seven World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka. (Reference;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigiriya)
Perth city center at night, view from King's Park. City becomes totally vacant by around 8pm in the night, with a little exception on Friday and Saturday nights. The water, which the city lights reflect on is the Swan River.
These Rubik's cubes were pendents of necklaces I came across at a jewelery shop while shopping with two of my friends at Belmont Shopping Forum in Perth.
Rubik Cube, according to Wikipedia, is 3D mechanical puzzle invented in 1974. A classic Rubik's cube has 6 faces each covered with 9 smaller squares of 6 colours. A pivot mechanism enables each face to turn independently, thus mixing up the colours. For the puzzle to be solved, each face must be a solid colour.
A fallen giant, I came across while taking a hike along the trails of
Rottenest Island during the summer. The heavy winds sweeping across the island must have been the most likely cause of its downfall.
A Boab tree at Kings Park, Perth.
Some individual Boab trees are 1500 years old and older, which makes them the oldest living beings in Australia, and puts them amongst the oldest in the world.
Aboriginals used the giants as shelter, food and medicine. For the white settlers they served as easily recognizable land marks and meeting points, and not to forget as impromptu prison cells. (Reference;www.outback-australia-travel-secrets.com/boab_tree.html)
This historical lighthouse, situated in the Northeast section of the Rottenest island, has been named Bathurst Lighthouse. It was constructed as a response to a series of shipping disasters in the area. The light house was activated for the first time in 1900. For tourists, it is a popular place on the island to do some photo shoots. The Small cove, with shallow water, at the foot of the staircase shown on the picture, is a good place to have a dip in the sea.