Belur - Southern India

As I have said elsewhere, I have been to Europe. I have been to Japan. I have seen some truely remarkable things. But nothing even comes close to the jewels to be found in India. The images here are from a place in Southern India called Belur. It found just outside of a town called Hassan. This temple has been in continuous use for nearly a thousand years. The British have stolen some of the idols and the Indians rightfully want them returned.

These images were taken using the Mamiya 7 50mm L and Rolleiflex 3.5F Planar cameras and lenses. I used Kodak TMax100 to get the best possible resolution from this format. But at this place I needed to handhold both cameras. I missed some beautiful photographs because I could not use a triopd. If ever I return, I will try two things. First, I will see if I can buy a "permit" that allows me to photograph the area using a tripod. Second, I will take faster film with me.

The 11x14 prints that I have made here are beautiful. I wish I could take a 4x5 view camera into this place. The verticals could more easily be aligned. I miss the image control that 4x5 gives me. But I would NOT miss visiting Belur just because of that. It is simply one of the most stunning places I have ever visited.

As an update to the original page found here, I revisited Belur. I had the 4x5 Anba with me. Alas, I was unable to use it since I didn't not have a tripod permit. Still, I took the Mamiya 7 with 80mm L and tried to capture aspects I missed during my first visit. When those images are printed I will post them here. In the meantime, I am applying for a tripod permit with the State of Karnataka.

Temple at Belur
Hoysala Lion - Mamiya 7, 50mm L
North entrance to the main temple

Temple at Belur
Battle scene - Rolleiflex 3.5F Planar
Carvings found on a small temple at the back of the complex

Temple at Belur
Shiva and Consort - Rolleiflex 3.5F
Carvings from a temple on the north side of the complex

Temple at Belur
Shiva - Rolleiflex 3.5F
The main temple contains thousands of similar carvings

Temple at Belur
Hoysala Lion - Rolleiflex 3.5F
South entrance to the main temple