Shravanabelgola - Southern India

These images were taken at a Jain temple in southern India. The place is a two hour drive from Bangalore. The main object of veneration stands 57 feet high and was completed in 983CE. It is the second tallest free standing stone carving in the world (behind one such object in Egypt). It is impressive. Unlike Belur or Halibeedu, Shravanabelgola contains simpler structures and carvings. But the simplicity brings a certain quiet power. I would like to go back someday.

These images were taken using a Mamiya 7 50mm L and 80mm L. I used Ilford PanF+ and processed in Rodinal at 50:1. The negatives are smaller than I'm used to printing from, but the edge enhancing properties of Rodinal really worked well with the rough hewn granite.

On a future trip I plan on taking an Ikda Anba 4x5 view camera and several small portable lenses. Until then, the 11x14 prints that I have made from the 120 format work has delighted and confused friends. Confused, because we have no idea of how beautiful places can be if we don't travel there ourselves. India is proving to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet to visit.

Temple at Shravanabelgola
Feet of the Gomateshwara - Mamiya 7, 80mm L
The small idol is worshipped as proxy to the tall idol. Every tewelve years, Jains from around the world converge here to bath Sri Gomateshwara in milk, gee (clarified butter), perhaps honey (though I could be wrong about this ingredient), and various powers. The colors are incredible and the celebrations last perhaps two weeks. Temple at Shravanabelgola
Chair to ride in - Mamiya 7, 50mm L
There are 610 steps that lead up a solid granite hill to the temple complex at the top. The steps are steep in places. If a person needs a ride up, these sedans are available. From a friend who rode one, they can be pretty scarey. There are four wirey men, one at each handle. The sedan is a little rickety, but not bad. However, going down the hill is quite a ride. My friend said that it appeared like you were going over the edge of the world. You may also be interested in:

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