65 pictures of Samdruptse Hill are really awe-inspiring. He comments thus: “It is just a huge statue of Guru Padma Sambhava built pretty recently. It looks sort of majestic from a distance on close watching it is nothing impressive. Just huge poor quality concrete statue of Gur Padmasambhava.”
Different postures and angles of the statue have been snapped and this monument reminds one of the giant monolithic statue of Gomateshwara statue at Shravanbelagola, Karnataka.
Darjeeling, famous for its tea industry, in West Bengal was his next halt. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (a Unesco World Heritage site) is one of the most outstanding examples of hill passenger railway. Opened in 1881, it applied bold and ingenious engineering solutions to the problems establishing an effective rail link across a mountainous terrain of great beauty.
His Grace has posted 31 random pictures from his walk through Darjeeling streets as he travelled from Darjeeling to Ghum which is on a higher altitude than the former. Ghum boasts itself as the oldest and highest altitude functioning railway with steam engine in the world. Various pictures of St Andrew’s Church at the Mall are also posted.
Rony Varghese, another Facebook friend, terms it “koool. Hopes so like the train u too will reach in the highest point of divinity…”
Thirumeni may not an expert on geology and rock formation since his visit to the Sewaro Rock Garden fetched only 22 photos..as he candidly admitted. “There is nothing much to say about this rock garden. I did not see much of anything other than some rocks and as an arch at the entrance. Seems like it was a project to get money from Indian government.
Another outstanding feature of the album is the statue at Samdruptse having focused it from different angles. Metropolitan has displayed 65 photos and says: “It is just a huge statue of Guru Padma Sambhava built pretty recently. It looks sort of majestic from a distance on close watching it is nothing impressive. Just huge poor quality concrete statue of Gur Padmasambhava…”
The metropolitan who initially experienced idyllic setting at the home water front at Aquasserenne Resort prompted another friend Saju Varghese to know about its location and tariffs..
He enquired: this place looks great…where in Kollam is it? i have a few days that i could use off…any idea on the price range? I’m sure that someone, maybe your brother, or some government official, covered your tab…but any idea?
Mar Nicholovos replied thanking his brother for arranging his stay which in a way enabled him to “escape the mad schedule and rest” before taking off to the North East.
Other photos included from the trip are on Kachoedpalri Lake, Tashi View point, Rabdentse Ruins and others.
Conspicuous is the absence of individuals in his pictures except those of innocent looking school kids at Sewaro., which is another hallmark. Even Buddhist monks from the monasteries he visited were not on his agenda.
His Grace has snapped up pictures at his own will with some have precise timing. It is in the final product that one gets to notice this. He has not even used a tripod or any other extra photographic equipment. Since most of them were landscape pictures taken outdoors, even flash was not relied upon.
Mar Nicholovos enters a new bastion where none of the Malankara metropolitans have ventured into. He has also earlier captured some moments on frame like the construction of the new Aramana of the Southwest American Diocese, Notre Dame Basilica and many others. What next from this tech-savvy young metropolitan is the question on everyone’s mind?
Pictures by Mar Nicholovos selected by the author