27 April 2010

Decommissioned temple, Bundi

At Bundi in the evening I climbed to the ruined fort overlooking the town. The only inhabitants were macaques, an occasional melancholy bird, frogs calling from the echoing darkness of the step well. Ghosts and goblins too. Even the gods seemed to have departed.

[26 February 2007; Canon 20D, 10–22 mm f4 at 20 mm, ISO 400, 1/4 at f6.3]

All content © 2010 Pete McGregor


Relatively Retiring said...

Such beautiful light.
What a wonderfully atmospheric photo.

pohanginapete said...

Thank you, RR. The atmosphere there was almost palpable — eerie yet not scary. Partly the time of day (evening, becoming dusk and turning to night as I made my way down the dry, thorny hillside past troops of rhesus macaques); partly what Kipling had written about Bundi; partly the imagining of what had happened there. Old, once-mighty cannons toppled and rusting; broken stone; graffiti where the gods once held sway — The Waste Land if Eliot had been Indian.

Barbara said...

Although you refer to Eliot's 'Wasteland' the photo feels surprisingly intimate. The purple haze in the shadows and the burnished tones of the stone in the light, as well as the details of stone, architecture - even the niche - are stunning.

pohanginapete said...

Thanks Barbara. I think it was the sense of long-gone glory and the arid surroundings that evoked The Waste Land. Or maybe I half-expected to see bats with baby faces in the violet light crawling head downward down a blackened wall?

Actually, having just revisited the poem to check the reference, I'm struck by how much rings true — the repeated references to 'violet'; the empty chapel; the 'voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells' (so apt it's eerie even now); and, of course, the Sanskrit with which Eliot ends the poem.