Friday, December 31, 2010

Beautiful Pottery

Kota a tiny village which is part of Udupi district is home to two potters Baburaya and Shanker who earn their living by selling earthenware they make on their own. 

Their lovely little shop is right on National Highway 17 and I found it amazing to see the huge variety of earthenware and handicrafts on display there.

A lot of earthenware was widely used in almost every household in the Southern Indian coastal belt, but today this is changing especially with the use of different modern gadgets and devices available for cooking.

Little bunny and her cousin sister G tried out the cute little palm leaf hats that are used on very sunny days for laborers working in the paddy fields.

I wish I could get one of the clay faces designed so beautifully that are usually hung in front of houses in South India to ward off the evil eye, it was quite heavy and with the weight restrictions that apply on flights these days decided against it.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Udupi Krishna temple

With hubby's hometown being in Udupi everytime I am in the lovely town a visit to the Sree Krishna temple is always part of the agenda.

Thousands of devotees come here to this town to catch a glimpse of the lord and what I enjoy the most is actually walking around especially in the small lanes surrounding the temple. The paintings on the walls depicting the different mythological characters were done with such intense warm colors.

Little bunny was very happy to see the elephant happily munching away on his food but the elephant keeper gave me a hard 'you idiot' kinda glare when I tried to get some good shots of the giant beast.

The temple pond looked so nice and tranquil in the early afternoon hours and I was quite tempted to throw in a pebble and see the ripples form in the water but then decided against it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sheer bliss!

Visiting extended family was definitely high on the agenda during our stay in Kerala. At the same time staying in a place where we had our own space was definitely also a blessing.

The Marari beach resort made a perfect getaway. Waking up to early morning walks on the beach, watching lone fishermen trying to get their own private catch, seeing the fish dry on the sands are sights that will forever stick in my mind's eye.

Little bunny made friends with the local fishermen and they let her sit with them as they were going about their daily chores. She definitely has her own way with people I should admit.

But her favorite past time was collecting shells of all types and sizes, sometimes needing her own assistant who could bend down and pick them up ;-)

Sheer bliss indeed!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A visit to a Mangalore Tiles Factory

Mangalore's skyline is defined by the deep red tiles used on the rooftops of the houses and industrial buildings. The tiles that are used are called Mangalore tiles and like the name suggests are native to this place. In fact I learnt that a German missionary named Plebot set up one of the first tile making factories in 1860 in Mangalore after finding huge deposits of clay in the river banks needed for this particular tile production. Now with the heavy usage of concrete many of these flourishing tile factories in Mangalore had to close down as they could not keep up with the tough competition. We had the opportunity to visit one of the few factories which still continue to do very well and manufacture these tiles in the traditional methods from the past. This was the Bharath Tile Factory located in a little town called Kallianpur in South Kanara. The tiles produced here were also used in the very famous Victoria Railway Terminus Station (VT Station) in the 1870s.

The tour of the tile manufacturing process was fascinating the clay was first compressed, placed in a mold and cut to exact measurements. This is placed in another machine and the factory logos are put on it. Any extra clay is removed and sent to be carried for firing and later glazing.

The best part was the usage of the baking kilns where the tiles are baked at very high temperatures.

At the end there is a very strict quality process where the tiles are graded into different categories.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Yakshagana behind the scenes

The entire coastal belt of South India is so rich in their different traditions and customs. Especially South Kanara is very colorful when it comes to their folklore and their ancient art forms. Yakshagana for example a rich folk dance is an unique art form depicting various events from epics like the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.

I got to see two beautiful Yakshagana performances and I am really thankful to my mother-in-law for making this experience possible for us. One was a performance for children with little children performing. This show took place in the early evening hours unlike the usual performances which take place late in the night until the  wee hours of the morning.

Little bunny had the chance to sit down with child artists and see how they had their makeup was done. Once they knew she was really interested they even answered her questions about how one could learn this ancient art form integrated as part of their standard education system.

Bunny kept telling me that she would like to learn this art form along with going to ballet classes. Now that is going to be a tough request to accomodate I guess especially back in Germany. I am posting some pics here from behind the scenes.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fresh seafood?

Got up early in the morning, woke up the kids promising them that they are in for some exciting activity for the next hours. All ready and set and we drove to the Malpe fishing harbour a cosy little fishermen's hamlet to experience first hand how the fishing industry works in practice.

We thought we were early but the whole place was thronging with activity with people putting up their catch for auction and and trawlers brimming with fish coming into the harbour to unload their precious booty.


Kingfish, pomfret, mackerls, sardines, prawns, ray fish, squids and many other fishes which I don't recognize could be seen everywhere. What I found interesting was that the men go fishing and the women would sell them in the nearby markets.


The catch at Malpe is distrĂ­buted through the whole of South India together with fish coming in from the states of Kerala and Tamilnadu. We could also catch sights of the fishermen painstaikingly repairing their fishing nets in preparation for the next day's work.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's X-Mas time everybody!

Festivities in the air, lights and Christmas decorations everywhere.... yeah, it is Christmas time again!! Last week little bunny and her Aunt in Bangalore got busy decorating the Christmas tree with trinkents and lovely little ornaments. She helped her dearest Chitta and was certified as a very able assistant. A fun activity which definitely keeps the little ones very excited and happy for couple of hours.

The best part is that at the end you have a very beautiful festive looking home. The only problem that was not yet solved was how we could protect all our hard work from little rabbit who was on her prowl :-) 

Back at hubby's hometown in Udupi also a lovely sight welcomed us home. Little bunny's and rabbit's Nani (grandma) had decorated the home so beautifully that put us into a festive spirit immediately.

Happy Christmas everybody, have a wonderful holiday season!!