Photography: Nature,Architecture,Wildlife,Photojournalism

Religious Places

Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid in the evening.

The following series encloses 15 photographs of Masjid-i Jahān-Numā meaning World-reflecting Mosque situated in Old Delhi, India. Built in mid 1600AD by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, its the largest mosque in India. The monument, the prime shooting location of many Bollywood movies can hold 25,000 people during prayer times. It is also close to a major ancient Indian market known as ‘Meena Bazaar’ and one of the oldest and most famous eat streets in India, the ‘Chandni Chowk’. From the Jama Masjid, one can see the ‘Red Fort’ at a distance, home to some of the most powerful Mughal Emperors of all times. Do leave your feedback if you like the series.

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People washing themselves before prayer.

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Sunset over the mosque

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Ali wondering where little sister Alisha is, as she is not allowed inside during the prayers

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Prayer Time

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Alone

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Sunset over the old city

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Sunset from another angle

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Chaos

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Lights get on

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Chaotic traffic in Old Delhi

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Friends

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A new photo angle

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The image from the top of the mosque

Jama-Masjid

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Christmas Cathedral Hopping – Part III

Its Christmas time and lets dedicate this set of images exclusively to the Vatican and the St Peter’s Basilica.

Sunny side up

Untitled-1 copyVatican bird eye view

Untitled-1The glorious insides

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Copyright : Marcus Sam (info@marcussam.com)

NB : if you like this post you can follow him on his Facebook for more. : Here


Christmas Cathedral Hopping – Part II

Its Christmas time and lets get into the holiday mood with some of the world’s most beautiful cathedrals.

Lets start part 2 with one of the eeriest cathedrals in the world, the Cathedral at Sedlec, Czech Republic.

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.Next is the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, near the Spanish Steps,Rome,Italy

DSC_0085.Next in line is the Milan Cathedral, Italy

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Next is The Church of our Lady before Tyn, Prague, Czech Republic

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.Next is the St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna

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Copyright : Marcus Sam (info@marcussam.com)


Christmas Cathedral Hopping – Part I

So its Christmas time and lets get into the holiday mood with some of the world’s most beautiful cathedrals.

Lets start with the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, Italy

DSC_0116Next is the Cathedral of St Michael & St Gudula, Brussels ,Belgium

marcussam_brussels.Next is the good old Notre Dame Cathedral from my favourite city, Paris

marcussam_notredamelightn.Next in line is the Church of St Leodegar, Lucerne, Switzerland

marcussam_swiss.Next in line is the good old Cologne Cathedral, Germany

marcussam_germany.The Pisa Cathedral, Italy

marcus sam.the St Paul’s Cathdedral, Kolkata, India

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End of Part 1

Copyright : Marcus Sam (info@marcussam.com)


Halloween from an Ossuary

Since Halloween is here it would be great to have a post from one of the eeriest churches around the world ; the ossuary (a place to store bone) situated at Sedlec, a small village near Kutná Hora , Czech Republic.

In 1278,an abbot sent to Golgotha, the place where Jesus was crucified, got some of the soil from that place and sprinkled it over the abbey cemetery. In the mid 14th century, during the Black Death, and after the Hussite Wars (Bohemian religious wars) in the early 15th century, many thousands were buried in the abbey cemetery.Later on there was no more place for new graves,the bones were dug up and made into an ossuary cum church.It currently houses roughly between 40,000-70,000 human skeletons some of which have been made into artistic chandeliers and pieces of art and is rated as one of the most eerie places of worship in the world.

  • Human Bones being stacked up and stored

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  • The entrance to the Roman Catholic Church

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  • Spines been given an artistic shape by the ancient monks

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  • A Cross being made with bones

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  • A bone chandelier that is the ‘cherry of the cake’

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  • A few more ‘artistic imaginations’ of the ancient monks

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  • And finally Jesus Christ himself at the end of the parade. Also an image of bones lines with coins, proof enough that u are born empty handed and you die empty handed.

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And Finally Happy Halloween !!

Research & Images : Marcus Sam

For any info contact : info@marcussam.com

 

 

 

 


Easter Friday

Good Friday: According to the gospels the Crucifixion of Jesus was most likely to have been on a Friday. Now why Good other than the fact that the only thing ‘good’ imaginable in the 21st century is the fact that its a holiday before a weekend.The fact is its pretty much unclear.While some claim that good has been derived from the word ‘God’ and it should be God Friday, others claim that Good might mean pious or holy.Some Christian traditions do take this approach: in German, for example, the day is called Karfreitag, or Sorrowful Friday or Gottes Freitag meaning God’s Friday. The Catholic Church treats Good Friday as a fast day, which in the Latin Rite of the Church is understood as having only one full meal (but smaller than a regular meal) and two collations (a smaller repast, two of which together do not equal one full meal) and on which the faithful abstain from eating meat. This is why many places have the typical ‘Fish Friday’. Many religion scholars believe Jesus was crucified by nails driven into his wrists, not hands. French physician Pierre Barbet wrote a book called A Doctor at Calvary, in which he said humans are able to bear their own weight with the strength of their bones and ligaments within the wrists, but not with palms alone and if Jesus was nailed only in his hands, he would have fallen to the ground. By the time of Jesus’s death, crucifixion had already been practiced for some 600 years and was a detailed procedure designed to be a very painful process for the victim.

The Tradition of Easter Eggs is however quite interesting.Eggs, in general, were a traditional symbol of fertility, and rebirth. Easter eggs symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus:an egg appears to be like the stone of a tomb, a bird hatches from it with life; similarly, the Easter egg, for Christians, is a reminder that Jesus rose from the grave, and that those who believe will also experience eternal life.The Easter Bunny however is German in origin. The Easter Hare originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behaviour.The custom was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Franckenau’s De ovis paschalibus (About Easter Eggs) in 1682 referring to a German tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter Eggs for the children.

The images in the post are from the Church of Pisa, one of the most beautiful church interiors I have ever visited. Its not very large , but its very cozy, Ideal place for Jesus to stay in..Its construction began in 1064AD. Galileo is believed to have formulated his theory about the movement of a pendulum by watching the swinging of the incense lamp hanging from the ceiling of the nave.The coffer ceiling of the nave was replaced after the fire of 1595. The present gold-decorated ceiling carries the coat of arms of the Medici.

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Images & Research : Marcus Sam

For information contact : info@marcussam.com

 

 

 


Holi Hai

The festival of colors Holi is one of the major festivals of India, Holi is celebrated with enthusiasm and gaiety on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun which is the month of March as per the Gregorian calendar.Holi frolic and celebrations begin the morning after Holika bonfire (Days before the festival people start gathering wood and combustible materials for the bonfire in parks, community centers, near temples and other open spaces. On top of the pyre is an effigy to signify Holika who tricked Prahalad into the fire.). There is no tradition of holding puja (prayer), and the day is for partying and pure enjoyment. Children and youth form groups  armed with dry colours, coloured solution & means to fill and spray others with coloured solution (known as pichkaris), balloons that can hold coloured water, and other creative means are also used to colour the targets. The event has now become an almost international event and is celebrated by people (Indians or not) around the world.

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HAPPY HOLI

PLEASE NOTE : THE IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHTED TO MARCUS SAM & SPECIFIC PERMISSION HAS BEEN TAKEN BY THE INDIVIDUALS BEFORE THE PUBLICATION, COMMERCIAL PUBLISHING WITHOUT PRIOR CONSENT  OF THE AUTHOR ((ie STEALING)) IS PROSECUTABLE UNDER LAW.

(for details contact : info@marcussam.com)


Five interiors you cannot leave out

Five interiors you cannot leave out during the Christmas season..

1) Starting with The Notre Dame Cathedral Paris

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2) The interior of the Pisa Cathedral,

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3) Inside the Cologne Cathedral (one of the biggest in Europe)

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4) Entrance to the Sistine Chapel

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5) Inside the St Peter’s Cathedral Vatican.

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Happy Holidays People..!!

Images : Marcus Sam

 


Happy Ramadan 2013

 

 

 

Happy Ramadan/Ramzaan

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Here are some interesting facts about Ramadan/Ramzaan.. (I had shared a few of them last year also, but this year the viewership is different so I would like to share them again..)

Happy Ramadan

Did u know a few interesting facts about Ramadan ?

☪ Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. The Month of Ramadan is also when it is believed the Holy Quran “was sent down from heaven, a guidance unto men, a declaration of direction, and a means of Salvation”

☪ It is during this month that Muslims fast. It is called the Fast of Ramadan and lasts the entire month.

☪ Ramadan is a time when Muslims concentrate on their faith and spend less time on the concerns of their everyday lives. It is a time of worship and contemplation..

☪ During the Fast of Ramadan strict restraints are placed on the daily lives of Muslims. They are not allowed to eat or drink during the daylight hours. Smoking and sexual relations are also forbidden during fasting. At the end of the day the fast is broken with prayer and a meal called the iftar. In the evening following the iftar it is customary for Muslims to go out visiting family and friends. The fast is resumed the next morning..

☪ The good that is acquired through the fast can be destroyed by five things –

1) The telling of a lie
2) Slander
3) Denouncing someone behind his back
4) A false Oath
5) Greed

☪ On the evening of the 27th day of the month, Muslims celebrate the Laylat-al-Qadr (the Night of Power). It is believed that on this night Muhammad first received the revelation of the Holy Quran. And according to the Quran, this is when God determines the course of the world for the following year..

☪ When the fast ends (the first day of the month of Shawwal) it is celebrated for three days in a holiday called Id-al-Fitr (the Feast of Fast Breaking). Gifts are exchanged. Friends and family gather to pray in congregation and for large meals. In some cities fairs are held to celebrate the end of the Fast of Ramadan..

☪ Benefits from Ramadan

1. It strengthens one’s ties with Allah and trains the soul to observe duties of devotion in accordance with the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh).

2. It enforces patience and determination in the Muslim individual.

3. It promotes the principle of sincerity by keeping the Muslim away from arrogance and showing off, since it is an act between the individual and his Creator.

4. It promotes good character, particularly truthfulness and trust-worthiness.

5. It encourages the Muslim to do away with bad habits and change his/her circumstances for the better.

6. It enhances generosity, hospitality, and spending on charitable causes.

7. It reinforces feelings of unity and brotherhood among Muslims.

8. It instills orderliness and close observance of the value of time.

9. It serves as an opportunity for children to perform acts of obedience and to practice Islamic acts of worship.

10. It offers a chance to balance one’s attention to both physical and spiritual needs.

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Research & Image : Marcus Sam

 


Of History, Gods and Politicians

The Karla Caves- Maharashtra

The Karla Caves near Mumbai-India are a complex of ancient Buddhist rock-cut cave shrines dating back to around 160BC (around 100yrs younger than the Petra -Jordan )
The main hall has 37 octagonal pillars and the main stupa (the object of worship) in the front with a wooden umbrella/chatri on the top of it..The wood is believed to be as old the structure itself.The structure is a bit off the avg tourist circuit.The compound shares its ground with a Hindu temple (dedicated to Goddess ‘Ekvira’), believed to be even older than the caves themselves.

These caves enjoy a lower tourist head count compared to its peers, the Ajanta Ellora and the likes because of 2 reasons

a) It is out of the common Buddhist tourist circuit comprising of Bodh-Gaya,Varanasi (Sarnarth) and Nalanda. etc.

b) The ‘charm’ of something so old, is hugely overshadowed by the presence of the Ekvira Temple just somewhat attached to the caves.The people visiting are more interested in the temple than the caves as a separate entity.

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The Ekvira Devi Temple is believed to have been constructed by the Pandavas of ancient Indian mythology. (If u know – Hare Rama Hare Krishna sect, try to understand it this way that Lord Krishna was the God who endowed wisdom upon the Pandavas, so the thing dates back to 1000s of yrs ) and so does the Ekvira Temple.

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The Main Caves

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The wooden frames as well as the teak umbrella on the top of the Stupa is believed to be as old as the caves themselves..

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