Category: Macro World
Visiting the Sabarimala temple was enlightning, as well as a humbling experience for me. One has to observe many austerities and regulations for about a month, to be even eligible to visit the sacred hills. Add to it, the rigours of walking barefoot for almost 48 kms from Erumeli till the Sabarimala, via the hilly and forest terrains of Azhutha, Karimala and Pampa. In olden days people used to walk from their homes and faced the risk of running into wild animals en route to Sabarimala. Now, with good roads all the way upto Pampa, good crowd and basic facilities all along the route, its actually become much easier.
Even nowadays, there are people who walk long distances and pass via many temples before reaching Sabarimala. Infact, on our way to Erumeli, I saw a lot of devotees walking along the highway, expected to reach only after days. A good amount of people start from Erumeli and reach Sabarimala via Karimala. For me, walking barefoot in a route filled with sharp stones was an extremely difficult exercise. But, it was an experience to see people placing their belief and faith ahead of everything else and overcome the pain and suffering. The whole philosophy is embodied in the chanting - 'Swami Saranam, Ayyappa Saranam', which practically means that come what may, lord Ayyappa is there for the rescue of a true devotee:
What you see in the pic is the facial features of a small Ayyappa idol, made of white metal, kept at our 'puja' room. The portion in the picture is really tiny (little more than an inch) and is photographed with the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L macro lens from a distance of about half a meter for a full life size macro shot. I used a Manfrotto 728B Digi tripod and set the camera to Av mode, f/8 and ISO-100 for a 6s long exposure. The thin DoF even at f/8 should give an idea of how tiny the frame is.