Saturday, February 11

Capturing Craigmore in Watercolours

Its February and I haven't got around to the post about the two weeks spent in Craigmore in the Nilgiris painting watercolours. This was the second part of the assignment, this is part 1 and here is what was done.  
I developed a horrible dry cough just before leaving on this trip but the weather was fabulous in January and the sun kept me warm and comfortable while I sat and painted. 
There are a number of bungalows on the estate and this one is Bear's Hill Bungalow. There must be bears on that hill though we didn't see any. There's an ongoing project to record the wildlife on the property  using camera traps in collaboration with WWF, India.    
This is the Woodland Small bungalow, the Assistant Manager for Woodland Estate gets to live here.
Here too the occupant of the bungalow was away on annual leave so we didn't get in the way and we still got to use the rest room because his butler was there. Its only on the estates that one finds butlers, cooks and bungalow boys, its like living in a different period altogether but things are changing and the butlers and a good cook is difficult to find.   
Little temples are dotted about the estate and are an integral part of the workers lives .
Close by were houses for the estate workers a number of whom have come all the way from Jharkhand.
The Chairman's bungalow.This bungalow has the most amazing garden with some very unusual plants and shrubs and some fantastic specimens of the monkey puzzle tree, weeping willow and jacaranda. Four or five gardeners toil daily to maintain it. This is where we were put up for the duration of our stay. 
Most of the estate roads are lined with poinsettias which were still in bloom in January, its such a pretty sight.  The Jacaranda trees were just beginning to bloom, in another month it will be an awesome sight to see hillsides clothed in a purple haze and roads carpeted in violet blooms.
Trees are bursting into bloom in Bangalore too, right now its the pink of the tabebuia rosea next it will be the turn of the tabebuia aurea  which is yellow. Spring is here and summer is fast approaching because the days are hot. Hot enough to go for a swim in the afternoon.  
Have a great weekend.  


Numinosity said...

Oh and I had been wracking my brain recently trying to remember which blog I had read that had illustrations of an Indian tea plantation. We just got back from a trip you see and I had the pleasure of spending a few days on a tea plantation in Munnar. I'm so happy to see your drawings again to refresh my memory. We also had a night in Bangalore. Luckily we were on the outskirts out in Whitefield because they had a massive protest that day that stopped traffic all day. My favorite quote from the paper that day was "I was afraid my dosa batter would go sour" from a hotel owner that was stuck in traffic.
Thanks, xoxo Kim

Numinosity said...

Enough about me though, I meant to add that I really love your watercolors of the plantation house. I think it takes supreme confidence to illustrate in watercolor and yours take on extra added soul in your renditions.
xoxo Kim

Maya Sara Matthew said...

Oh Kim, thank you. What a fantastic coincidence that you got to stay on a tea estate in Munnar and I wish our paths had crossed when you visited Bangalore but perhaps that's for another time and another place.Your trip to India was certainly off the beaten path and from your posts I gather it was enriching.

Unknown said...

Visit North East India to see Tea Gardens and Bungalows

Maya Sara Matthew said...

Thank you for visiting Vinod. As a matter of fact a good part of my childhood was spent in the tea gardens of Assam and I would love to go back and visit someday.
Now if only someone would commission me to sketch or paint the beautiful landscape and bungalows of North East India it would be perfect.