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Palmyra (Syria)
Standard Definition 720p.
Reel duration: 11’51”

The ancient Semitic city of Palmyra was situated along the Silk Road. A vibrant trade brought wealth and supported the building of monumental projects. The stone columns that have remained till our time offer hints of its former glory. However, as recently as 2015, many architectural treasures were decimated by radical Jihadists. Terrorists groups destroyed the Temple of Baalshamin, the Temple of Bel, the Lion of Al-lāt, and other statues. (featured in this reel before the destruction). Sound track by the “Taj Mahal Traveller” music. Music rights clearances apply here.

Petra (Jordan)
Standard Definition 720p.
Reel duration: 7’21”

Petra, also called “the Pink City” (because of the colors of its buildings, carved directly into the limestone rocks) was first established around the 6th century B.C by a nomadic tribe called the Nabateans Arabs. After the Romans took over, Petra was left to the local Bedouins.  It was rediscovered by the 19th century Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Bockkard. The Nabateans were expert hydraulic engineers.

This is an excerpt from “Petra, the Pink City” shot in 2004. To note the interiors of one of the temples, at the end of the reel, with its alphabet, hieroglyphs and frescos, which remind me of some modern abstract works of art.

Music score by Kitaro (“Spirit of Water”).

Music Rights clearances apply here.

Sarnath, India.
Standard Definition 720p.
Reel duration: 13’13”

Sarnath is a town located 13 kilometers northeast of Varanasi near the confluence of the Ganges and the Gomati rivers in Uttar Pradesh, India. The deer park in Sarnath is where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna.

Also featured in this reel, Singhpur, a village approximately one km away from the site, and was the birthplace of Shreyansanath, the Eleventh Tirthankara of Jainism. It is an important pilgrimage site.

Varanasi, India.
Standard Definition 720p.
Reel duration: 16’47”

Varanasi is “Older than Legend” said Mark Twain. Indeed, it is one of the most magical cities in the world that I have travelled to. The reel starts at sunrise, at the Ghats of death (where they burn the corpses for those who can afford it (wood) and slowly as the sun emerges, we are thrown into an atmosphere reminiscent of paintings of the Middle Ages rich of colors and golden vibrancies.

A unique vision of the Hindu world which stays forever in the mind. This is an excerpt from “Varanasi, City of Lights” which was shot in 2001 during my first travels in India.

Ellora caves, India.
Reel duration: 5’31”

The only HD reel in this category.

Ellora is one of the largest rock-cut monastery-temple cave complexes in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located in the state of Maharashtra in India. The site presents monuments and artwork of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism from the 600-1000 CE periods.
The site features over 100 caves, of which 34 caves are open to public.

This selected footage is mostly an exploration of the Kalaisha Temple, the largest monolithic rock excavation in the world: a chariot shaped monument dedicated to Shiva.  The temple was planned and begun under the reign of King Dandidurga (735-757 A.D).
The work went on during the reign of Krishna (757-773 A.D). This temple isolated from the surrounding rock was excavated from top to bottom and scooped out from outside to inside. It is said that ten generations worked on it and that it took more than 200 years for its completion.

Also featured in this reel is the Temple ( 2 shots at end) dedicated to the Lord Buddha.

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