BANGALORE: It took three years for photojournalist N P Jayan to capture destruction caused to wildlife and environment by pilgrims visiting Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in Kerala.
'Thathwamasi, a three-day exhibition of Jayan's photographs at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishad highlights the damage caused to the Periyar forest and surrounding areas by the pilgrims.
"I was pained to see the destruction caused to the nature and took up the assignment to create awareness. It took three years for me to capture various aspects of Sabarimala including the destruction caused by the pilgrims," Jayan told City Express.
Thousands of plastic bottles on the bank of Pamba river during Mandalam, season for Sabarimala pilgrimage, an elephant's death after consuming 2.5 kg of plastic are some of the photographs which make one think of the damage caused by throwing waste heedlessly in the river and forest.
There is a photograph of plastic plates and bottles littering the premises of Sabarimala during the Makaravilakku Festival that will be held during January. Through another photo, Jayan explains how the clothes tossed in by devotees who take a dip into the Pamba river to wash away their sins have choked the river. Another river Ganga is in the making, perhaps. Lakhs of pilgrims not from Kerala, but across South Indian states come here but are unaware of the footprint they leave on the eco-sensitive region.
According to Jayan, the aim of this exhibition is to create awareness among piligrims. These photographs were already exhibited at Delhi, Mumbai and other places.
"I want to hold this exhibition across the country, thus taking the message to as many people as possible," he adds. Apart from showcasing the damage on environment and biodiversity, Jayan's photographs also highlight the rich flora and fauna of the Periyar forest, spread across 925 square kilometer. Through his lens, Jayan has also captured the divine Makara Jyothi, which draws lakhs of devotees to visit Sabarimala.
Noted wildlife photographer T N A Perumal inaugurated the exhibition and its on till October 12 at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Kumarakrupa road, near Shivananda circle. All the photographs are for sale. For details call 9686196885.