The ruins of the Venkataramana temple is located in the outer lower fort inside the Gingee Fort complex. Gingee Fort or Senji Fort in Tamil Nadu, India is one of the surviving forts in Tamil Nadu, India. The fort is so fortified, that Chhatrapati Shivaji, the Maratha king, ranked it as the "most impregnable fortress in India" and it was called the "Troy of the East" by the British. It lies in Villupuram District, 160 kilometers (99 mi) from the state capital, Chennai, and is close to the Union Territory of Puducherry. The Gingee Venkataramana Temple, built in the 16th century is the largest temple in Gingee. It was built by Muthialu Nayakan (Muthyala Nayaka) (1540 - 1550 CE) and dedicated to Venkateshwara. This photograph was shot by Abul Kalam Azad in the year 2013.
Venkataramana temple, Gingee Fort 2013
Abul Kalam Azad is a visual artist based in India. Abul’s photographic works are predominantly autobiographical, and they explore the areas of politics, culture, micro-history, gender, and eroticism.
His works attempt a re-reading of contemporary Indian history – the history in which ordinary people are absent and are mainly represented through beautiful images and icons.
During the early 90s, for a brief period, he worked as a photojournalist with leading National/International agencies including the Press Trust of India. Mid-90s, he renounced his journalism career to become an independent artist.
Besides, Azad’s maverick and pioneer experimental hybrid art that blends different styles and techniques pushes the boundaries of contemporary Indian photographic art practice.
His current projects focus on a search inside South Indian maritime history and connected cultures, inspired by ancient literature, folklore, and rituals. His works have been exhibited in prestigious museums/galleries in India and abroad since the mid-90s. He is the recipient of various awards that includes Charles Wallace Award, French Government Scholarship award, Govt. of India’s Senior Art Fellowship, and India Foundation for the Arts Grant.
Abul Kalam Azad is the founder of Ekalokam Trust for Photography, a non-profit foundation committed to creating, protecting and sharing contemporary photography and other allied art forms. He also extends his services as Editor-in-Chief of Photo Mail, an online photo-art magazine.