The Ruin Porn of the world - Seeker's Thoughts

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Friday, 5 July 2019

The Ruin Porn of the world

      What is ruin porn?

Ruin porn is a sexy name for a contentious genre of photography. It consists of images of abandoned places, photos that are hauntingly different. 


Therefore, ruin porn is basically for the buildings that can not be completely restored. For example, Hyderabad in India, there are ancient building and surface of them has been ruined but the texture still remains artistically compelling. An exposed surface of stone appears so appealing than the painted one.



Why is ruin porn becoming popular?

The ruins have since been the subject of much obsession, including numerous articles, photographic essays and online galleries.

The allure of ruin remains prominent in tourism and popular culture, including abandoned amusement parks such as Sydney's Magic Kingdom park, Germany's Cold War-era Spree park, and Japan's Takakanonuma Greenland in the Fukushima district. Photographers who capture these sites have a name: "urban explorers", and many keep diaries of their discoveries on social media platforms.
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Many of Hyderabad's historical landmarks, like the medieval Golconda Fort and the Qutb Shahi tombs, have been a magnet for 'ruin porn' even before the phrase was coined.


Hyderabad’s Qutb Shahi tombs, Golconda Fort and Charminar were added to the list of tentative sites, but nothing more has been heard about the progress. However, Hyderabad has rapidly become a spot for ruin porn or ruin photography


  

The Origin of the Ruin Porn?

The term has cropped up with increasing regularity in the last few years. The ruins of Chernobyl, the Holocaust, Detroit's urban decay, and even abandoned amusement parks have become havens for "ruin photographers".

In his recent book The Cambridge Introduction to Postmodernism (2015), US theorist Brian McHale claims that artist Robert Smithson's work acts as a precursor to ruin porn. He argues that the photographic documentation of ruin "arguably begins with Smithson's deadpan photographs of modern industrial wastelands in his conceptual-art project A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey."

The term ‘ruin porn’ has been popular due to internet and the history does not much information about it.

 The significance of ruin porn

Ruin sites provide something of a realistic glimpse into post-apocalyptic life for humanity, and hence provoke our engagement with ruin while we are still alive.

Ruins appear to confront society's faith in anthropological endurance. Decaying buildings signify the inevitable process of history, to which we, too, will eventually succumb. Essentially, 'ruin porn' is a kind of time travel to the future within the present.

While ruin porn greatly trivializes the social and psychological implications of decay, it can be understood more broadly as something of an antidote to the bleak reality of inevitable, complete destruction, something more depressing than beautiful.



The best places to visit for ‘Ruin Porn in India’

Hyderabad remains a famous tourist attraction for ruin porn, and there are certain sites which are famous. There are few sites which are having major tourist attraction.

1.    Qutb Shahi Tombs


Qutb Shahi Tombs, a series of seven tombs belonging to the Qutubuddin Dynasty, is an important heritage site in Hyderabad.
Constructed in the 1500’s, Qutb Shahi Tombs draw tourists for its exceptional architecture, which blends Persian and Hindu styles. The tombs, a burial ground of the Qutubuddin Dynasty, teleport people back in history. Its intricate arches and stonework are truly delightful.


2.    Golkonda Fort

Golconda Fort Hyderabad is an outstanding example of brilliant engineering and magical architecture. Located at a distance of 11km from the city, it is the most famous of all Hyderabad sightseeing places. 
The Golkonda Fort
Source- wikipedia
The name of the fort has been derived from the Telugu words "Golla" and "Konda" which together means 'Shepherd's Hill'. 

Founded in the approximately 12th Century by the Kakatiya Kings, this massive Golconda Fort with eight gates and 87 bastions was later built by Qutub Shahi Kings.

Golconda fort timings are from 9 am to 5.30 pm and the entry is free.

3.    The Char Minar

The monument was built in 1591 by Muammad Qulī Qub Shah, the fifth king of the Qub Shāhī dynasty, reportedly as the first building in Hyderabad, his new capital. Over the years, it has become a signature monument to and an iconic symbol of the city’s heritage. 
The Char Minar of Hydrabad
Image Source- wikipedia


According to one legend, the Hyderabad region was reeling from a devastating plague at the time that Muammad Qulī Qub Shah was shifting his capital from nearby Golconda to the new city.

He commemorated the end of the plague by building a mosque, which became known as Charminar because of its four towering and distinctive minarets, one on each of the building’s four corners. It formed the centrepiece around which Hyderabad was planned
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Now regarded as one of the supreme architectural achievements of the Qub Shāhī period, the Charminar is a grand architectural composition in Indo-Saracenic style. It is built of granite and lime mortar with stucco ornamentation.

The square structure measures 66 feet (20 metres) to a side. Each side faces one of the cardinal directions and has a pointed arch that is 36 feet (11 metres) wide at the base and reaches 66 feet high at its apex.

 A multisided column rises on each corner of the structure and, atop a lotus-leaf base, continues upward until it culminates in a minaret with a dome-shaped roof 160 feet (49 metres) above the ground. Each minaret is accessed via a spiral staircase on its interior wall and consists of four levels, each of which features a delicately colonnaded covered walkway around the exterior wall.

 Above the arches of the main structure are two stories. The first was once used as a madrasah (Islamic college) in the Qub Shāhī era, and the second houses a small mosque.

 In addition to the mosque, the Charminar has 45 other prayer areas. The Charminars roof and minarets afford panoramic views of Hyderabad, notably the historic Golconda Fort to the west and the bustling Lad Bazaar—adjacent to the Charminar—which is famed for its traditional lacquer bangles studded with coloured glass and stones.


4.   Feroz Shah Kotla Delhi

A pristine polished sandstone Topra Ashokan pillar from the 3rd century B.C. rises from the palace's crumbling remains, one of many pillars of Ashoka left by the Mauryan emperor; it was moved from Topra Kalan in Pong Ghati of Yamunanagar district in Haryana to Delhi under orders of Firoz Shah Tughlaq of Delhi Sultanate, and re-erected in its present location in 1356. 
The ruins of Feroz Shah Kotla Delhi
Image Source- Wikipedia

The original inscription on the obelisk is primarily in Brahmi script but language was prakrit, with some Pali and Sanskrit added later. The inscription was successfully translated in 1837 by James Prinsep.

5.    Nalanda university, Bihar

Nalanda University is a UNESCO world heritage site is located South Bihar. Considered as one of the oldest universities in the world and known as Nalanda Mahavira back in time, its origins date back to the 3rd century. Mahavira is a Sanskrit term for a great 'Vihara'(Buddhist Monastery). 
Nalanda university, Bihar
Image Source- cultural India
Located about 85 km away from Patna, it is regarded as one of the greatest and oldest universities recorded in history. It finds references in the oldest epics of India as well as in the travels of Hiuen Tsang.

The Gupta kings built various monasteries in old Kusan style of architecture. Emperor Ashoka and Emperor Harshavandhana were also patrons of this university who built few temples, viharas, and monasteries for the university. Former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam pitched the idea of reviving the university in March 2016.

6.      Martand Sun Temple, Kashmir

Martand Sun Temple, a spectacular shrine dedicated to Surya (the Sun), lies at a distance of over five miles from Anantnag in the heavenly state of Jammu and Kashmir, India.


Martand Sun Temple, Kashmir
Image Source- holidify

This structure is a Kashmiri Hindu Temple and is known as one of the most elegant structures ever built in India. Even in a wrecked state, the temple shares it’s story with the ones who genuinely want to listen.

The architecture is breathtaking and the vibe somewhat nostalgic but so enticing that it makes travellers want to come here. A walk across the courtyard is a must for visitors to notice the brilliantly fused designs and carvings on the structure that still stand the tests of time and weather.

It was built in 6th or 7th centaury.


7.      Maluti Temples, Jharkhand

A small town in the pockets of Jharkhand, Maluti boasts of as many as 72 temples. Built as edifices to the Pala Dynasty rulers, the temple architecture depicts scenes from the great epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Maluti Temples, Jharkhand
Image Source- holidify
It is said that originally, 108 temples were constructed by the rulers who decided to build temples instead of palaces, as a result, Maluti came to be known as the temple town. However, after the fall of the dynasties, the later generations could not maintain all the 108 temples and 36 of which deteriorated and crumbled to the ground. 

The existing temples are in a state of ruins because of lack of funds to undertake the repair. Global Heritage Fund declared it to be one of the 12 worldwide sites nearest of irreparable loss.




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