Kali, the embodiment of both creation and destruction, transcends the conventional notions of good and evil. She is the primal force of Mother Nature, simultaneously nurturing life and consuming it in her eternal cycle. In her essence, Kali is the protector of her children, shielding them from harm while embodying the ferocity and tenderness of the divine feminine.

In the coastal town of Kulasekarapattinam, nestled in the heart of Tamil Nadu, lies Kulasai, where an iconic festival known as Kulasai Dussehra unfolds. This festival stands apart with its unique celebration: unlike elsewhere, where Goddess Durga is revered in myriad forms, here, devotees themselves transform into embodiments of Kali and other deities. Clad in vibrant attire, they offer profound prayers to Mutharamman, the presiding deity of the festival.

Mutharamman, lovingly adorned with ornaments crafted from pearls sourced from the nearby seashore, is the self-manifested form of the goddess Kali. Her presence resonates with the power and grace of the ocean, symbolizing the timeless connection between humanity and the natural world. As devotees gather in reverence, the spirit of Kali infuses the air, reminding us of the inexorable cycle of creation, destruction, and renewal that shapes existence itself.

Lately, our seasoned Sony Artisan, Roshani Shah, had the wonderful privilege of attending the Kulasai Dussehra festival firsthand. We are thrilled to share direct insights from Roshani, who describes her visit to Kulasai Dussehra as a deeply cherished endeavor, fueled by her love for exploration and cultural immersion.

Roshani Shah Witnessing
the Dynamic Force of the Festival

The vibrant celebration of Kulasai Dusshera unfolds against the ancient backdrop of the 300-year-old Sri Mutharamman Temple, an iconic symbol of heritage and spirituality. This jubilant festival spans a glorious ten days, heralding the commencement of Navaratri and reaching its crescendo with the auspicious day of Dussehra. At its heart lies a powerful symbol: the triumph of good over evil, embodied in the legendary defeat of the demon Magisasuran.

Roshani Shah, a passionate photographer hailing from the colorful tapestry of India, specializes in the evocative realms of street and travel photography. With an artist's soul and a seeker's spirit, she has long nurtured a dream: to immerse herself in the electric energy of the Kulasai Dusshera festival, capturing its essence through her lens. For Roshani, this isn't just about photography; it's a quest to encapsulate the soul-stirring moments, the kaleidoscope of emotions, and the pulsating rhythms that define this sacred celebration.

She believes her photographs encapsulate the essence of their subjects, capturing their very soul with each click of her camera. Through her lens, she strives to portray authenticity, culture, boldness, and beauty in their purest form.

When asked how she planned the event, especially capturing that emotional angle, Roshani says, “I meticulously planned my trip to coincide with the festival. The emotional angle was my focus—I wanted to capture not just the vibrant colours and rituals but also the raw, unfiltered emotions of the devotees. To achieve this, I immersed myself in the local culture, spoke to residents, and observed their fervent devotion. It was essential to understand the pulse of the festival, its history, and the stories etched in every corner of Kulasai.

Sony's Gear Unveils the Depths of
Devotion and Emotion of Kulasai Festival

With the utmost dedication to encapsulating the festival's spirit in its purest form, Roshani made the conscious choice to employ her trusted camera equipment. Opting for the versatility and reliability of her full-frame hybrid Sony Alpha 7CII paired with a Vario-Tessar® T* FE 24-70 mm F4 ZA OSS lens, she ensured comprehensive coverage for her environmental portraits.

Each shutter click became a deliberate endeavor to immortalize the emotions, vibrant hues, and unwavering devotion within a solitary frame—a profound homage to the enchantment of Kulasai Dussehra.

I love working with the Sony Alpha 7C II because of its cutting-edge technology for creative film production, such as 4K 60p and S-Log3, which enhance my visual storytelling. For me to snap pictures like a pro, it likewise offers me smarter AI and sharp focus. It can reliably detect human movements, resulting in significant advances in human eye recognition.

When it comes to capturing photographs with exceptional colour and contrast, I've always preferred to use the Vario-Tessar® T* FE 24-70 mm F4 ZA OSS lens. With the lens, sharp, clear night scenes or indoor images in low lighting can be captured without increasing ISO sensitivity or risking excessive noise. It produces consistently great image quality at all focal lengths and offers a wide zoom range in a compact lens. The images are stunning!

Challenges Faced in Capturing the
Essence of a Mystical Event

As the saying goes, big paths are not easy, and for Roshani, attending the Kulasai Dusshera was nothing short of a dream, including physical and emotional challenges. She describes the journey to Kulasai as "arduous—one flight and two bus changes—leading to the remote interior of Tamil Nadu.

On the ground, the heat, dust, and exhaustion taxed my endurance. However, the emotional intensity of the festival was overwhelming.

Witnessing devotees costumed as deities, their unshakeable faith, and palpable energy was both exciting and humbling. As a photographer, I strived to capture these powerful moments without intruding on their spirituality.

ABOUT Roshani Shah

Travel and daily life street photographer

I am Roshani shah a photographer from India. My genre is Street & Travel photography. I believe that my pictures capture the soul of whatever or whoever I click. My brand depicts authenticity, culture, boldness and beauty just as it was meant to be.