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Archives by Month: August, 2008

In Tamil
This stone work is truly the inspiration behind this blog. It is from Varadharaja swami temple,in Kanchipuram, a town on the ourskirts of chennai, which is a honeycomb of temples and steeped in tradition. The stonecraft of this temple, especially the Kalyana mandabam ( marriage hall) is simply astounding,yet due to lack of proper upkeep the only safeguards are a few shrubs of thorny branches.

thorn barriers.jpg

What you are seeing,believe me is not just a chain,but one carved out of single stone,its hangs from the stone ceiling and is living testimony to the greatness of the divine sculptor.

no words.jpg
stone chain.jpg

for how else can you describe this piece of art,thousands of years of sculpting knowledge resulting in this sheer essence of architectural brilliance by the master sculptor,imagine the pain passing through his veins as he delicately brought forth his years of knowledge filtered though generations by word of mouth, passing through his blistered hands, into making this poetry in stone, hoping that they will stand till the sun and the moon shine, a testimony to his work…unsigned. The stone too kept up its word, its withstood the onslaught of invaders, forgive them for they were a hostile crowd, at war, but how to forgive the wanton destruction that’s happening now. Sometimes we are left to wonder, if they are better served by art thieves selling them to European museums …at least they will live there, lest stand and rot in the dust here,unappreciated, forgotten, that is the greatest insult to the art and the artist.

stone link chain.jpg

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One of the favorite depictions of the Indian sculptor was the act of saving the earth ( lady earth…booma devi) by Lord Vishnu - who takes the form of a boar. There are many different depictions of this but to see the beauty of the sculpture and the delicate interplay of sculpture with literature is seen in these two forms…

what started off as comparison between the varaha images in udayagiri n
mallai lead to this post . Was always fascinated by so many depictions of this scene n had
wrongly surmised that canons for such sculpture was not existent then.

mallaivaraha1.jpg
udayagirivaraha.jpg

For eg, u hv already seen the mallai explanation when the lord is lovingly embracing mother earth

( ok he is lovingly nuzzling her)….

varaha2.jpg

but in udayagiri she is shown as dangling from his tusks……The mallai sculpture brings out the delicate emotions as the lord gently lays down the earth on his lap….( ok this image needs a seperate post by itself)

udayagirivaraaha2.jpg

It was only after i read Andaal’s verses that I realised both were
correct……just that they were two acts of the same story

Aandaal had ….. Fallen in love with the lord n composed some of the most divinely inspired verses on the Lord …of her love to him

She sings thus…. The lord who sleeps in srirangam n stands in
tirupathy who took the form of the shameless boar having dug up the
earth from the deep depths … Seeing her beauty just swallows her up
( like a boar would do witha tuber he found) but immdly realises his
folly spits her out….n seeing her disheveled beauty embraces her in
his broad shoulders…… N then continues that he wears the victory
garland vyjayanthi mala for the feat of restoring the earth.

Now if u look at the pictures… Udayagiri is the first act n mallai the next.

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