Archives by Month: August, 2008

Tamil valor has been sung from time immemorial…stabbing from behind is considered to be the most demeaning act, similarly taking a hit in the back ( kind of give away that you turned and ran away from battle)…it’s a clear clue about the scene.

sri rangam ranganathswamy pillar detail111.JPG

Lets analyse the main characters in more detail…

The man in front is a brave tamil warrior….he sports a traditional tamil hairstyle, the dhoti and the upturned mustache…look at his ornaments…chains, ear rings and anklets…and the radiant bravery in his face inspiring generations..

srirangam tamil couple.jpg

The lady on top is every more beautiful.. She carries an entire jewelery store on her, resplendent in all her glory. The minutest details being sculpted….the chains, the bangles, anklets…..a a bewitching smile to top it all.

Thus against this if we compare the back stabber (!) you can see the differentiation in the clothing…a long sleeve shirt, track pants ( his assistant too)…and the down turned mustache….maybe this depicts the sack of sri rangam during the raid of malik Kafur ( 1314 AD)

sri rangam ranganathswamy pillar detail2.JPG
srirangam backstabber detail.jpg
srirangam backstabber.jpg

But still not able to figure out the canopy which the lady is holding ….its got two parrots on each side,

srirangam pillion rider canopy left.jpg
srirangam pillion rider canopy right.jpg
srirangam tamil couple.jpg

similar depictions have been identified as a gypsy women ….you can see a similar pillar sculpture at another locations ( sans the parrots)…

canopy sans parrots.jpg

but for a gypsy to sport such a stack of jewellary is indeed amazing, for these days they are reduced to parading bead chains … Maybe she was an imporant character…there are varying accounts of a temple dancer who sacrificed her life for to safeguard the temple during Malik’s assault….pillars do speak !! Don’t they?

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Well we are back to the Srirangam pillars….how did they ever manage to sculpt these into stone. To truly appreciate the beauty of this immaculate work read on…

Lets look at the horse rider and the horse itself…in a later thread we will see the amazing miniatures in the base and reverse of the pillars.

horse decoration 2.jpg
horse decoration.jpg

Well, I guess the pictures say it all…look at the amount of detailing that has gone into actually sculpting each strand of hair in the horses tail…its hooves, the teeth, the stirrup, even to the extent of the tongue…

floral decoration on horse.jpg
horse bridle details.jpg
horse's tail details.jpg
horses hoof.jpg

Next the sword in the hands of the rider….since its in stone, see the masterful craftsmanship if having to rest back on the main pillar ( reminder this is in stone….)…another pillar as a short lance…( sadly the next pillar the similar weapon is broken..but shows you how the entire composition is sculpted into stone)

horse rider with short lance (damaged).jpg
horse rider with sword details.jpg
horse riders sword detail.jpg
horserider with short lance.jpg
horserider with sword.jpg

In europe, there is tradition that while sculpting horse riders….if the front two legs are in the air, then the rider died at war…a marty, if one leg was only lifted he died of wounds sustained in battle…if all four legs on the ground he died a natural death…did you know?

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