This December, our trip took us to a lot of wonderful sites and was an eye opener in many ways - we learnt lot of things and more importantly realised how little we know!!. There are a lot of positive things to write about, but there was one instance which was an eye sore. Hence, thought will write about it first.

It is just a mistake but a mistake which finds in place in a site which is meters away from the greatest edifice to the regions art, literature and culture - Madurai. As one of the oldest sites and a seat of learning, Madurai is synonymous with Sangams and the lore of Shiva’s work itself being evaluated in its famed assembly. Thus this error, which is being witnessed by so many visitors is bound to be looked at as an himalayan blunder.

To set things in perspective, its was a long day for us, when we landed in Madurai ( me ,Arvind, my wife Priya and son Prithvi ) - we left early noon to be in time for the temple opening post lunch break and clicked away at the magnificent gopurams of Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple. Then we ventured inside, thanks to a helpful local guide and 4 hours flew inbetween. With our backs and arms aching, sore from trying to jostle with the hundreds of enthusiasts to capture the right view in the fading light ( somehow, people do know how to jump into frame just as you waited for 5 min for the crowd to move on …and just as you press the button, someone jumps into frame and you get their bald frame !!)

It was close to 7 pm, and we had almost packed up our bags, promising to return the next day morning for another encounter with the gopurams ( east side….for better sunlight) - when i remembered that we had not got the pillar sculptures from the mandabam. The guide brushed us off saying there are only 4 or 5 there and can be skipped. But the presence of the ticket counter and a cop at the gate, got our curiosity growing and we went in. The pillars were ok, not great, but my gaze fell on a dimly or rather unlit dusty area of the hall. There were curious pedestals with smoky glass boxes. Was in for a shock when i went to investigate. Amazing bronzes, lined on both sides - over 50 of them. We were just then warned that we had less than 20 min before they shut down the place ( by 8 pm)….What a pity. The lighting was so poor and the glass was dusty - no way to get even decent quality snaps. Yet, the very first row of exhibits was disappointing.

Take a look yourself.

madurai temple museum bronze exhibit

The first image ( identified as # 70 - Nirthana Sambandan)

named as nirtana sambandan
with flash ( apologise for quality)

I hope you have read the post on identification of Sambandar bronze.

can you spot it
the srivatsam and the hand pose

Lets zoom in to see the clear mark

its narthana krishnar

Such a clear mark, left behind by the sculptor - the Srivatsam, to show its Narthana Krishna - yet the bronze has been identified as Sambandar and that too in a museum housed inside the Meenakshi Temple !! What a pity.

Even trained guides arent aware of such a treasure inside this beautiful temple. Hopefully, someone can help reach this to authorities and correct this mistake.

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Category: Sculpture

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This entry was posted on Monday, January 11th, 2010 at 11:20 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Comments so far


தெரியும், இதைப் பலமுறை சொல்லியும் இருக்கோம், பயனில்லை என்று விட்டாச்சு! :((((((( மதுரை என்றாலே இப்போல்லாம் மனமே கனக்கிறது. அப்படி வணிக வளாகமாக மாறி இருக்கு மீனாக்ஷி கோயில் வளாகம்.

January 11th, 2010 at 17:46

போன வாரம் போனேன். எங்கே என் பழைய மீனாட்சியம்மன் கோவில்? புதுப்பிக்கிறேன் பேர்வழி என்று அத்தனையையும் அக்ரிலிக் பெயிண்டால் மூழ்கடித்துவிட்டனரே? கல்வெட்டுகளோ.. குதறல். ஊஞ்சல் அறை எதிரில் உள்ள மண்டபத்திலும், உட்பிரகாரத்திலும் பழைய் ஓவியங்களின் எச்சங்கள் உல்ளன. ப்ரமிக்கத்தக்கவை. சீக்கிரம் பதிவிடுகிறேன்.

January 11th, 2010 at 23:33
Kathie B.

Let’s face it, your more of an iconography expert than almost anybody else!

January 12th, 2010 at 16:49

Here, theres a modern day Nakeeran who dares to show the mistake committed by so called great people.

Irony is its the same place where ancient Nakeeran pointed the mistake of Lord Shiva few thousand years ago !!!

January 12th, 2010 at 17:47
rhoda alex

hmmm. sherlock holmes indeed!

January 12th, 2010 at 20:43

@ கீதா அம்மா - எப்படி விடுவது. பெரும் பிழை அல்லவே.

@ சந்திரா - பதிவை ஆவலுடன் எதிர்பார்க்கிறேன்

@ Kathie - well, its been a short internship - cant even think of the real experts !! but then this should be corrected.

@ mani - atleast let me record the disgust.

@ rhoda - it was staring at us straight in the eye. no deductions needed. or rather should i say - elementary watson !!


January 13th, 2010 at 14:50

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