Great works of art catch the eye of many. There are numerous studies, research papers, coffee table books that are brought out, thousands of people take photographs of them and a google search would through up hundreds of links. But then there are some offbeat ones, which sit nestled in pristine surroundings, seemingly still lost in time, waiting to be discovered, for their time under the Sun - or do they prefer to remain like that - in total obscurity. But then, its the question of identity - the flutter in the heart, the mist in the eye, the shiver in the goosebumps - the pride of knowing the greatness of the land you hail from. Surely, we got to take better care of them and showcase their beauty for all to see.
Such was the experience for us, as we walked past eye catching greenery and acres of land which was a visual overdose, for these days you hardly get to see the horizon with the array of high rises, suddenly a small structure came into view.
This is Moovar Koyil - or three temples - but hold on, there are only two vimanas left but you do get to see the base remnants of the now lost three vimana. This little gem of a masterpiece of sculptural beauty is the work of Bhuti Vikramakesari - the Irukuvel chief of the Kodumbalur clan, along with his two queens and a monastry of Kalamuka ascetics. The Kodumbalur clan, were political allies of the Cholas for a long time and this particular king was a contemporary ( can i say fiduciary or subordinate) of Sundara Chola - Parantaka II ( i can see the eye brows going up for all Ponniyin selvan fans ..Yes it is he - the father of Raja Raja Chola)
From a distance, the site does tend to fall a bit short of your expectations. But hold your horses, even inch of space of this is a treat.
Maybe to highlight that this site aims to look at things differently, i am going to start this series on the moovar koil treasures, by showing a very tiny but equally interesting sculpture - bypassing the bigger and larger beauties. I do have a vested interest in doing so, for he is one of my cute cuddly favorites.
First, to show you where he is - he is part of the bootha regai ( line of Bootha or goblin freezes)
Lets step closer and see if you can spot my friend.
Ok, let me narrow your search range.
Oh, such a cutie -showing off his belly art.
Did you spot him, yet
He does look a bit grumpy today!!
The question to us is, the bootha regai runs through the entire length of that row around the vimana, and the other vimana as well. There are many bootha ganas depicted doing various acts and many times they are repeated, but this particular fellow is unique. We found him in the Great Penance Panel in Mahabalipuram, in Pullamangai, in Srinivasnallur and now here - always just only once in the site. What is his role and why the tiger face in the belly.
Hang on for the rest of the series, when we look at the `main’ beauties from moovar koil.