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Archives by Month: January, 2011

Today, we are going to see some unconnected icons. But before that, a long pending paintings inspired by sculpture - aka temple. Not any temple but The Kailasantha Temple in Kanchipuram.

sketch

Rendered by Mr B. Sathish !

There are some icons ( and people) who have a magical allure to them and we could Photogenic but not sure if it applies to architecture, but the creations of Rajasimha - be it the Shore temple, the Panamalai Thaalagireershwarar or the Kanchi Kailasantha, they turn even amateur photographers raving mad. So imagine the plight of experts. Take a look at this work of Aadhi arts.

aadhi2 (3)
aadhi2 (4)
aadhi2
aadhi2 (1)
aadhi2 (2)

Really stunning are they not?

Now take a look at these.

Bodisattva
notice+the+claws+feet
look+to+your+right

Seemingly disconnected icons - The famous Bodhisattva mural from Ajanta, a slice of the penance panel from Mallai and the somaskanda painting from Kanchi Kailasanthar.

For regular followers, you have already seen the traces of the pallava artist’s fantastic creation in the
Recreating a lost treasure

Let me first explain the location of these amazing paintings.

location
look+to+your+right

You have to twist a bit to enter between the pillars and peep into to your left. If you are lucky you will get to see the four places where the Somaskanda paintings are still visible. Sadly, the rest of the spaces are used as storage for…

sad

But this one is special. Peep inside the tavern while turning your head to the right.

somaskanda+plus
paintings

What looks like a portion of black and maroon, is actually a portion of the original Pallava painting that would have adorned the whole side wall.

kinnara+couple

We step in closer to view the fantastic Kinnara couple. Notice the lovely lady playing a reed flute, the clawed feet and the style of the wings.

closeup+couple
lady+playing+flute+admirer

Now lets take a look at the Mallai Penance Panel

notice+the+claws+feet
notice+the+wings
winged+kinnara

do you notice the similarity between the two couples - the clawed feet and the wings?

Now, both the locations we saw are from the Pallava school. But if i were to tell you that a similar creature is there in Ajanta as well, and that you have seen it so many times without registering it, would you believe me?

Yes, here we go

( photo & line drawing credits - An Album of Eighty-five Reproductions in Colour, Editor: A.Ghosh; Published by Archaeological Survey of India)

Bodisattva
bodhisattva+sketch
notice+top+left

Found them ?

in+line+drawing
the+ajanta+in+color

Truly art knew and knows no borders nor boundaries.

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We do come across ruined sites quite often. In India t is a problem of plenty, if not each of these would be a national treasure. But then, the brick temple in Pullalur struck a raw chord.
a crumbling treasure in pullalur

Despite the short time we spent there due to the deteriorating light, risky conditions ( no lunch !) n threat of snakes around, there was a feeling which cannot be explained in words. I talked of the sad plight of this mighty structure to everyone i met and luckily impressed on Mr Chandra of REACH Foundation to do a followup visit. My idea was to get some closeups of the Vimana and also the Sudhai ( lime and mortar figurines there) - so that we may have possible clues to tentatively date this structure.

vimana+sudhai
sudhai+work+on+vimana1
sudhai+work+on+vimana2JPG
sudhai+work+on+vimana3
sudhai+work+on+vimana4

Chandra did one step better. He took Dr.T. Satyamurthy, along with him and rest …is best to give a blow by blow account.

It was around 4.00 PM my time, when Shankar texts me - ” Reach team has found some remains of paintings”
Me. ” Which temple?”
Shankar : Pullalur !
Me: Which one in Pullalur
Shankar: Brick - ruined one.
Me: OMG, calling you ….

But, why did we miss it in the first instance ? Take a look yourself and judge

sri+TS+inspecting

If i tell you that the find is on this wall, am sure you will be shaking your head. am not joking.

looks+like+plain+wall
notice+the+paintings
so+much+details+two+faces
so+much+to+see

Not convinced yet. Then our overlooking them is forgiven. There are four people with fantastic ornamentation, ornate crowns and if you are sharp enough - can even spot the eye brows and bulging eyes. Who could they be?

crown+detail
details+of+the+paintings
fantastic+ornaments
notice+eye+brow
notice+eye+brow+face
so+much+details
the+face+on+extreme+left

The larger question now, is the date of the basic brick structure and the date of these paintings?

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