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Its not often we get a chance to visit offbeat sites and when our Tour guide Dhani mentioned about a Hindu temple in Batam, ‘ we ‘ pushed the shopping agenda to make way for the famed ” Naga” temple of Batam. Nestled amidst dense vegetation, the first glimpse was the typical Balinese Gopura. The structure immediately brought to mind Dr. Kudavoil Balasubramaniam’s book “Koyil Kalai Marabhu’ where he had illustrated these very structures - Hindu temple Gopura’s typically signify the ritual of passing through an entrance of fire, thereby purifying the soul - and that is what evolved to present day towering Gopuras - however, the vestigial links with the original concept are still seen strewn across Indonesia.

side+entrance

Just we passed through, we were pleasantly surprised to see a perfect modern temple to our side - Sri Tripurasundari temple, complete with a priest from Devakkottai. He did mention that he was still preparing for pooja and advised us to go visit the shrine farther away and comeback to see his !

A stiff 100 m walk and we were faced with a steep flight of steps ending in a magnificent entrance Gopura,

main+entance

The time period/dates of this structure are still unclear but my joy knew no bounds when we were greeted by a pair of superb doorguardians and an equally superlative lintel of Garuda.

Gopura
door guardian
door guardian 2
garuda+lintel

The door guardians seems to part of a larger arrangement while the Gopura and the lintel persay seemed more recent works.

As we entered the temple, we were greeted by a very ‘Indian’ Ganesha. You will understand why i mention so shortly.

ganesha+entrance

The next view blew us away. Such a towering sight , considering that we had already climbed a decent height - but this structure was massive and being hidden from view from the outside the effect was doubly strong.

central+shrine

We were certainly not expecting to see such a structure. There were two cute ‘local’ ganesha’s different yet complete with the attributes - the axe, the flower, the mothahagams and suvadis !

inner+ganesha
shrine
ganesha
ganesha (2)

What was more unique is the depiction of the various ’snakes’ on the mount !

many+snakes
reverse+snakeheads
two+main
who

We couldn’t quite makeout the central theme and decided to go around to inspect more.

backside
claws+turtle+folds+snake
coils+snake
dhani

Seeing the massive curls of the snake coil around the structure, a realisation occurred that this could be the depiction of the churning of the Milk ocean for Amrit. The claws and the tail were a definite clincher. ( here is our Tour guide Mr Dhani - just to give you an idea of the scale !)

dhani

So when we moved to the front again they all began to fall in place.

sides
snake+turtle
two+main
two+tails

The Bottom dragon face was infact that of a turtle - of Vishnu balancing the mount as turtle Kurma! and the churning rope being the snake Vasuki ( the dragon head on top)!

Usually the focus would be the Devas adn the Asuras holding the two sides and churning, but they have been done away with totally, instead focussing our attention entirely on the main act !

What made the entire complex so wonderful was the design, of presenting it on a small cliff with this artificial mount. The interesting part was the depiction of Garuda at the back and also a swan / bird above him.

backside
claws+turtle+folds+snake
garuda
garuda+swan+ontop

The top has a Gold embossed dancing pose. It could be the classical Cambodian depiction of vishnu as seen in the famed Angkor panels

top
dancing+figure

The Angkor panel for comparison

But without attributes it is very difficult to be sure and the locals call this a Sivan temple.

We finished the tour with a wonderful time at the temple nearby with the priest giving us a service straight from any temple in Tamil Nadu for his Aadhi Vinayagar and Tripurasundari

Dont miss the excellent services of Mr. Dhani Hariadi

PT. TITA PANORAMA INDAH TOURS & TRAVEL

Komplek TanjungPantun Blok P No. 4 Batam Island 29453, Indonesia.
Phone:+62 (778) 3306999
Fax: +62 (778) 456 797
Mobile Number: (+62) 81372788887

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Category: Sculpture

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This entry was posted on Monday, April 2nd, 2012 at 13:19 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.

9 Comments so far

  1  

good post…
hyderabadonnet.com

April 2nd, 2012 at 19:09
dev
  2  

தகவலுக்கு நன்றி;
ஒரு யு ட்யூபாகப் பதிவாகியிருந்தால்
இன்னும் விளக்கமாக இருந்திருக்கும்

தேவ்

April 3rd, 2012 at 12:29
  3  

Thanks Dev sir, am not a great fan of Videos - somehow they do not convey the true essence of being there.

rgds
vj

April 3rd, 2012 at 12:39
ஜி.ஸன்தானம்
  4  

தேர்ந்தெடுத்த படங்களுடன் இந்த நாகர் ஆலையத்தைப் பற்றிய விவரம் பயனுள்ளதாக இருந்தது.
வீடியோ காட்சி (யூட்யூப் என்பது வீடியோ என்பதன் மரூஉ ஆகிவிட்டது!) ஒரு எளிமையான 360 டிகிரி காட்சியைக் கொடுக்கலாம். ஆயினும், படங்கள் பொருளின்/ கருத்தின் குவிமையத்தில் நம்மை நிறுத்தும் என்று தோன்றுகிறது.

April 3rd, 2012 at 23:14
  5  

Brilliant work, Vijay. Such an eye-opener. And to think this is just a hop away. I’m already making plans to visit this place. Thanks for the info and insight.

April 9th, 2012 at 9:33
  6  

welcome Ramesh. Ideal for a day trip !

rgds
vj

April 9th, 2012 at 10:29
muthukumaran
  7  

I REALLY WONDERED HOW OUR CULTURE SPREAD OVER THE WORLD. THIS IS THE RARE & BEAUTIFUL TRIP.

April 22nd, 2012 at 16:54
Kawshol
  8  

Hello Vijay,

Can you please give me the address of the temple or in which area it it in batam. I want to visit there tomorrow.

Thanks a lot for advising the best place.

Best Regards,
Kawshol

August 29th, 2015 at 5:43
Rishikesh Mallela
  9  

I visited this amazing temple today, and was conpletley blown away by the non-traditional and awe-inspiring architechture of this temple and wanted to know more about it. Every other website i visited gave the same boring and generic description about some ceremony conducted back in 2005. Yours is the only post that has information of any real value. Thank you for your insight!

July 2nd, 2016 at 21:40

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