Today we are going to see a very very interesting panel from Darasuram. Thanks again to Satheesh for the excellent camera work. This panel was a total shocker at first glance and there was no way i could have proceeded to identify it.
Locating this panel itself is difficult - no one seems to even acknowledge their presence. We have already seen the other panel that is alongside - Sundarar resurrecting the boy from crocodile’s belly in a previous post.
At first sight, it looked like someone was felling a tree or a structure in front of a temple and and it was falling on the temple! The man was actually not felling but maybe yelling and pointing towards the falling structure. The structure itself was a bit unique, and could find no parallel?. The second person depicted seemed to look like a King who was sculpted in a very pious pose.
Thankfully, with the help of Mr. N. Ganesan, who was kind enough to share an interesting paper of Prof. Marr, JR, titled “The Periya Puranam frieze at Taracuram: Episodes in the Lives of the Tamil Saiva Saints’ - we see that its a sculptural depiction of a very famous event in the life of Saint Sundarar.
The famous duo have quite a number of interesting legends among them - While on a pilgrimage, they pass through the temple town of Thirukandiyur and seeing the temple of Thiruvaiyaaru across the river, Cherman Perumal wishes to visit that temple as well. However, the river Cauvery is in spate. The flood is so great that boatmen have stopped plying - seeing the desire of his friend to see the Lord, Sundarar sings a series of heart rendering songs on shiva - hearing which the great river parts - allowing them a passage over her sandy bottom.
Now, see the panel - to the left ( as you view) is the Thirukadaiyur temple, Cherman Perumal even in his regal attire ( he was a Chera King) is full of devotion, while Sundarar cups his left hand so that his voice carries over the din of the river waters( see the waves depicted showing the spate) - and across is the holy temple at Thiruvaiyaaru.
A scene that instantly took me to back to Cecil De Mille ’s Ten Commandments - Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner…the famous parting of the Red Sea by Moses.