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Posts Tagged ‘Garuda’

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.

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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,

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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.

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door guardian
door guardian 2
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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.

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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.

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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 !

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

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

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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 !)

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

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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.

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

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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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Friends, today we have a special guest post. Very pleased to have Mr Pradeep Chakravarthy , we have already seen a review of his book on Temple Vahanas

He has also authored a very successful book Thanjavur A Cultural History - - , and we will surely see more from this amazing person. I had requested him to do a guest post and we hope this is only the start of an insightful series. Over to him now.

Tirumeyyam is a well known pilgrim spot not very far off from Madurai. I wrote about it in The Hindu a long time back and have always visited it when possible.

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After reading Vijay’s posts on sculptures that bear a message of how the sculptor conceived movement and drama, I took a closer look at the stupendous moolavar – more than 10 feet and carved out of a cave. The additions are from the 7th century by Perumpidugu Perundevi a Muttaraiar chieftain’s mother. The structural temple temple complex built around this cave is from the 12th century and later.

Thanks to Ashok for splendid feat to capture the entire scene ( digitally removing the pillars - this is copyrighted work)

Tirumaiyam_Anantasayanam

The scene is of Perumal reclining in the coils of Adisesha with Brahma emerging from his navel.

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In this case, like the Gupta images, the sculptor has chosen a free style in showing the coils, not neat and arranged like in other temples. Already there is drama and movement –

The action in the scene is Adisesha spewing forth venom shown as streaks of fire that move towards your right.

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The heads of the serpent are backwards, as if they have just recoiled from one attack.

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Just in case you missed the direction, scores of divine nityasoories are all flying to the right. Just above the Lord’s face, the sculptor has left a natural indentation, this is possibly to indicate that the flying figures are much higher than you think and to remind you that even when they are flying, they are keeping their legs away from the face of the lord.

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To the extreme left is Chitragupta and Garuda who some scholars think is actually the king who commissioned this image.

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Another cleft in the rock indicates a substantial distance between the deity and the two asuras

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The asuras are a little slanted to give us a clue that they eventually bite the dust

The temple is one of the few Vaishnavaite cave temples still in active worship and a modified image of this theme can be seen in Mahabalipuram as well.

As part of the relief there is a depiction a deer headed person next to Brahma - who could he be?

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Photo Credits : Flickr : lomaDI, Prof Swaminathan and http://senkottaisriram.blogspot.com/2008/04/thirumayam-near-pudukkoottai-tamil-nadu.html

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