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Posts Tagged ‘Uthiramerur’

Happy new year to all our readers and its great to be back with all of you after a three week break. We visited some fantastic sites and took some amazing photgraphs, met wonderful people. I start this post with a tribute to all the patrons who made what you see below happen.

Most of you would have followed the post below, its was in June 2008 that REACH foundation took on the challenge of this renovation effort.

A thousand year struggle to survive

So, we made it our first stop to look at the progress - with great apprehension, since most renovation efforts ( ofcourse attempted by novices) end up making the structures look like pay and use toilets with their ceramic tiling, blue paint on sculptures etc etc. But this was a personal challege, a team led by experts, wanting to prove that restoration can still be done retaining the original flair. So, did we succeed. I let you be the judge.

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Hang on, there are more to come.

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The lime and mortar sculptures have been painstakingly renovated as well.

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Including minor details

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Really wonderful and the color scheme ( following UNESCO’s world heritage monument schemes of Tanjore, Darasuram, Gkc etc) is pleasing.

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Even the Bootha rekai has been meticulously restored.

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What i loved about this effort, was its attention to detail and aesthetic grace.

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This ought to be how it should be done and must serve as an example for future conservations efforts.

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As we started to leave, the skies darkened - and then it poured, but not before giving us a nice window to finish filming. They say its an auspicious sign - rain - for the Kailasantha temple in Utiramerur to stand erect in its resurrected beauty - to see another thousand years in all its splendor.

utm kailasanatha temple
utiramerur kailasanatha temple

There is definitely a followup post to this to discuss an important sculptural find during the restoration work, but before that we thank all our kind hearted patrons who donated generously to this effort. We hope the success of this effort will spur you and inturn us to take on greater challenges.

Photos courtesy: Mr Arvind and Myself with equipment from Mr Dinesh.S

( A personal loss for me happened on 23rd Dec - i lost a dear friend - He had supported the trip by loaning all his photographic equipment including expensive lenses - I dedicate this series to Mr. Dinesh Sundaresan, who with this last chat session - a testament to his greatness, left us in a tragic road accident on 23rd Dec 2009, just 36 years of age, half of which he had spent in my friendship.

me: maams oru favor da
6:31 PM dynesh: tell me
me: i am doing a south trip from 13th to 24th
dynesh: big trip
me: can i borrow ur camera, if you can spare. going basically for some serious sculpture places
dynesh: no machan i will only if you take all lenses and tripod too !!!

Rest in peace my dearest friend. )

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I have been wanting to feature this delightful miniature from Utiramerur Sundara Varadha temple for almost 6 months now, but have been postponing in the hope that i could decipher the story behind the panel. With no luck till now, i guess its best to put it to you all to infer and comment.

First off Utiramerur as a temple town is a treasure trove - its abunds in many pallava beauties and this particular temple is called the ` sun among shrines ‘ - srivastuno bhaskaraah - the aptly named Sundara ( enchanting- beautiful) Varadha temple.

As you circum ambulate the main shrine - the three sculpture panels that adrone the sides of the shrine are masterpieces of stone work. I will try and feature each one by one, but we jump to the last sculptural panel - my favorite, for it is a puzzle that i have not been able to crack. The main sculpture is that of Brihu - a saint ( i had earlier mistaken it for Dhakshinamurthy)

You can see the sculpture from long shot

The panel.jpg

The main Sculpture now…

the Brigu rishi  sculpture.jpg

But what interested me was the minature panel just above the main sculpture. Lets zoom in a bit and see if you can decipher the amazing panel.

closeup of the miniature relief on top.jpg

Ok, to make it easier for you - let me break up the key players in the panel.

utm panel central fig.jpg
the even smaller stools legs - on one side a lion and another an elephant yaazhi motiff.jpg

Am lost to explain how the sculptor could go into such minute details - look at the seated asetic, the classic yoga pose - one feet resting over the other. and look at the detailing of the legs of the pedestal he is seated on - one one side is a lion and another side an elephant Yaazhi motiff.

the delightful minature lion yaazhi.jpg

I just fell in love with this cute lion motiff carved to such detail.

snakes everywhere.jpg
snakes in apt devoation.jpg
utm panel leftyogi.jpg
utm panel rightyogi.JPG

The other two - doing penance on one leg. with snakes for company.

Simply superb, pity the story behind this is not clear !!!

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