My friend Lakshmi’s blog post on graffiti below reminded me of my earlier post in mintamil forum on such acts of vandalism.
April 1819, John smith, a Captain from the Madras regiment, with his mates was hunting tigers in the forests. He came across a horse shoe shaped canyon with many caves – yes, he is the one who is credited with rediscovering Ajanta ( how could such a marvel ever get to be forgotten !!)
Admiring the marvelous creations there, he went on to inscribe his signature along with the date on the fresco painting. you can still see it there.
Yes, this made him immortal along with the paintings.
Maybe, our friends ( tanjore mani ?) consider their exploits to be parallel to the great accomplishments of our kings who conquered far off lands, and etched their praise in stone, and hence scribble their names on this magnificent creations!
This amazing wall panel of Gangai konda cholapuram has not been spared from the wanton acts of these people, who have little respect for the cultural heritage of the land they hail from, the greatness of these works. Let us try and educate these people to learn to respect art.