Rising up majestically from ruins – thanking all patrons

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.


Hang on, there are more to come.


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


Including minor details


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


Even the Bootha rekai has been meticulously restored.


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


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


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.

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. )

22 thoughts on “Rising up majestically from ruins – thanking all patrons

  1. Great pictures, a historical restoration job well done, Dinesh’s texts live through, his camera and lenses still helped even though he is gone, Sorry for the loss.

  2. Kudos to REACH and thanks to Vijay for sharing the good news.

    You told me that he was in critical condition or something, but I didn’t know he is no more.

    Sad.. May his soul rest in peace


  3. wonderful article dear Dinesh. Great effort by our demised friend Dinesh Sundaresan. May his soul rest in peace.

    The Uttiraimerur Kailasanatha looks like a classical Pallava creation. What is your take on this Vijay?


  4. Vijay deserves a special thanks for his right way of putting the old and new, which in spite of taking the pictures from day one of renovating Uttaramerur, I could not do. I will surely have this blog link added to our web site. Thanks Vijay. Wish members join us by joining REACH’s yahoo group: temple_cleaners.
    Thanks again, VIJAY

  5. Vijay, had I known earlier about your south trip in December, I would have been pleased to join you in the trip. I could not forget the Mahendra Pallava cave temples trip with you. Your compilation of the old and new photos of Uthiramerur temple is very good. By the way, I am really sorry for your friend Dinesh. He still lives in our midst through his camera and lense in the Uthiramerur photos.

  6. @ chandra – great work.

    @ Narayanaswamy – sir, the mahendra caves was an amazing trip. But this was an extended trip and wanted to focus more time on taking photos – so restricted to myself and Arvind…we spent close to 2-3 hours at each site – so was not sure how others would handle. Next time for sure.


  7. Gave a good intro to a good work. I was excited to read about this. But at the end, reading about the tragic accident of your friend made me sad.

  8. Nice to hear that gud news……but saddest part is v lost dinesh……..from ur chat script i could understand how gud was he at heart….may his soul rest in peace…..he always lives here wit us…..v miss u dinesh……love u dude

  9. Amazing effort! Kuddos and my Shashtaanga Namaskaarams for everyone who had put in effort to bring the temple back to its pristine days… 🙂 God Bless You all!

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