Hear my sad tale – Temple Pillars of Perur

Its been another eventful December in the land of ancestors and thanks to friends, have tonnes of information to feature. Quite a few sad sights were also there, but nothing as shocking as the plight of the temple pillars of Perur. I had earlier featured the amazing pillar – which describes the story of Hanuman coming out of the crocodile’s belly.

Hanuman escapes from a crocodile -perur

But the orientation of the pillars in the previous post was not correct. Verified my doubts this time – the pillar in antique photo is the one that was broken n found in the garden inside the temple.

While the unbroken pillar is seen behind the door of the shop on your left as you pass the main gopuram entrance.

Apart from that broken pillar, there were many more pillars stacked in the small garden.

So, this time with news of the Temple restoration ( always view that with circumspect dread !) and consecration – went over to get another view of the beauties in the temple.

After parking our vehicle, before going inside the temple, i went over to the small sculpture shop ( sirppak koodam) to pay respects to the artists. But what greeted me churned my insides and almost made me faint.

Sewage and refuse covering up the beautiful pillars albiet damaged, they could be shown some respect. My worst fears were confirmed, yes – the Hanuman pillar has also been dumped into the trash.

When only Gold and diamonds are considered precious and when even they are not secure, what value are these mere stone carvings to these mortals.

23 thoughts on “Hear my sad tale – Temple Pillars of Perur

  1. we know not our cultural wealth i f somebody comes by smears sandal paste and say worshipping thishanuman will will relase u from debts nbext u may hanuman bedecked and worshipped

  2. வேதனை தரும் விஷயம். சிதம்பரத்தில் உள்ளது போல் கனகசபை இங்குதான் உள்ளது. தொல்பொருள் துறையின் பராமரிப்பில் இருக்க வேண்டிய கோயில் கல்வெட்டுகளும், சிற்பங்களின் நிலையும் கண்ணீரை வரவழைக்கிறது. இங்கு கல்லில் செதுக்கப்பட்ட சங்கிலிகளைக் கண்டுதான் என் தந்தையும் சாக்பீஸில் அதே போல் செய்து தான் பணியாற்றிய தூய மைக்கேல் மேனிலைப் பள்ளியில் வைத்தார். இப்போது அது இருக்குமிடம் தெரியவில்லை. அதன் செய்முறை பயிற்சி எனக்கு அளித்த தந்தையார் அதன் புகைப்பட நகலையும் என்னிடம் அளித்துவிட்டு மறைந்து விட்டார்.
    அது சொல்லும் கதைகள் ஏராளம். உணர்வார்களா பொறுப்புள்ள அதிகாரிகள்? அவர்களின் அலட்சியத்தை தண்டிக்க சட்டத்தில் இடமுண்டா?

  3. its a sad plight for these great sculptures.. but pretty soon some Indian will get ideas to use them as granite slabs.. which will add insult to the existing injury!

    Sarvam Krishnaarpanam !

  4. Its truly painful to see the historical and cultural wealth of India strewn in the gutter. May I suggest that the management of Dakshin Chitra on OMR/Chennai be approached to help salvage the discarded sculpture for possible relocation to a more hospitable environment? As a 3rd generation Malaysian who derives emotional and spiritual sustenance from India, I have been contributing (in a small way) to the preservation of our common heritage. I wish I could do more and pray that those fortunate and blssed to have been born in that punya bhoomi will realize their obligations to future generations.

  5. Would it, in your opinion, be OK for a private collector to take the pillars into his/her possession (provided one can move them, of course) to adorn, say, some garden? Or would you be opposed to such a move?

  6. Would it, in your opinion, be OK for a private collector to take the pillars into his/her possession (provided one can move them, of course) to adorn, say, some garden? Or would you be opposed to such a move?

    If the choice is between lying discarded in a gutter or preserved for posterity in some garden (private or public) I would choose the latter. I have, for example, managed to save from a construction dump, 80 year old teak pillars which once supported the trusses of a south indian house. Its been twenty years since I installed them at home here and they have never failed to stir poignant conversations among my visitors about India, its arts, architecture and the artistry of its people.

    • @ Mr Vasu – there are still technically ` protected’ heritage treasures. We have taken up with the authorities and hopefully this will be settled soon. Tks for the concern


  7. @Vijay,

    Thanks for clearing that up. So, there is no need for anyone of us to step in to try rescue these treasures.


    I agree with you about doing whatever it takes to preserve them for posterity.

  8. ‘Poetry in Stone’ is perhaps evidence that all is not lost in the struggle to preserve what we rightfully should. As Indian society continues to struggle between continuity and change, between preserving the ‘poetry in stone’ and succumbing to the plastic sophistication of ‘modern life’, it is reassuring to note the sense and sensibility that springs through this site. Thank you Vijay and all the unnamed mahanubhavas.

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