It was a very rainy day when we reached Gangai Konda Cholapuram. Fortunately the rain stopped giving us a brief window to complete our tasks on the outside. The rain swept temple gleaned in all her pristine glory as we entered her.
As usual we were subjected to some rants by the ‘ authorities’ on cameras and photography, and we put forward the same arguments that any ASI site – Photography is allowed and free of charge – except for the Sanctum. ( providing of course you cannot use a tripod – some weird logic of ASI !). We wanted to cover a few miniatures inside the main Vimana but the arguments got us nowhere. We faced the prospect of one more unsuccessful attempt to cover them, when we were shocked to see that there was a big family function happening inside with full videography ! We threatened to bring hell and after much persuasion and promise that we would not shoot the main Sanctum, managed to get our equipment out.
The power went off right on cue just as we took in the sight of the gargantuan door guardians guarding the main sanctum.
How massive are these guys?
do you notice a small black speck in the photo towards the base??
Yeah, its the Cannon lens cover
As we walked past the dynamic duo to the next chamber, a very dimly lit wall showcased a brilliant miniature, quite in contrast to the massiveness of the occupants of the other side.
Sadly, we were clicking blind due to the power outage and the most important area of the relief was missed out. But still we could make out the panel. Apart from a whole host of distinguished rishis, we could spot Brahma officiating a ceremonial gathering.
And on top, was the marriage of the divine parents – Shiva as Kalyanasundara taking the hand of Meenakshi, with Lakshmi and Vishnu giving her away on both sides.
The immediate reaction was the recollection of the splendid Kalyanasundara Bronze which we saw earlier. .
The resemblance is remarkable
The stance and posture of Lakshmi
Vishnu seems to be little more bent forward than the bronze
But the clincher were the shy stance of Meenakshi
and the kati Vasta of Vishnu ( if you notice the way the waist cloth is worn by Vishnu – you see a characteristic U ), which is absent for Shiva.
We saw this in the previous post,
Compare the depiction in the bronze
Two different mediums, each with its complexities – the miniature with its size, yet the sculptor adheres to his Canons !