The PS Travelogue- Day 2
  • Dear all...

    Day 2 (Saturday, February 8th):

    Day 2 started in a more leisurely way than Day 1- we started at 7.30,
    finished breakfast, and set off on our way to the Periya Koil, the first on
    our agenda.

    The Periya Koil, as many people have talked about in many different ways, is
    a masterpiece. Built by the hero of our story, its size, structure, its
    dazzling dimensions have earned it a place in World Heritage. What more can
    one say?

    In side the temple complex, we split up. Half of us went wandering around
    the enormous corridors that surround the temple, some of us ambled over to
    the Nandi. Mr.Vishwaksenan disappeared to hunt out the Kalki agent for that
    area, and they appeared in a few minutes, right in the middle of a
    discussion about the temple.

    Mr. Balakumaran had said in his tape that the so-called 'single stone' at
    the head of the vimanam wasn't a single stone at all, but was made of many
    stones set very close together ("...aaranju chulai maathiri...")- and with
    luck, the temple authorities agreed to open up the first level of the
    temple- a part which is generally closed to the public, and which requires
    special admission if one has to see it. All of us trooped up the stone steps
    up to the first level. They led upto a terrace, with the gopuram rising to
    our left. The Kalki agent led us to the doorway and unlocked it.

    We stepped inside a dark corridor, which ran to our left and right, and
    vanished into darkness. Another set of steps led to a doorway which looked
    onto a chamber over the garba griham. It was barred at one end (because we
  • Pavithra that was really well written. Kalakitte.
    We were fortunate to be accompanied by Mr. Vishwaksenan, from whom we gathered lot of information about sculptures, about temples, which period they pertain to, how chalukya's influence came about in later period sculptures, etc., etc., Thanks to Mr. Seetharaman, without whom we could not have dreamt of covering all the places we had planned to visit. Also Mr. Srinivasan & Mr. Seetharama Sharma, who came with us had very good historical knowledge that they shared with us.
    When we were roaming around Periya Koil, Mr. Vishwaksenan told us about how people in early days used one kind of lamp to lighten the places. A particular variety of Fish's eyes, Muthu (pearl), Sea weed and some other thing were mixed together (there is no detail as to how to mix them all, at what temparature etc.,) and make the mixture into a lamp shape. they then keep that lamp in sunlight for few hrs and then tie it with a cloth. when taken out at night, the thing will shine like a mercury lamp through out the night. We know that people in earlier days had lots of knowledge, but sad that those discoveries were not properly documented.
    What about ajantha paintings? they had drawn those paintings more than 1,000 years ago and the paintings still exist. What mooligais did they use? Do anyone have any idea as to how they were able to make those paintings. They have built great temples and forts and maaligais. Can anyone even dream of building similar structures now, even with all the modern devices we have now. How would they have taken those huge heavy weight stones to the top of the structures? They were real genius.
    We cannot rebuild a thanjavur koil or gangai konda cholapuram or make such beautiful sculptures or azhiyaa varnam konda paintings. But what we can do is protect whatever exists and make people realize the importance of our ancient cultural heritage.
    I felt very sad seeing some of those sculptures and paintings spoiled by some miscreants. Names had been written over the paintings in the tanjore temple. Those ignorant people probably thought that their names are more important than those paintings.
    In other places all those kalvettus were hidden under cement surfaces. In the name of renovation they had spoiled or hidden the important masterpieces.
    We all as a group should definitely strive to preserve our heritage.
  • Poonguzhali,

    I remember in S.S kalki has written about those
    azhiyatha chithirangal in the last volume. Naga Nandhi
    says about those chithirangal to Paranjothi. He says
    all the paintings are normally done by mixing leaves
    and roots. But in ajantha they take naturally coloured
    stones and mix so that those colour doesn't fade. I
    don't know how far this is true but as i know this is
    what mentioned in S.S.
  • Hi Sreeram,
    I have read SS n number of times and clearly remember those writings about Ajantha paintings. Anyway thanks for your mail, since everytime anything about PS or SS is referred to I feel very happy.
    Anyways, my point was that we need to preserve all those treasures. We need to do something soon.
    Probably when time permits we can as a group visit those temples one by one and do some proper thirupani.

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