Monday, 30 September 2013

Poetry In Stone! Thiruperundurai in Tamilnadu, India - Let's Explore!

I am posting this in response to IndiBlogger Tata Safari Storme Explorer Edition call for exploration :)

Thank you IndiBlogger and Tata Safari for this opportunity to present an exploration of the cultural diversity of our ancient land India.

The Avudaiyar Koil (Temple) in Thiruperundurai, situated in Pudukottai, Tamilnadu is actually 45 kms off Pudukottai via Aranthangi.

A temple of immense history and architectural splendor, its purely poetry in stone.

We travelled by Indian Railways and took an SUV ride from Pudukottai to this much revered temple.

For those of us who much respect and draw from the ancient tamil text Tiruvasagam, this temple gains all the more relevance as this is one of the set of temples to be visited in one's lifetime.

Now, without taking another word or moment, please partake the architectural wonder - poetry in stone (I took these photos on my camera, with special permission and after remitting fees in to the temple's account in the temple office):

All stone sculptures are carved out of a single rock / stone with very intricate life-like detailing.

The sculpture above is a rendition of the Tiruvasagam story wherein Lord Shiva (to save his devotee, Manikavaasagar, the eventual architect of the text Tiruvasagam, a minister with a king, who channelizes money meant to buy horses in to building a temple for Lord Shiva and therefore is about to be persecuted by the King) converts wolves in to horses instantly. This is a celebrated story in Tiruvasagam.

Couldn't miss the intricate carving, including in the ornamental hand cuff! 

Attention to detail is exemplary - even the ring in the horse belt is carved to perfection, in stone!

A close-up picture of fingers, carved in stone, of course.

An intricately carved stone door in the picture above ..

The photo above depicts Lord Shiva having attained a form that is half man and half woman (Lord Shiva and his wife & companion Goddess Parvati).  To my knowledge, this is the earliest available act of diversity, inclusion and equality :) It is popularly believed that only when Goddess Parvati merges with Lord Shiva (and we worship them and seek them as a couple) that kindness and justice (typical traits of the Goddess) get bestowed on us!  This is him captured in his famous dance in the sacred site 'Tiruvaalangadu'.

Poet Maanikavasagar, the architect of the ancient and revered Tamil text Tiruvasagam.

The photo below is the perfect example and illustration of how real these sculptures are - the folded arms are carved to such real life perfection that real human beings can actually hold the arm of the sculpture! 

These are beautiful 'ring like' formation carvings in stone walls along the periphery of the sanctum!

A now believed to be extinct animal, Yaazhi, in the photo above ..

Ventilation vent like structures in the upper walls along the periphery of the sanctum!

Floral carvings on the ceiling, depicting various 'stars' (nakshathirams). 

Stories from the text Tiruvasagam depicted along the temple's inner walls painted in pure vegetable dye, lasting centuries! 

Kindly refrain from reproducing these photographs without my written prior consent.

Cheers :)