Friday, August 25, 2006

Kanchipuram

Besides chennai if there are 2 towns that I often return too, it would be Kanchipuram and Thirunnamalai. A trip to Kanchi and Annamalai is a must each time we head to India.

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The plan would always be an early morning shoot off from chennai and ariving in time for morning prayers then heading to Thiruannamalai for an overnight stay.

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However if you'd read my escapade with the driver you know we had to return that very night on this trip (read second half).

It was security and most of all I couldn't stand how he treated people. He was horning people who were doing the girivalam, he was horning the procession, he was horning absolutely nothing - he just had a fixation with the horn! Grrr. Anyway lets leave him to rot with his horn and get back to the post.

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I'm not sure why I love Kanchi more than any other town or why I'm so attached to the Kanchi Kamakshi temple and the Ekambareswarar temple but it is a fact and believe me I can spend hours there!

We arrived at Kanci temple in time for the morning abhishegam on the morning of chitra pournami. We'd purchased this lotus garland from this flower seller. Since it was her first sale she didn't have change and told to me get it later and I said ok. The kunjam or the last flower was unopened, right after I bought the garland she lightly taps the flower and it springs open ;) nice trick eh? ;)

We got into the temple in time for the abhishegam and the morning pooja but we were determined to get in. The priest had been eyeing the lotus garland, plus I'd been holding it for nearly an hour and that's how we got in and with the help of a young boy.

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I have to thank the lady for insisting I buy the garland, coz every other small garland never made it to the devi. What a sight she was. I think someone from the mutt was there or a visiting priest, we saw him again after prayers and he handed out some tasty sweet prasadam. Can't remember what it was though ;)

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To me the front of the temple always looks small and clustered but at the back its this vast walking ground perfect for a stroll. The temple as most temples has 4 doors and a huge tank in its grounds which I love photographing as you can see.

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The reflections on the pool always turn out great no matter who takes it ;) We walked out of the temple to find a very anxious looking flower seller waiting with our balance, told her ur flower made it to devi and she beamed back. We headed out to find the streets of Kanchipuram packed with people, we couldn't figured what was on but since it was Chitra paurnami we thought it must be a procession.

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After circling kanchipuram numerous times we made it to Ekambareswarar temple by mistake, our driver claimed the road was blocked and the temple was closed!!!

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I always feel a connection to this temple I'm not sure why and its to the panjamuga ganapathi. So much so I always come back with a ganesha! Somehow this temple is the most less visited, and least looked after. Probably why I'm drawn to it. I love its darkened halls, there's no artificial lighting just the faded sun beams that manage to make it through.

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This time cleaning works were going on as we saw workers jetting the ceilings with water to clean the temple for the Maha Kumbhabhisegam I think.

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You circle the temple in near darkness until you see light reaching you and you arrive at the mirrored altar just next to the tree in the open grounds of the temple. The tree used to be this huge magnificent life form with beautiful branches and roots and we used to spend time sitting and looking at it. Alas now all that's left is a small sapling, I'm not sure if the tree was felled or it died a natural death after 3500 years, someone care to tell me?

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Habits die hard, I still find it the most peaceful spot in the temple and was sitting and singing to the morning sun. Then of course there was the photos ;) If you look closely you'll find interesting carvings in the temple. I was particularly attracted to this circular one.

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Beautiful blue cloudy skies greeted us as we made our way out. It was such a wonderful day. We were searching for breakfast when we got caught in a huge traffic. Only to find that we were right behind the Varadaraja Perumal temple procession.

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How could one sit in the car seeing the procession. We immediately got down and rushed to get darshan. The photos should say it all. What a day, illehya ;)

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Now if you're wondering why there's no ppl photos given the length of time we were stuck in traffic? Well remember driver from hell was driving? Well he had the audacity to honk at the procession! I had no idea where to bury my face and believe me it was useless to talk to him!

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Processions block the road everywhere in the world! If people can quietly move over here regardless of race or which religion is holding the procession why couldn't this donkey!

Anyway after a later brunch we headed to the Varadaraja Perumal temple only to be flabbergasted by the crowd there! We decided it was too much of a risk to go in and just prayed from outside and left for the Kailasanatar temple.

This was the first time I was going there, the temple had always been closed prior and I was told they were still functioning just not to the knowledge of most ppl.

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Now this temple will remind you of the Mahabalipuram Shore temple, the structure is similar so are the carvings. Its extremely gorgeous and despite the hot afternoon we managed to jump around to admire the carvings.

"Kailashanathar is one of the earliest temples built by the Pallava ruler Rajasimha Pallava and was completed by his son, Mahendra Varma Pallava in the 8th century AD.

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It is the oldest structure in Kanchipuram and the finest example of Pallava architecture in South India . The temple is situated among several low-roofed houses just over 1-km west of the town center. Of all the temples in India, no other edifice has been so elaborately filled with all the 64 aspects of Lord Shiva."

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Having seen so many sculptures in the past 2 weeks, I can attess that some of the sculptures were rare poses. Like this particular one which I had never seen anywhere else and this is quite a common dance pose found in bharathanatyam. The hands, the gestures, the expression is so perfect in this particular sculpture.

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Right after that we left for Thiruanamalai on the longest drive we've had to take and its never this far! So that past of the story, you'll just have to wait. ;)
Ps : check zooomr for rest of photos ;)

25 comments:

demigod said...

Nice shot!, Though you didn't mention it if it was yours.

SamY said...

hmm luks like u have plenty of drafts since ur trip :)

I'd been in kanchipuram for 4 years ... studied in college there actually ... tho in the outskirt township of enathur ... n I have not seen all these temples :( ... guess chennai was my respite then

n guess u'd been there during the best season :) ... I hate kanchi for its unrelenting heat X-(

ashok said...

wow..amazing compo...

Syam said...

pattu saree kanom :-)

Jothi said...

wow...so many places i need to see...thanks for sharing...

WA said...

Visit puniyathula Kanchiya valam vandhaachu inikku. Thanks

Usha said...

beautiful post and great pictures. Time to bring out a travelogue.

Sundar Narayanan said...

opposite gopuraththu mela Eri ninnu eduththeengala ??

:)

Maran said...

Looks like a nice place to visit.

Jeevan said...

I have visited kanchipuram some 10years back, so forget many memories, visith u touched the Gold and Silver Lizards in kanchipuram temple (have doubt its Ekambareswarar or Varadaraja temple). Very nice pic. Looking forward to know about your visit to Thiruvannamalai:)

Hip Grandma said...

lovely pic.i haven't been there.

tulipspeaks said...

nice pics dearie.

Happy Vinayagar Chaturti.

=ammu=

My days(Gops) said...

unga photos'ku, neengaley onna choose pannunga please....

choose the best answer
1.excellent...
2.very nice....
3. chance'ey illa....
4. ammadiov....

btw, kaanchi'la pattu saree vaaangunela?

ps:- adhu enna andha one word u knw in cbe baasai? cud u tell?

KK said...

Wow!! nice pitures and description...So did you visit any pattu saree weaver...its nice to see them weaving... :)

visithra said...

Ahem to all : noticed one thing - the only ones asking about the pattu saree are men! Ennaku ohnumeh purialeh ;o ;D



demigod : welcome here ;)

thanks ;) ahh you're new - all the photos are mine unless mentioned otherwise or linked elsewhere ;)


Samy : well 3 more to come n thats the end ;)

u studied there n never traveled out? Hummm

theres heat everywhere - best season? Chittirai is quite the festival month - i saw one nearly everywhere ;)


Ashok : thanks ;)


syam : ahha athu ehpadi only men asking this question - btw kanchile vangehleh madraslehyeh vangiyach ;)


Jothi : no need for thanks ;) the worlds a new discovery every day ;)


uma : lol welcome ;)


Usha : thanks ;) we'll see about that ;)

visithra said...

sundar : nah - the pool is huge so you can stand on one side n get briliant pics ;)


Maran : it is ;)


jeevan : the lizards are in the perumal temple - forgot which one theres 2 in kanchi - have touched them like u - 10 years back - im not very fond of the temple - its always packed - no peace - thanks ;) - coming soon dear


Hipgran : thanks ;) its a nice place


Amu : thanks ;) same to u too ;)


Mydays : heheh thanks ;)

ahha guys ehlam correctah asking about pattu saree - oru lady kudah kehkale - tsh tsh

yes vanginen but chennaileh ;)
Ps : sohlamathennugo ;)



Kk : thanks ;) ahha again ill repeat myself how come only guys asking about pattu saree?

But no ive never see nthe weaver maybe one day ;)

Bala.G said...

Nice pictures....I had been to Kanchipuram once...but in the evening....on the way return back from Thirupathi....so cudnt find time to raom much :(

The Kid said...

btw, which temple in Kanchi is this? (not been there for a couple of years... so could not recognise it immediately)

Vani said...

visithra!! ur photos are so beautiful!! i keep saying that. but i can't help it. you went to kanchipuram, the home of silk sarees, pls tell me you bought lots of them there!! do u edit ur pix at all?what's ur cam model again? the resolution is fantastic, doesnt seem like a point and shoot cam at all!

ur theevira rasigai (of fotos),

vani

R. Balaji said...

Fantastic pics as usual.
For info: The mango tree in Ekambareswarar Temple was struck by lightning.
The silver and gold lizards are in the Varadaraja Perumal Temple.

visithra said...

Balag : thanks - its a nice place - check it out another time


pratap : the first photo? Well that's kanchi kamakshi temple


vani : aww thanks ;) yeah i did buy sarees - lots of them actually just not in kanchi bought in chennai itself - needed to get my blouses sewn ;)

i use a canon powershot a620 - now theyre fully manual controls nearly like an slr but just that you dont have powerful lenses n zooms - lenses r what that makes a camera n photo better - the good thing is i can buy lenses and attach to this one

most photo sites advices ppl to edit their photos as digi photos tend to have a mask like layer that dulls the image. Hence i play with the levels n unsharpen it a bit - if you want ill email you the steps - i dont have the link though - its small changes but gives wonderful effects


rbalaji : thanks sir ;)

ah so thats what happened to the tree - i ve been wondering for a long time - thanks ;)

and thanks for the info - i last visited the temple 10 years back - the crowds there are a bit pushy

b v n said...

Neat photos...never been to Kanchi...but it looks a bit similar to Shucheendram temple near nagercoil,again..neat post !!

visithra said...

bvn :thanks ;) yep suchindram has similar architecture - nearlly that is

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indhu M said...
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