Monday, March 08, 2010

Cholan's treasures

Nandi @ Twilight

When I was researching the places were I wanted to go, I wanted to visit some of the temples I hadn’t been to which included the rest of the Chola built temples. The Chola’s left some stunning architecture but only the one in Thanjore is well visited as the other 2 are in the middle of nowhere and away from civilisation.

Nandi 

Gangai Konda Chola Puram was the first on my list. I’m not sure if the Nandi here is bigger, but I do think he is more majestic. Wow the temple is just stunning, we arrived before the sunset so while I got lovely blue skies, most of the temple was shrouded in darkness. Still we walked around in the dark looking at the different temples and idols.

The temple from the front Nandis

It’s a pretty huge structure with huge guard statues inside and outside the temple with a green garden on the outside. The chola temples are now under the central archelogical department, which means the temple priests have limited power and less prayers take place. The good thing for some of the temples though are the temple grounds are well looked after, clean and pretty serene. Also foreigners are allowed into these temples.

Twilight

When we were circling the temple, we came upon the Durga sannidhi and I was blown over by the beauty of devi. I sat down outside to sing as we slowly started losing the light. Mom was afraid of the dark spots around the temple and kept wanting us to leave but I really wanted to sit and sing. I remember singing one of my fav songs and when the line Brahmani para bhramani para kala bhairava bhairavi came - a dog appeared out of nowhere and just stood next to me. Dogs are supposed to be the manifestation of bhairavar. So I was pretty surprised. He just waited for me to finish singing, didn’t bark, didn’t sniff, didn’t follow anyone else and just waited for us.

Nandis

When I finished and got up, it followed us out without any sound. When we reached the front it stopped and just looked at us. I was surprised it didn’t follow us to the drink stall nearby.

Anyway as I was getting out, I saw 2 old people begging there. Usually I wouldn’t give anything but given we were the only tourist there for the last hour, I decided I might as well. These weren’t opportunist but really people who had nothing. 

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