Wonder in sandstone
This article is to people who sacrifice Sunday morning slumber for photography, to 3am calmness, to foggy morning drives, to interesting conversations and of course wonderful photographs and locations.
It’s 3 AM in the morning and my alarm started ringing. I can’t afford to snooze it today, as this alarm is to wake me up for the photowalk at Kanchipuram. I woke up, got ready without making the morning rattling as it would disturb the slumber of others.
I got ready and my scheduled Uber picked me up on time and dropped me at my pick-up point. Allwyn picked me up and we drove our way towards Koyambedu and picked up Karthik Vimaliah (popularly known to us as Karthick 360) and his wife and we were on our way to Guindy which is the common point for most of us on the trip. We met other Karthick Ulaganathan, Mahesh Selvam, Kishore, and Katta Lavanya at Guindy. After a very brief meeting, we started our trip to the city of thousand temples – Kanchipuram.
One thing I adore about these outside city photo walks, is to watch the city vanish in our rear-view mirrors as we drive on empty roads leaving behind the traffic, watching sun rising from its slumber painting the sky with lilac tints and the freedom that I feel as I move away from the rattling of the city. It was all surreal and real at the same time.
When I gaze at this view, I feel the magnanimity of this life and slowly all those demons in my head doesn’t feel as fierce as they seem.
Near Sriperumdur, Siva (popular known as Singam), Johny along with Sathish Kumar and his wife Kiruthika joined us. We decided to make a pit stop at Saravana Bhavan at the outskirts of Kanchipuram to ensure we fully wake up from our siesta.
After our pit stop, we drove towards Kailasanatha temple in Kanchipuram. I love how Kanchipuram town welcomes you, silently in smiles and lets you relax before it offers new stories.
We reached the temple and it was almost empty except for couple of people who were also there for photography. After reaching there we met Prashant and Gnanasekar who directly came to the site for the photowalk.
King Rajasimha, of the Pallava dynasty, built this Kailasanatha (Shiva) temple in the early 8th century. It’s interesting to note the structures at Mahabalipuram was built by the same king.
It is an early structural temple maintained by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India), built of sandstone, and partly renovated in recent times. The modest scale of the temple, and the closeness of its enclosing wall, lend a feeling of intimacy to the surroundings. This place contains in embryo many of the features of the rapidly emerging South Indian style: gopuras, pilastered walls, a pyramidal shikhara, and a perimeter wall enclosing the complex. To put it shortly, it’s a wonder in sandstone.
Apart from the art and architecture, one more thing I loved about the place is the grass lawn. Since its still winter, the grass was covered with dew drops of the morning. It was extravagantly peaceful like a melody as the wind had some magic of its own. It nuzzled softly on our faces as the chirpings of parakeets whispered the sound of love and joy.
I wish I could to lie down on the grass until my hair becomes so wet, that somebody looking at me, might think I just came out from a shower. Since the site was maintained by ASI, it’s still a wish.
As you enter the temple, the first thing you will notice are the cell like structures (58 in total) forming the outer wall with perfect symmetry and spacing providing a mesmerizing viewing.
These cells substitute the straight lines on a drawing board and provides space to work on the sculptors inside.
Another aspect which is quite prevalent is the numerous Bulbous pillars with Lions in an alert position at the base and Nandi the Bull being placed at various locations, this shows Pallava’s great interest with the Lion figures and Nandi the Bull as it was their Royal Emblem.
After relishing the virtuosity of the sculptures, we were planning to depart and there was a whole set of school students who were coming in and we decided to conclude our walk. During the walk, we had some thought-provoking colloquies which vindicates another exclusive blog article. For now, I am sharing some of the portrayals of those curious colloquies.
Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold but other times its essential to take time off and to make sure your important decision of the day consists of which side of the grass lawn to walk on. Today was one such day. A Sunday well spent.
I am indebted for all the populace who made this photo walk stamped on our memories and special credits to organisers and of course to the almighty who kept us safe throughout the whole trip.
– Vijay runs his own personal blog at https://stalkinglight.wordpress.com/ and visit his Instagram feed athttps://www.instagram.com/stalking.light/