Saturday, January 01, 2005

Architectural Splendour

We left for Thanjavur on sat morn by around 6.30 am. We had hired a sumo taxi, we reached the magnificent Brihadeeswara temple, a real beautiful piece of architecture. The climate was also very pleasant. There was a Bharathanatyam dance recital by a few girls, one of them being a French girl. Frankly, I felt pretty nostalgic, and I felt this strong impulse to wear the silangai myself.
Next we went round the Serfoji palace-not very impressive. The library- Saraswathi mahal however remained closed due to it being republic day.
Then we went to Thiruvaiyyaru, saint Thyagarajars samadhi.the place was getting ready for the yearly Thyagarajaradhana festival. this place is so serene and silent usually, this time it was bustling with activity. The festival has begun and all the great singers perform during this festival and it is a real musical treat. On the last day of the festival , all the singers render the :Panchrathna Krithis: in unison , which is a sight to behold and to hear it, one feels rapturous!! ! They do relay it live on Podhigai ( tv channel) but to be at the place is something else- all small and great singers performing simultaneously!!!!Afterwards we left for Kumbhakonam.
We could not get rooms in any of the better hotels, them being fully booked, and finally we managed to secure a large room at the ARR hotel- not very good. In the evening we visited the Iravatheeswaran temple at Darasuram. A beautiful temple, the architecture was again beautiful.This temple was water logged tho and seems excavation is still going on. The temple was very crowded, it being Pradosham. So was the case with the Kumbheswaran temple.
The thing is, in T.nadu, the temples are very beautiful, but tho one is positively taken in by the architectural splendour, one does not feel much Bhakthi/devotion within the precincts due to poor maintainance and utter filth around the place-a real pity.
Next we went to the Sarangapani temple, which was again quite peaceful, cos this was a temple dedicated to Krishna, and it being Pradosham, everybody was going to the Shiva temples. The Gopuram was magnificent, the silai/ idol was that of lord Vishnu in Ananthashayanam- the reclining pose-.flanked by Lakshmi devi and Bhoomi devi.We retired for the day-we were very tired but refreshed in spirit. Next day, after breakfast, we left for Nageswaran koil-just as usual- but there were several Nataraja statues- it was sort of deserted-from there, we went to Thribhuvanam- I have few words to describe the place-.serene, beautiful-the main shrine was that of Sarabheswaran- an unusual vigraha/idol- an avathara/incarnation of Durga, Kali, Shiva and Brahma- all in one- the architecture was simply breathtaking, unfortunately photography was not allowed.We visited the Rahusthalam- very crowded, everybody became tired- the climate was not very comfortable either.
In the evening we went to the famed-Gangaikonda chozhan temple-a bit similar to the Thanjavur temple- the former having been constructed by the son of the king who constructed the latter. Beautiful, very well maintained-we took many snaps from here.The next day, we went to the Ayyappan temple and the St. Lourde church in Trichy. The church is very peaceful, it was imposing-serene. One felt calm, and at peace with existence.

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