Sculpture,painting and architecture

“There are three forms of visual art: Painting is art to look at, Sculpture is art you can walk around, and Architecture is art you can walk through” Dan Rice

Sculpture

location:Sri Dharmaraya Swamy temple at Bangaluru,India. Sculptured on granite stone.This temple sculpture is about 800 years old.

Architecture

Rock cut Hindu temple Architecture depicting Dravidian style of architecture, located in Namakkal,in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Image of the temple of Narasimhaswamy temple with famous Nammakal fort at the top of the hill on a sunny day with bright colours. This temple was built around 8th century.

Painting

Painting sketches done at the entrance gate of Bengaluru(India) Chickpet metro railway station
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KOLAM……..Art, science, tradition, behind the dots and lines of…. rice powder art

When I was young I was wonder struck to see the hand skills of my mother and grandmother to join the dots of white rice powder (dry or wet paste) on the floor of inside and outside entrance of the house and at prayer place in the house to create design patterns with sound reason and a purpose. This art is popularly known as “kolam”. This decorative hand art is done in temple premises too. These designs are believed to produce positive cosmic forces and vibrancy to the environment.

Kolam art done at Srirangam temple,Tamil Nadu,India for a temple festival

This freehand drawing of kolam art is popular in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. However, in other parts of India this fine art is styled differently. When you use color powder this art takes the name of ‘Rangoli”.

Over these years many times I used to recollect my memories on the creative manifestation of my mother and grandmother’s visual grammar on the subject with only traditional oral training in the house on this art of KOLAM. (History · ‎Variants · ‎Patterns · ‎Research)

Kolam art competition at Chennai,India

Now I am 67 years old and I thought why not I share my thoughts on this wonderful freehand drawing of scientific art patterns with my blog readers to invoke further thoughts and research on this unique art of Tamil tradition.Also fascinating to explore how Kolam and Rangoli patterns have caught the attention of researchers worldwide.

Traditionally kolams are believed to invoke auspiciousness, divinity and ward off evils. This ritual art of kolam is ubiquitous cutting across barriers of creed, caste, rural, urban, rich, poor, educated and illiterate in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.

Kolams are drawn daily in the prayer room or place where the prayer lamp is kept. But one could notice in some of the Tamil speaking very orthodox and traditional Vaishnavites households in the temple city of Srirangam near Tiruchirapalli town in Tamil Nadu in India that the lines in their format of kolams are bent and not straight lines. I tried to know the reasons from the locals and I was not successful.


Photo location:Ekambareswarar Temple, a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity lord Shiva, located in the town of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, India.

 There are specific kolams attributed to occasions and deities.  It has been a practice (as daily chores of life) that this art is done only by women of the household from time immemorial. Why it is so I am unable get the answer.

 Normally raw rice flour is pinched between the thumb and finger and rubbed together on the floor while moving the hand continuously to create good patterns and designs. To master this art one requires constant practice and concentration.

Kolam art is done on a granite stone pillar at
Narasimhaswamy temple in Namakkal, a town in Namakkal district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, dedicated to the Hindu god Narasimha, an avatar of Vishnu.

  Kolam patterns are infinite. It decorates all events, occasions (except death), home and temple festivals celebrated by Hindus across India. (Click the following links for kolam patterns)Images for kolam……… Kolam Stock Photos & Kolam Stock Images – Alamy….. simple kolam images…..kolam images with dots….pulli kolam images..kolam photos tamilnadu…….   Images for chantel jumel kolam…..( Devdutt Pattnaik explains the significance of kolam designs)

Kolam dot designs influenced in designing what is popularly known in Madurai Of Tamil Nadu in India as SUNGUDI saris.Sungudi saris are hand loom woven on pit looms. Kolam patterns influence in connecting dots and patterns of such sari designing with plank dyed contrast borders with zaris.

 

History and origin of kolam is ambiguous but the science of kolam is beyond artistic colors, shapes, dots, designs and cultural boundaries. However some early references to the origin of word” kolam” in Tamil is recorded in the 13th century inscriptions found in Tirunelveli, referring to the duties performed by Hindu temple women, cleaning the temple floors and decorating it with ‘Kolams”. Some references on Kolam are also found in Tamil literature “Tiruppāvai”. Also references one can find in the twin epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata.

 

Ethnographers, scientists and poets across globe equally appreciated their share of research in kolams’ dots, lines and curves.

Most Kolam patterns and designs include the use of concepts from calculus and applied mathematics. Dr Gift Siromoney of Madras Christian College studied kolam designs to develop picture languages. To know in details more about the scientific influence of kolam, please click the following links. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/_. – ‎Related articles..

I conclude my thoughts on “Kolam” in the words of Gustav Mahler that “Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.”

Delight of capturing sunset colors on the first day of 2019


 “A sunset will color your dreams. And a sunrise will color your smile.
It’s all God asks.” ― Anthony T.Hincks

“A dawn always promises a new beginning,
Whereas… A sunset always promises a beautiful ending.” ― Anthony T. Hincks

Photography is a way of feeling………..From my photo junction….2018 (select)

“The camera is much more than a recording apparatus, it is a medium via which messages reach us from another world.”
– Orson Welles

“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”
– Robert Capa

“When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear.”
– Alfred Eisenstaedt

“I believe photographers should shoot what they want, not shoot what they get.” 
– Roberto Valenzuela

“A camera is a SAVE button for the mind’s eye.”
– Roger Kingsto

Wish fulfilling temples in Bengaluru….Belief systems……Karyasiddhi Anjaneya, Narasimha Meru, Muneeswarar, Dharmaraya Swamy, Chokkanathaswamy, Nimishamba Devi…

Traveling across in India is a thrilling experience.  India’s diverse culture,language and its history associated with divinity, belief system and miracles are very unique. In the second week of this month I traveled widely in and around the city of Bangalore or Bengaluru, popularly known as Silicon Valley of India. I was keen to visit heritage spaces that stand out for many reasons in the nooks and crannies of this grand city.

I have selected to visit the following wish fulfilling Hindu temples in Bengaluru to experience the conviction of the devotees visiting over there.They are: Karyasiddhi Anjaneya, NarasimhaMeru,Muneeswarar, Dharmaraya Swamy, Chokkanathaswamy and Nimishamba Devi temple.

 Before getting into the nitty gritty of the subject I wish my heartfelt Christmas and Bright 2019 New Year Greetings to all my blog readers and followers.

 Karya Siddhi Anjaneya Temple

Thousands of devotees’ mostly youngsters’ visits the Panchamuk Karya Siddhi Hanuman temple everyday located at Avadhoota DattaPeetham, Girinagar, Bangalore. ((Karya – means any wish; Siddhi –fulfilled).   

On Saturdays and Tuesdays this temple is overcrowded. For fulfilling one’s wishes a type of pooja styled as“Poorna PhalaSamarpana” is prescribed with certain procedure. Alcoholic drinks and-non-vegetarian food has to be stopped during this period.

Devotees with a wish to fulfill has to necessarily visit the temple to purchase the coconut officially with receipt number  and dates written on it and after taking Sankalpam (praying to god with their wish) they tie the coconut at appropriate place as directed by the temple authorities.

After tying the coconut one has to recite the following Karya Siddhi Anjaneya mantra 108times per day as per one’s convenient time.

Twamasmin Kaarya Niryoge…Pramaanam Hari Sattama ….Hanumaan Yatnamaasthaaya…….Dhukkha Khaya KarooBhava

Also the devotees should visit the temple and make 41 Pradhakshinas (The action of walking clockwise round a person or deity as a mark of respect) at least twice a week.

This procedure should continue for 16 days from the date of Sankalpam and on 16thday they untie the coconut and offer either to temple or  the same can be taken back home and prepare sweets dishes and distribute among family, friends, and relatives. If a devotee fails to turn on the 16th day the temple authorities untie them and use it for temple Prasad preparations.

SRI HARI VAIKUNTA KSHETRA Narasimha Swamy Temple:

Sri Hari Vaikunta Kshetra is a Narasimha SwamyTemple in Bangalore located in the area of Roopena Agrahara,Hosur Main Road ,has 400 years of history. It is one of its kinds in India with “Narasimha Meru”.

 ‘Narasimha Meru’- a chakra specially made for Lord Narasimha Swamy that has all Mantras (Bejakshra) related to Lord Narasimha Swamy.     

Devotees visiting this temple have strong conviction that doing 48pradakshana carrying tuvoor dal (split pigeon peas) in the palm around Narasimha Meru will clear kuja dosha (health,financial, business and any other personal problems)

Swathi Nakshatra day sees special poojas to the deity here. One can witness thousands of people offering prayers inside the temple on every Swathi Nakshatra.

Muneeswarar– Temple

 This  temple is located in Hosur road near Christ University is very unusual in all aspects. Here you find the lord without priest. Unlike other Hindu temples no dome is constructed and it is open to the sky.Its origin,according to regular devotees, date back to more than 100 years. Devotees take vows in front of Muneeswarar statue to get god’s blessings and on fulfillment they come back to temple with their offerings as a form of thanks giving to lord Muneeswarar. Devotees come here from different parts of India.

Devotees have strong conviction that unusual method of offering prayers to lord almighty Muneeswarar in this temple would lock their miseries and unlocks immeasurable happiness and prosperity to their family members.

Unusual worshiping

This structure is surrounded by two big elevated rocks.One could observe both Saivites and Vishnavite religious symbols on it topping with small horse statues in white color.

 Also one could notice bells and locks are tied on to trishulsymbol routed on the ground. No priests are there and the devotees themselves offer flowers, fruits and food articles (Curd rice and sweet Pongal rice) to the god and the same are distributed to all visitors to this temple on that day. My informal talk with some devotees present on that day of my visit believes in the offerings of cigarettes, liquor and chicken to the deity.

DharmarayaSwamy Temple – Builtin the Dravidian style, more than 800 years old is one of those rare temples dedicated to the Pandavas and Draupadi is located in Thigalarpet, the heart of Bangalore’s retail market district is frequented by thousands of devotees from all parts of India and from abroad. Bangalore’s oldest community festival‘Karaga Shaktyotsava’ is associated with this temple. (Images for karaga dance)    

Bangalorekaraga
2018..
….The festival involves several unique rituals and a spectacular procession primarily celebrated to honor Draupadi, the consort of Pandavas. (Bengalurukaraga.com.)

Domlur Chokkanathaswamy temple-

This lesser known 10th century temple located in Domlur,
old airport road in Bangalore is dedicated to Lord Vishnu although named after Lord Shiva.

If you want to experience what is cosmic energy then you must visit this temple complex. There are 13 cosmic (pranic) points in the temple area. three of them are inside the sanctorum and ten of them are outside marked with white painted small square points.

Pranic point marked in the temple premises for praying

The common belief is praying for fulfillment of your wish standing on the exact locations marked here for a minute and do Pradhakshinas would radiate positive energy and would bring change of fortunes and good things in life in you according to the temple priests working here for years. On week ends you may notice many devotees waiting in queue to perform their prayers to fulfill their wishes.

Pranic point marked in the temple premises for praying

Another unique feature of this age old temple is sun rays fall on the deity directly at sunrise especially during the end of February to first week of march and also during September to October of every year.That is during the summer and winter solstices.

 Nimishamba Devi Temple

Nimishamba Devi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Nimishamba Devi located at Raja Rajeshwari Nagar, Bangalore.

 This temple is designed as per the Agama Sastras, constructed with red laterite stone (one of its kind in the city of Bangalore) in the traditional Parashurama Kshetra architecture style.

This temple has the shrines of Devi Nimishamba,Moukthikeswara (Siva), Siddhi Vinayaka, Lakshmi Narayana and Saraswathi. Devotees visiting this temple believe that they are getting instant boons granted by goddess Nimishamba.It is believed that Nimishamba will remove all the problems and troubles of her devotees within a minute and hence the name Nimishamba (Nimisha means 60 seconds) “Nitya Chandika Homa” is being performed at the Yajna Shala, in the temple premises.

 On my way back I was loudly recollecting what I studied sometime back that ‘People want both God and wealth”…. “Self is a matter of experience, not of intellectual understanding.”



 

 












Thiruvathigai………..Veerattaneswarar


On 28th November, 2018 I made a very casual trip to an ancient village town known as Thiruvathigai near Punruti, Cuddulore district in Tamil Nadu state of India.

The district had an unusual visitor just two weeks before my visit there in the name of  kaja cyclone leaving havoc on all walks of life.

I was very much determined to go there and did not cancel my journey tickets.

 I was very much delighted to pay a visit to the Thiruvathigai (shiva stalangal 108) known for its rich history, art and belief systems and I made it finally to share my thoughts and pictures.

 Unique cultural heritage, Tamil literature, poems, hymns and history associated with this historic place dates back to seventh century as per records.

 When I stepped into the main gates of Arulmigu veerattaneswarar Hindu temple at Thiruvathigai, I recalled how true the words of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe that “Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space”.

Architectural style, beautiful carvings and mural paintings on the ceilings of the main entrance mandapa of the temple and dance poses of  Bhart Nat yam (Images for bharatanatyam mudras) carved out minutely and chiseled on the granite stone pillars of this unique place testifies the fact that in the history of mankind it is simply not possible to overcome a single day without encountering architecture and technology. It is hundred percent true whenever one visit a space filled with architectural beauty decorated in tradition and history.

I got wonder struck when the temple priest narrated the following unique features associated with the temple.

 The shadow of the garbhagiraha Vimanam placed on the top of the main gopura does not fall on the ground at any season of the calendar year.


The idol Panchamuga (5faces) Lingam a rare piece of an architectural wonder placed inside the praharam (see the picture) cannot be found anywhere else. Four faces facing four directions and the fifth facing the sky.

The temple structure is in the shape of ratha (chariot)

  Poet saints of Tamil literature Thirunavukarasar, Ginyasambanthar and Sundarar referred this place in their hymns.

  One can conduct temple marriages, Shashti poorthi, Bhima ratha and Sada abiskekam functions in the temple premises with the blessing of god Almighty.

 Photo by stockresearch52There are around 108 sculptures representing the vivid style of “Thandavas in the dance cult of Bhathanatyam. 

: shiv tandav mudras

                                    

Main deity, lord Shiva, popularly known here as Veerattaneswarar, is suyambu with 16 stripes in the face of the lingam.

Temple’s goddess Periya Nayaki has got separate sanathi where Sri Yantra is kept on the ground in front of the goddess.

 One can find 5ft Buddha statue also in the open space leading to 16 kaal mandapam.

This unique temple town located near the river Kedilam has very unique feature of producing talents in wooden crafts over nine generations.

I went to Mr.R.Rangachari’s wooden workshop (ninth generation on the job) located on the Palur road to know about rich history behind the preparations of temple wooden carvings, cart, moola vigraham, utsava vaganangal, Kodi maram and so on.

He shared fully his expertise on the type of woods used in all preparations and the traditional tools that are used in the making of these wonderful wooden temples’ decorative with colorful paintings.

In his explanation I could easily notice his vivacity and élan about the ancient temple wooden art and craftsmanship. His minute details on the engineering aspects of the subject conveyed the quality of his sheer passion for the job.

The sad part currently is the dwindling nature of demand for their products. In the same time encouraging aspect is the spread of this unique talent to other parts of the globe. As a result some demand is trickling of late with some business opportunities.

I wished him and other members all the best and left the place by recollecting what I read in my younger days that “Talent is truth on display”.