Revisiting our heritage
‘Temples of India: Tamil Nadu’ captures
the grandeur of some of the famous temples.
Nothing prepares you for the first sight of the majestic Brhadeeswara (Big) Temple in Thanjavur. The imposing gopuram, the spacious temple complex, the well-maintained lawns, the gigantic Nandi… truly a sight to behold!
Similar is the case with many other famous temples in Tamil Nadu. Some of these stunning temples form the subject of ‘Temples of India: Tamil Nadu,’ a DVD scripted and directed by Vamanan. Waves lashing against the rocks in Mamallapuram set the tone for this DVD presentation. The camera moves slowly and settles on the Shore Temple, one of the earliest rock cut temples of the State. The camera then pans on other famed spots such as Arjuna’s Penance and Varaha Avatar.
The drone of the tambura announces the Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam. Built on the island formed by the Cauvery and the Kollidam, this temple is believed to be the biggest functioning temple of worship in the world (156 acres).
The 72m-tall Rajagopuram is an architectural marvel. The temple, which has the rare distinction of being visited by all the Azhwars, is an important pilgrimage centre in Tamil Nadu.
From Srirangam, Vamanan heads for Chidambaram, the seat of yet another significant temple. The splendid complex which is the abode of Nataraja, The Cosmic Dancer, inspires awe and devotion at the same time.
As for the Big Temple, where the Thevarams took birth more than a thousand years ago, it attracts tourists from all across the globe. A world heritage site, this classic example of Chola architecture is captured in all its grandeur. So is its miniature version at Gangaikondacholapuram.
The other temples that Vamanan captures on film include the spectacular Arunachaleswara Temple at Tiruvannamalai, the Siva temples at Tiruvottriyur and Tiruvaiyaru.
However, as the camera moves, one misses the beauty of Madurai Meenakshi temple, the statuesque presence of Kanchipuram’s Varadaraja Perumal and 1000-pillared Rameswaram, to mention a few. Will they appear in another edition?