Punnai mara vaahanam

Lord Kothandaramar on Punnai mara vaahanam

Lord Kothandaramar on Punnai mara vaahanam 

Krishna’s gopi vastrapaharan has been described in earlier blogs. Today, I witnessed Lord Kothandramar in Punnai mara vaahanam. Local devotees explained that this vahanam is to highlight the vastrapaharan episode and the related philosophical concepts.

6th day of the Kothandaramar temple festival, West Mambalam.

The Chennai Photowalk #111

More information on punnai trees and temples: http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/the-tree-that-cures/article5962870.ece

 

 

Little known gem of Kanchipuram

Vaikunta Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram, Pallava 7-8 Century C.E

Vaikunta Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram, Pallava 7-8 Century C.E

I was not aware of the Vaikunta Perumal Temple of Kanchipuram till now. If you are amazed by the Kailasnatha temple, you will be stunned by Vaikunta Perumal temple. This 7 century Pallava temple has bas-relief sculptures all over the walls – divine images as well as battle scenes, everyday life etc. Sadly, a lot of the sandstone sculptures are eroded and were plastered by ASI in an attempt to stop further damage.

The temple is in three levels – Vishnu is in sitting posture in the main sanctum. At the next level, approachable by a narrow stairway, he is Ranganathar, in lying posture. At the third level, which we did not see, he is in standing posture.

 

The picture was taken with phone camera (Redmi 4 Note) and tweaked on Snapseed. #phoneography.

Lesser known Rathams of Mamallapuram

Pidari Ratham at Mahabalipuram

Pidari Ratham at Mahabalipuram

Very few visitors to Mamallapuram get to see the Pidari Ratham and Valian kuttai (Valayankuttai) rathams.These are located about 500 mtrs West of Arjuna’s penance and can be reached by road. The entrance to the complex is close to ECR.

Both rathams are unfinished structures carved out of huge boulders. The work has begun from the top but the bottom is not completed. They resemble huge ‘Chettiar bommais’ at the bottom. The sanctums are also not complete and one is not sure for which god(s) these are meant for.

Valian kuttai ratham at Mahabalipuram

Valian kuttai ratham at Mahabalipuram

Map of Mamallapuram. Courtesy: Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation

map of mamallapuram (TTDC)

map of mamallapuram (TTDC)

In the sanctum of Valian kuttai rathamWhen we reached the Valiankuttai ratham, a man was peacefully sleeeping in the niche, oblivious of the visitors.

Rama’s archery

Ellore - Ramayana Panel - Rama pierces 7 trees

Ellora – Ramayana Panel – Rama pierces 7 trees

In Kishkintha Kaandam, Sugreeva approaches Rama to help him overcome his brother Vaali, who has usurped his kingdom (and wife). Rama consents as he  needs the vaanaras’ help in locating Sita.

Sugreeva needs some reassurance of Rama’s ability. To prove, Ram takes an arrow from his quiver and shoots into a sal tree. The arrow penetrates seven trees as well as some subterranean layers of the earth and returns to his quiver. Sugriva is very pleased and prepares to call Vaali for a duel. The above scene is depicted in miniature in Cave 16 of Ellora (Kailash cave) in the Ramayana Panel. 8th Century CE

What follows Vaali vadham – a highly debated episode in the Ramayana. That is for another post.