Thursday, September 21, 2006

Great Temples In Desolate Ruins

Keezha Pazhayaarai, a temple near Kumbakonam, was once a great temple. Built in the 7th Century (around 660 A.D.). Worshipped daily by King RajaRaja Cholan - the Great Chola Emperor, history has ever seen. His son Rajendra Cholan was brought up by King RajaRaja Cholan's sister - Kundavai Naachiar - at this place. But the great temple is desolate ruins now, with the ruined Raja Gopuram (Front tower), act of time, plant growth on the walls that surround temple. King Kulothunga Cholan maintained and renovated parts of the temple and he built the 7-tier Raja Gopuram of which only one remains now. Take a look at the pictures of this great temple that has stood around 1500 years. The government started off the renovation in 1989 but stopped abruptly and has been ignorant till date. It is still not too late to save the temple. This is one of the temples that I visited recently. When we went there, only a old lady, Rukmani Ammal, took us around the temple. Tears almost came out our eyes when she told that she would like to see the Kumbabhishekam before in her life, which might not be probable. It really burdens our heart that the we don't have the thought that Rukmani Ammal has. There are more good hearted people who could help renovate this great temple. Hats off to the great lady!




The main entrace, Raja Gopuram, to the temple (only the first tier remains)




Closeup view of the first tier




Side view of the Raja Gopuram




View of the Raja Gopuram from inside the temple




Somakamalaambikai Amman Temple inside




The Great Temple (Mandapam and Vimanam)
In the photo - Yamanoor (taking picture), Pradeep,
Rukmani Ammal - The lady who took us around the temple, Vijayendran




The Temple Mandapam design in the shape of a chariot pulled by horses




View of the Temple Vimanam



Exit door from the temple shrouded with bushes and plants



The Mandapam - View from near the Vimanam




Could have been possibly a Mandapam or Corridor




Trees grown on the temple walls - a sign of slow destruction



Trees grown on the temple walls - a sign of slow destruction




Inside the first tier of the Raja Gopuram




Inside the first tier of the Raja Gopuram
(Vijayendran and Pradeep)



View of Temple's Inner gopuram from inside the first tier of the Raja Gopuram



View of Temple's Inner gopuram from inside the second tier of the Raja Gopuram



A headless Nandhi statue


A headless Nandhi statue


There another great temple that is almost in ruins now. The Veerabadhirar Temple at Darasuram, which is even older than the Airavatheshwarar Temple at Darasuram, which was built during the 12th Century. The Airavatheshwarar Temple at Darasuram is maintained by the Archaelogical Society of India however these two temples were ignored, reason unknown. The Veerabadhirar temple also has another speciality, that the famous poet Ottakoothar attained his Jeeva Samadhi (Grave) here.




The Raja Gopuram of The Veerabadhirar Temple - Darasuram



The Raja Gopuram of The Veerabadhirar Temple - Darasuram
(From inside the temple)



The Mandapam inside the Veerabadhirar Temple - Darasuram


These are the invaluable treasures our ancestors left for us and for the generations to come. Its our heritage, our pride and our possession that cross the borders of caste, creed and religion. We neeed to protect these heritage sites for our next generations. 


More to come, until then...

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

photos samayaa irukku.. andha rukmini ammala nenacha manasu kastamaa irukku prabhu!

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks Priya! Yes, Rukmani Ammal avangalukku sambalam yedhum kedayadham. She does it out her own interest and dedication. Only the Koil Gurukkul is paid by the Swami Malai Board and that too a meagre amount. But her good-heartedness and the faith she has in the temple is really appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Prabhu, Ippadi patta vishayathai kondu vanthathukku. Hmmm...Ippadi ethanaiyo kovilgal gavanikka padama Tamizh nadu-la niraiyaa irukku. Many countries are preserving their heritageous buildings and monuments for future generations to let them know about past. Money does matter in taking up such things. Appadiye renovate pannaalum antha kovil evlo varumaanam tharumnu ninaichi thaan panraanga. Hats off to Rukmani Ammal for her confidence!!!

ambarish said...

anbirkuriya prabhu,

thangal muyarchi miga chirandhadhu,
udayar sri raja raja thevar kaalathil sezhithu vilangiya ithirukovilin indraya nilai ninaikum pozhudhu adi manadhil irundhu oru inam theriyadha dhukkam paaygiradhu. neengal alitha Ovvoru padangalum oru sarithira kadhayai kondirukum ena en mana oattam therivikiradhu.
andha sarithira nayagan rajarajan kaal pathindha idathil indha siriyen thalai vananga aasai padukiren. ithirukoviluku sellum vazhiyinai thangalidam edhir parkiren.


endrum anbudan
ambareesan

R.Prabhu said...

@Anonymous
Thanks anon!

@Ambarish.

Nandri! The Keezha Pazhayaarai is near Darasuram, which is a few kilometres from Kumbakonam. If you reach Darasuram, Keezha Pazhayaarai is about 3 to 4 kms south of Darasuram and all people at Darasuram would show you the direction to this historical temple. If you reach there and the temple is closed. Knock the doors of Rukmani Ammal, she will take you through the temple. A good hearted lady!

Enakku Thamizhil Badhil solla thaan aasai, irupinum, Thamizh theriyadha pala nanbargalukkaga idhanai Aangilathil therivikiraen. Mannikavum!

ambarish said...

anbirkuriya prabhu,

Thangal bathiliukku mikka nandri. Ithirukovilukku sendru vandhu vittu marupadiyum ungaludan thodarbu kolgiren.

endrum anbudan
ambareesan

Ravi said...

Prabhu,
stumbled upon your blog from your comment on PrabuKarthik's. And thank God that I did not miss such a nice blog. Great work! I love your posts which highlight our culture and tradition.

Very true on the state of these temples. That is why I am against building new temples when so many old, architecturely magnificient temples in India are in ruins. Hope the government (and public too) realise the treasure trove which we have and appreciate & preserve them.

R.Prabhu said...

@Ambarish
Thanks, hope you have a nice trip and see those ancient wonders

@Ravi
Thanks Ravi! Sure you are absolutely right!

Amal said...

Hi Prabhu,
Great work.. I am took more time to read the article since u know my proficiency in Tamil. I really appreciate you for the work..

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks! Amal, yeah I understand and thanks for the effort! :)

ashok.madhavan said...

Great job prabhu. i am interested in history too. Nice to see that you are doing a great job.

regards
Ashok

R.Prabhu said...

Welcome Ashok
Good to hear that you are interested in our history and tradition. Thanks once again for coming by!!

Sathiyan said...

Hi Prabhu,

How to reach this temple?

R.Prabhu said...

Hi Sathyan!

The Keezha Pazhayaarai is near Darasuram, which is a few kilometres from Kumbakonam. If you reach Darasuram, Keezha Pazhayaarai is about 3 to 4 kms south of Darasuram. Everyone at Darasuram would show you the direction to this historical temple. If you reach there and the temple is closed, knock the doors of Rukmani Ammal, she will take you through the temple. A good hearted lady!