Under my byline

No more sacred

Posted in Architecture/Design, Art by Rrishi on 16 March 2009

Shore Temple, MamallapuramBS blog 2

When the tide rose high at Mamallapuram, the tourist guides told us, small sluices used to be opened to allow sea water into the Shore Temple. Then the reclining Vishnu in the garbha-griha, lit by lamps, would appear to rest on a sheet of water.

That was in 1990, when the temple was still approached across sand and rocks. Then it was something elemental, even as a child I could see that. Now the temple sits in the middle of a lawn, landscaped earthworks separate it from the sea, and a crazy-paved path fringed with ropes leads brazenly up to the doorway. And the temple has been reappropriated: families enter with the tawdry paraphernalia of worship.

Now the Shore Temple is modern; it is no longer capable of awakening the pagan roots of your soul. It is no more sacred than Parliament House.

(Our master who art in office ordered us to blog for the company, once a month each. This is my second post.)


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