Thanthondreeswarar Temple (Kanchipuram - Tamil Nadu)

When History repeats Itself!!!
Flash Back to Flash Front and the Challenge Ahead!!!
Well, I always say, the world is afterall NOT a global village. A lifetime is not enough for me to visit every place, just within India!!! That's why I try my best to see a place thoroughly when I venture somewhere, coz visiting a place for a second time, seems just not possible, when there are so many new places to be ventured!!!! Going to any place for the second time is always a challenge to me. So much like how going for the same movie twice, for a college goer would be!!!!! When I think of it, what comes to my mind is why should I go there, when so many places I haven't been to are there!!!!!
Last time when I visited Kanchipuram (posted about it here, here and here), I badly wanted to visit Thanthondrishwarar temple, but sadly had to skip it!
Finally this time, I took up the challenge to push myself to visit the place for the 2nd time! Remember, sometime back, I wrote a post on this temple???? There was something very unique about it! Yes, it was me, when I was two and a half years old... Yes, I visited this temple once again!!!!
Well, the temple is called the Thanthondriswara Temple. It was built by the Pallavas! Some say its pre-7th C while some say its about 10th C. In any case, it was Pallavas. When we ventured this time, the temple was locked and I could not see the Sanctum Sanctorum. I went around the temple to see if I could spot the same relief sculptures that I has shot with, long back! And I managed to find them too.
Remember I told you about Mattavilasa Prahasana in my post on Dhusi Mamandur? Mattavilasa Prahasana was a play written by Mahendra Varma Pallava in 6th - 7th C. Its a comical literature that talks about the various aspects of Kapalika and Pasupata saivaite sects, Jainism and Buddhism, that the king pokes fun of! 
Then...
...and now. The same person and same spot but after 2 decades!!!
Then....
...and now. The same person and same spot but after 2 decades!!!
As I took the circum-ambulation around the temple, there are 7 relief panels that depict the Mattavilasa Prahasana! The hero of the story is Kapali. His drunken dance and antics are depicted here, called the Kapalika Unmatha Nadanam...
I am so so glad that I visited the place. I relished seeing the same place with my own eyes, of which I have memories, only through photographs. Sadly, very sadly, the entire temple has been covered to tiles, in the name of renovation or improvisation or whatsoever that I don't understand!!! Just the panels have been spared and the rampant and mindless renovation. A lot of cement are seen spilled on the panels too!!!!! 
Its high time the ASI, brought the temple under its wings. The challenge ahead is to stop any more damage to the temple and to clear the damage that's already done, in the name of renovation and to relish what's possibly the only existing archaeological, sculptural depiction of 6th C literature work!!!!!
P.S: This post is an entry for the Relish the Challenge contest by Cinthol.

TO GET THERE:
Its located hardly 200m before Jwarahareshwara temple, to the left, on the road to Ekambaranathar Temple. 
Refer the route to those 2 temples, on my earlier post.

Dedicated to Gopu, Siva & Vishwa

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

21 comments:

  1. Great photos dear :)!!

    New post on My blog ---> urbanfashionstylee.blogspot.mx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Team G! So is the Pallava Marvel!!! :)

      Delete
  3. i have been there too and am surprised and saddened to see the new "restoration" work being carried on..but your reference to the temple friezes is pretty new info to me...i will check it out next time i hot kanchi- which is pretty often by the way considering its my moms native place and we have relatives there and in thirukalukundram

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh! Kanchi is your mom's native? Wow!!!
      And yeah, indeed the tiles made me so depressed.... :( :( :(

      Delete
  4. Lovely post. I feel a life time is not adequate even to understand our heritage hidden in a State like Tamilnadu.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true!!! Thank you so much PNS Sir! :)

      Delete
  5. Srinivasan- as if the usual pink and blue slosh on the old precious temples was not bad enough! tiles.... .indeed! one's sure there must be a tale behind the tiles!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah! The tiles make the whole place look like a modern structure!! :(
      Thanks for visiting and commenting Srinivasan! :)

      Delete
  6. One individual lawyer from Kanchipuram did this renovation in spite of protests not to spoil the temple as the sand stone structures where evident. Inside, the mahamandapa was filled with white lime, which we cleaned and gave the pillars their original stone colour, but this guy didn't pay us our material or labour costs! So much for saving heritage! How come HR&CE remaions a silent spectator allowing individuals to restore temple the way they want? ASI, State archeology both are full of red tapisim and a long legal battle to get any temple under their wings. Unless, public become aware and protest, this become a mass movement, temples cannot be saved from such shoddy renovations

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment REACH!!!
      Its indeed a sad state of affairs...

      Delete
  7. beautiful photos...

    nice narration...

    a nostalgic moment to you...

    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  8. same person same spot, great ! Sad to see the Pasting of granite slabs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sudhir! I was so depressed to see those tiles! :(

      Delete
    2. Great Bushavalli. Thanks to Gopu's mail. Otherwise I would have missed it. Yes I appreciate your sense of time by showing pictures of then and now. I liked your sense of perception; knowing grain from chaff. Even now I wonder how I spent all my life without seeing all these; though I can boast myself of having visited even the Giza Pyramid.
      I like the way you presented Mattavilasa Prahasana so effortlessly. What Satyasoma and Devasoma did, in sailor's parlance pub crawling and finding truth about various things obliquely told in an effort to bring back Saivism, is great!
      Keep posting and when you do something important as this send me a private mail so that I dont miss it!
      With Blessings
      Narasiah

      Delete
  9. Great Bushavali. I liked the pictures and the comments. Traveling back in time and comparing is an art by itself. Yo have done it exceedingly well. But for Gopu's mail I would have missed it. When you do post something as important as this, pl send me a private mail so that I do not miss it. At this age and time I feel I have missed quite a lot in our own country while I can boast of having visited many important locales such as Giza pyramid. I admire your ability to differentiate Grain from Chaff. Good
    Regarding Mattavilasa Prahasana, being a sailor I would say the pub crawling Satyasoma and Devasoma represent the sentiments of the time s well depicted. Religion always played the most important role in society. Therefore I dont give much space to the argument on secularism. This paly depicts M Varman's desire to bring back saivism in all its glory back when Jainism had taken roots. Anyway that is a different thread and let us leave it at that.
    Kudos and blessings
    Narasiah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Narasiah Sir,
      I am indeed thrilled to have your comment on my blog!!!
      Thank you so much for taking time to comment here! :)
      Thank you so much for your appreciation!!! :)

      Delete

Thanks for visiting...!
Why not leave a comment.?
And tell your friends..!!!

cookieassistant.com