Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Paradesi Synagogue - Mattancherry

India, as we all know, is a mix bag of all religions and this 'Unity in Diversity' has been our strength and weakness :)

Today's 'Temple Saga' reaches Mattancherry in Cochin where one can find a thriving Jewish community in the old quarter of Cochin called the Jew Town. The synagogue in Mattancherry is one of the prominent tourist attractions which was built in 1568. It is adjacent to the Malabar Palace Temple and they share a common wall. The land was offered to the Jewish community by the then Raja of Kochi, Sri Rama Varma.

Simple in construction without the ornate decorations, Paradesi synagogue displays a charm that draws our attention. I think the most striking element here would be the clock with Hebrew inscriptions. 'Paradesi' literally means 'Foreigners' and refers to the mixture of jews from Kodungalloor, Middle-East and Europe.

The synagogue is also a treasure-house of antiques and rarity from the tiles to chandeliers, from gold crown to brass-railed pulpit.

A couple of pictures from Old Cochin

Stamp issued in 1968 to commemorate the 400 Anniversary of the Synagogue

The color prompt was:

Raspberry, Tangerine and splash, smudge or pop of yellow

My net connection was down for the past few days and I am extremely sad to have missed last Friday. Anyways, going with better late than never...I am submitting my post :(

Linking it to PPF & SOC.

Courtesy: Google for images other than paintings and info.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Brihadeeswara Temple - Tanjavur

The colour prompt for this week was :

Red, Royal Blue and a splash, smudge or pop of Light Blue

This week I am staying down South with an architectural marvel, another Dravidian splendor, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1954 and which observed it's Millennium Celebrations in September 2010. It is located in Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu...Any guesses (my brothers and sisters) ??? (and let me also tell you with utmost pleasure that I have been here...thanks to my uncle and aunt who took me there years back during my college vacation. I experienced AWE! I also had the pleasure of watching Sonal Mann Singh mesmerizing the audience with her Odissi [traditional dance form of Odisha]...It was MAGICAL!!!)

Yes, it is the Brihadeeswara Temple, also called the Peruvudiar Kovil or the Periya Kovil (Big Temple) built by Raja Raja Chola 1 of the Chola Dynasty and was built in just 5 years from 1004 to 1009...considering that there were no cranes or any of the hi-fi modern machinery!!! Some interesting factors about this temple are that the Shikharam or the top most part of the tower seen as the circular part of the gopuram or the tower is supposed to be built in single stone weighing 60 tonnes and just imagine how the skilled labourers would have positioned it on top of 216 feet tall tower!!! It is believed that the temple doesn't cast it's shadow inside the temple premises as well and that is SOME kind of engineering and expertise which even the 21st century hi-tech engineers fail to present.

Acrylics, Texture base & Pen
Winsor & Newton Acrylic pad, 300gsm

This mammoth temple was built on the behest of Raja Raja Chola 1 by Kunjara Mallan Raja Raja Perunthachan. I have noticed that we are unaware of the creators of the many marvels surrounding us. According to Wikipedia he is the ancestor of  Dr.V.Ganapati Sthapati, (Founder of the Vastu Vedic Research Foundation) who was a renowned architect who adhered to the Vastu Shastra tradition. He built the famous 133' granite statue of Thiruvalluvar (of SOC week 1) near the Swami Vivekananda Memorial.

Dr.V.Ganapati Sthapati receiving Shilpaguru Award from the then President of India, Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam

Dr.Ganapati is the brain behind the initiation of The American University of Mayonic Science and Technology. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Padma Bhushan Award.

The chief deity is Lord Shiva, however the Goddess, Lord Subramania & Lord Ganesha shrines were added on in the later periods by different rulers of different dynasty.

A unique kind of painting style evolved during this period...may be that was what later on transformed into the exquisite Tanjavur Paintings.

 Mural found in the temple

 Painting on the roof of the temple

A Few other exemplary murals that has stood the test of time :)

Linking it to PPF & drool over the variety of artworks, please hop over :D 

In case you would like to own this piece - Brihadeeswara Temple, you can drop me a mail...for details please write in to

PS: Please do not forget to leave a comment...I would like to know what and how you feel :)

Thanks a ton for stopping by...and O, in case you would to be updated on what's happening here, please click Follow :)

Disclaimer: All the information and the images other than my paintings are the result of search in the Net. In case there is any erroneous info please do let me know and I will rectify it. Thanks!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Nellaiappar Temple - Tirunelveli (Mixed Media Art)

A 700 AD built temple of Dravidian architecture which is one of the largest temples in South India dedicated to Lord Shiva in Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu) by a Pandiyan King is what I have chosen this week for SOC Week 4. Spread over 14 acres of land it has various mandapams and ambalams for multitude of activities...the most famous being the Manimandapam with musical pillars that produces various pitches when struck. Somavara mandapam has 1000 pillared hall, Vasantha mandapam with a lovely garden, Thaamira ambalam, the Copper hall of Dance and Tamra Sabha adorned with intricate wood work...the temple itself is an architectural splendour.

Color prompt for the week:

Pink, Apple Green and a pop, splash, smudge of Dark Green

Acrylics, texture base & pen, A3 size
Winsor&Newton acrylic pad, 300gsm

The dark green can be seen on the gopuram or the tower like structure...can I call it smudge, SOC girls?!

Linking it to SOC, PPF & Mix it Monthly :)

Please do leave your comments...I would love to hear from you :D

ps: I was unable to make my visits last week...which will dealt with soon...thanks for your visits and patience :)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Jain Temple - Palakkad

Jainism still prevails among a few families in my small town and the greatest gift would be the 15th century Jain temple situated around 3 kms from Palakkad town. The area around this temple is called Janimedu and is located near the Kalpathy river. The primary deity is Chandraprabha and the temple displays images of Thirthankaras and Yakshinis. Something that we can help but notice is that the temple is devoid of ant's quite a simple and quiet temple. It does permeate an austere air. 

 Lavender looks more of blue here... :(

The temple I have tried to portray is the Old Jain temple before renovation. The temple has a different look now which was renovated last year but the old one is more dear to my heart...never have I seen the old structure though. The rites and everything associated with the temple is taken care of by a family from Karnataka who have been settled in Palakkad for ages. The priest however is a young boy who came over to a new land to perform the prayers and rites...who was in the process of learning the local tongue and who had immediately taken affection on the local kids that he even bought them dresses after his first visit from his hometown :)

The color prompt for this week:
Lavender, Gray & pop of Plum

A closer look:
 A view of the texture base

Can you see the glass beads??? I love 'em!!!

The 'bestest' thing that I came to know while going through the info about the temple is that our great poet Kumaranasaan wrote his epic Veenapoovu (Fallen Flower) in one of the Jain houses near by.

Linking it to SOC & PPF

Here's a sneak peak at my daughter's submission...pls do drop by to have a look at what this about-to-be -11year-old is up to :D 
Click HERE to visit her art... or click on the picture...