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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Avudayar Koil - Poetry in Stone

Tirupperunturai  known as Avudayar Koil, is a Siva  temple situated near Aranthangi in Pudukottai district of Tamilnadu. This is one of 275 revered Thevara Sthalams and is more than 1000 years old. The Tamil saint Manikkavacakar, who was Prime Minister during the rule of the Pandya Kings, is said to have converted the king to the cult of Siva and built the temple with money that had been intended for war-horses.The presiding deity is formless (Atmanatar); there is no Siva Lingam but only a pedestal {Avudayar} located in the sanctum, hence the name Avudayar Koil. His consort is worshipped as Siva Yoga Nayaki in iconless form. This temple also does not have a Nandi, Chandikeswarar, Dakshinamurhty or Dwaja Sthambam. The Temple is unique in that it is South facing instead of the traditional East facing.
There is a separate sanctum for Saint Manickavacakar with daily Pujas and he gets importance during festival time.
Legend: The temple is administered by Nambiar Brahmins. As per legend there were originally 300 Brahmin families plus Siva himself who lived amongst them incognito, teaching their children Vedas and he was in turn being fed by the Brahmins. One day the Siva disappeared and then the Lord appeared in the children's dreams asking them to offer food to temple deity every day without fail. And till today the tradition of offering food in the form of steaming hot rice to the Siva continues. We were lucky to witness hot cooked rice being poured on a square stone platform in front of the Avudayar. No sooner the rice is poured there is a hissing sound and a cloud of steam rises and engulfs the sanctum..
This temple has some of the most amazing, intricate & exquisite sculptures some of which are presented here. What you see below is virtually "Poetry in Stone"
Manickavacagar as a Saint
Manickavacagar as Minister of the Pandya King - see how the folds of his top garment have been sculpted. You can also see the ornate design of the head gear.
Lady bedecked with jewelery
Another view of the lady with an array of splendid & ornate jewels
See the Lady's beautifully plaited hair - all in stone
The magnificent jewelery from another angle
Lady mounted on swan ( only her lower torso visible)-look at the detailed ornamentation
 Frontal view of Lady on Swan

39 comments:

  1. oh!
    really........

    Poetry in Stone....
    Lovely pics.

    regards.
    anu

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  2. What you says is very right - poetry in stone. Each and every sculpture is beautiful!

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  3. My friend Ram,
    This is some very deep, deep stuff!! I am amazed by "poetry in stone". Thank you for inviting me to view and appreciate these timeless pictures. Well done my friend. I love this stuff!!!

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  4. Magnificent statues - i adore that calm and beautiful expression they have!

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  5. 1000 years old! My goodness! It's like being in the presence of something that has immortalized its presence.

    I like the way they seem to "look down" - rather sternly - from where they are perched. Beautiful photos.

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  6. very beautiful sculptures..the plaited hair n ornaments are adorable :)

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  7. The intricate sculptures are beautiful, and wonderfully well preserved.

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  8. just incredible detail. very well titled.

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  9. That's interesting: the fact that this is a Shiva temple without a Shivling and yeah...I can imagine what it must be like when the hot rice is served. You really are fortunate to have seen that scene with all that steam and all.

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  10. You are really lucky to see these...and also thanks for sharing . The sculptures are really nice...I liked the lady with ornamentation...she is wearing the hair accessories...one with Moon design and another with Sun design on it.. :-)

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  11. Liked your blog, Always mesmerized when my dad used to narrate these things to me. One of my relative is working in temple kitchen preparing the hot rice every day. Irrespective of multiple and better job offers, He is sticking to his objective of serving this deity. Kudos!

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  12. Its definitely poetry in stone. Lovely sculptures.

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

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  13. Indeed they are poetry in stone!
    The deftness of hands and the artistry of the mind created these many time less poetry.

    I wonder if there be anything parallel. Yea the machines may replicate , but the creations will lack soul. don't you think so?

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  14. Plaited hair and the ornaments are so detailed! Very nice.

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  15. Wonderful statues! It's hard to choose a favourite.

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  16. Yet to post this. I loved the visit to the temple. The twisted rods on the ceiling are very special here.

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  17. Absolutely gorgeous! The carvings are so intricate and exquisite in detail. Indian sculptors are amazing!

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  18. Amazing creations in stones. The skilled sculpture work is nicely captured in your post.

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  19. These are so nice to see...the details are beautiful.
    I like 'poetry in stone'

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  20. that beautiful braid!! did you take that photo just for me, Ram?? :)) another incredible and educational post, thank you!!

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  21. A new very impressing post. Beautiful work.

    A nice weekend to you my friend.

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  22. these beautiful stone carvings are so difficult to do

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  23. Exceptionally beautiful sculptural marvels.

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  24. Beautiful sculptures and beautifully explained too!!!I loved the intricately carved woman

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  25. Precious, the religion mixed with craftmanship, brilliant photos.

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  26. The stone sculpture is beautiful and powerful. Interesting post.

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  27. Amazing sculptures, lovely pics showing details of braided hair and jewels.

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  28. interesting and fascinating :)

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in

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  29. fantastic sculpture! great detail!
    india always fascinates me.

    i really love this country!

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  30. Muito obrigado pela belíssima viajem que me proporcionastes através de tuas magníficas fotografias e textos bem elaborados.Adorei.Meu grande abraço.

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  31. Wow...there are so many things I ca learn here! Thank you!
    BShell

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  32. Wow! That is an excellent series. Thanks for sharing.

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