Wednesday, May 23, 2018

'Chitrakarini temple, Bhubaneswar, Part-II' - by K.J.S.Chatrath

'Chitrakarini Temple, Bhubaneswar, India' - by K.J.S.Chatrath

 One place you must go before you  die is Odisha and visit Lord Jagannath's Temple at Puri, Konark Temple at Konark and and Lord Lingraj Temple at Bhubaneswar.

How ever Bhubaneswar is not a one temple town. There are more than a thousand old temples, in various stages of repair and disrepair in Bhubaneswar. Ever few hundred metres you would come across a temple. The sheer grandeur of Lingraj temple attracts most of the attention and one tends to ignore other temples- each an architectural gem in itself.
 Source of the above: Google maps

I visited Bhubaneswar in January 2017 and visited one such temple-  the Chitrakarini temple.

This Kalinga Nagara style temple is well preserved small lawn. It is being maintained by the  Archeological Survey of India (ASI). Lingaraj and Chtrakarini temples share a common boundary wall and one can have a panoramic view of the former from here.

Built in 13th century CE, the rich stone carvings depicting flowers, creepers, erotic couples, dancers, lions controlling elephants adorns the outer walls of the shrine. The main shrine is surrounded by four subsidiary small shrines in four corners. Chamunda is the presiding deity of the min shrine and Shaktism is the conduct of worship followed at this shrine.
The Chitrakarini temple, with four subsidiary shrines at the corners, is of the 'Panchayatana' (five-shrined) type, the whole group enclosed by a compound-wall. It is built on a low undecorated platform with projections, it is 'Pancha-Ratha' on plan, with a division of the corner 'Ratha' all through.

The decoration of the roof of the 'Jagamohana' is a departure from the established type; the 'Pidhas' are arranged in two tiers as usual, but on each tier there is a row of replicas of the pyramidal roof, one on each projection.
Two of the friezes, both of them depicted on the lintels of the non-functional banister windows of the 'Jagamohana', deserve special attention; the one on the south side depicts a marriage, probably of Shiva and Parvati, while that on the north shows Krishna playing on his flute amidst his enchanted followers and cattle listening with rapt attention. Of the three overhanging mouldings above the south lintel, the highest is prominent for a procession counting riders on camels.

Do not miss the camels and the implication of this depiction, as camels are not found in Odisha. 

Intricate stone work

An old 1890 photo of the Chitrkarini Temple by William Temple Cornish (Source: British Library)
(Text with inputs from the internet)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

'Tabla performance by Ms. Rimpa Siva at India International Centre, New Delhi' - K.J.S.Chatrath

 I was fortunate to attend a tabla performance by Ms. Rimpa Siva at India International Centre, New Delhi earlier this month.

I recorded a part of it and have uploaded it on You Tube. Take a look:

Rimpa Siva was taught to play the Farukhabad gharana style by her father Prof. Swapan Siva.  She  started her stage performances when she was eight years old. She now stands out as one of the few female tabla players in the Indian classical music landscape. Her passion for tabla has earned her numerous laurels and she was featured in a French documentary titled Rimpa Siva: Princess of Tabla.  

Sunday, May 13, 2018

'Indian heritage in Cambodia- some photos' - by K.J.S.Chatrath

May I invite you to see my earlier post on Cambodia: 'Cambodian dances & music' - by K.J.S.Chatrath.   by clicking at the following link:

 Those interested in knowing about the Hindu heritage of cambodia may like to read "Cambodia’s Hindu heritage continues to loom large" - By Murali Balaji;

Monday, April 23, 2018

'Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Pune, India' - by K.J.S.Chatrath

When in Pune, India, do visit this small but very rich museum.It is a museum of everyday traditional art.
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum is in Pune, Maharashtra, India. It contains the collection of Dr. Dinkar G. Kelkar, dedicated to the memory of his only son, Raja. The three-storey building houses various sculptures dating back to the 14th century.
Address: 1377/78, Kamal Kunj, Natu Baag, Off. Bajirao Road, Shukrawar Peth, Pune, Maharashtra 411002
Closes 5:30PM

Phone: 020 2448 2101
Collection size: 15000 objects

Monday, April 9, 2018

'Visit to Chattushringi Temple, Pune, India' - by K.J.S.Chatrath

During my last visit to Pune, I had the privilege of visiting Chattushringi Temple. It is a Hindu temple in the city of Pune in Maharashtra state of India. The temple is located on the slope of a hill on Senapati Bapat Road. It is said to have been built during the reign of the Maratha king Shivaji.

Chattushringi (Chattu means four) is a mountain with four peaks. The Chattushringi temple is 90 feet high and 125 feet wide and is a symbol of power and faith. One has to climb more than 100 steps to reach the shrine of Goddess Chattushringi. In the temple premises there are also temples of Goddess Durga and Lord Ganesh. This includes eight miniature idols of Ashtavinayaka. These small temples are located on the four separate hillocks.Also includes the temple of Vetal Maharaj at the baner pashan end.
 The legend associated with the temple is that, once there was a rich and prosperous merchant named Durlabhsheth Pitambardas Mahajan who was an ardent believer of Goddess Saptashrungi devi and visited all Her temples everywhere. But as he grew older, he could no longer travel and this hindered him from visiting the temples. Then one night the Goddess Saptashrungi devi appeared in his dream and told him, "if you can not come to me, I will come to you & stay near you." She told him to come to a mountain situated in the North-West of Pune & dig there. The place as described by the goddess was traced out and miracle happened as he found a natural statue of goddess (swayambhu devi). He constructed the temple at that place and this is the same temple which was renovated time to time, which is the present temple.

The presiding deity of the temple is Goddess Chattushringi, also known as Goddess Ambareshwari. She is also considered as the presiding deity of the city of Pune. The temple is maintained by the Chattushringi Devasthan Trust. Every year a fair is held at the foothills on the eve of Navratri. Thousands of people gather to worship the Goddess Chattushringi.

(Text source: Wikipedia)