Monday, January 14, 2008

Temples in Trivandrum

This is a quick peep in to share with you some pictures of the many beautiful temples in Tiruvananthapuram(Trivandrum). Photography is prohibited in most temples here, so some of these are sneakily shot. Kerala's temple architecture though brilliant is typified by it restraint in form and colour. But some of Trivandrum's temples gain colour from its proximity to TamilNadu. A state whose temples are famous for its many hued gods and goddesses.
Attukaal Bhagawati Temple, one of the ancient temples of South India, is popularly described as Sabarimala of the Women, as women form the major portion of devotees. The Goddess in the temple of Attukal is worshipped as the Supreme Mother, creator of all living beings and the mighty preserver as well as destroyer of them all.This temple is in the Guiness Book of Records for the maximum number of women devotees taking part in a religious gathering.

The stone pillars that flank the entrance are carved elaborately.

The ceiling of the entrance passage.

On either side of the entrance there are depictions of the goddess in various forms

Side entrance to the temple.

Shrikantheshwaram is a famous Shiva temple in Trivandrum. Seen here is the deepa sthambham which literally means pillar of lamps, which is exactly what it is. And makes for a beautiful sight when lit at sundown.

All the rows and columns you see here surrounding the walls are lined with lamps.

Snake gods below the Banyan tree is an integral part of temples in Kerala. Normally there are some 3-5 stone representations. But the Srikanttheshwaram Temple had them going all around the tree.

I LOVED the way this looked. Turmeric is smeared on the idols as an offering.

And finally the most famous and ancient Padmanabha Swamy Temple. And easily the most expansive and beautiful. The rules here are very strict. You are not permitted to enter the presincts with electronic equipment- meaning no camera or mobilephones or other such. You are searched at the entrance. The men are supposed to go in bare chested (as is the case in most temples in Kerala) and the women cannot get in wearing trousers or salwar kameez. Skirts and sarees are fine. There is provision to rent a mundu or set-saree outside the temple which can be worn over the offending trouser or the salwaar :)

The Padmanabhapuram Palace is something I missed this trip. But thats going to be my 1st stop when I go to Trivandrum next. Meantime here are some pics I picked from the net.

This pic is from the wiki page

And all the following pictures are from a pbase artist called oochappan

The Kuttambalam or the theater hall is a stage, raised from the rest of the floor. This is the site of the performance of Kathakali or Chakkiyar koothu recitals. Thus the kuttambalam plays a role in educating visitors on the rich legends of the Indian cultural fabric.


Vinita said...

Nice post Vineeta. I love to go to temples not just for bhakti purpose but more so for the architecture, beautiful carvings, the perfection of the statues,the artistic colors and whole ambience.
The incense smell and the flowers with their delicate fragrance, the stalls outside the temple area selling kumkum and all the related pooja stuff.Brings lot of memories.

Sas has started her blog . You might want to check it out.


tangobaby said...

If I want to see something beautiful and full of life and color, I guess I will come to your blog first!

You are inspiring me to plan a trip to India someday. If it looks this amazing in a photo, it must be glorious in person.

vineeta said...

Vinita :) I agree. The whole ambience and art and architecture of the temples is an integral part of the temple experience for me too.
About Sas's blog- I not only checked it out, but commented and linked her as well :) In my post on her place I have added that she has a blog & linked it there too for all the future readers of the post. She does amazing work. But thanx for dropping the word. In case I didn't know would have checked.

vineeta said...

Tangobaby, you make me happy :) Thanx :)
And you must come to India- its better than all the snaps of all the photographers put together. And yes, Glorious is an apt word :)

Arch at Rang said...

Awesome the way you have captured things in the temples which we take so much for granted:-))

Thanks for sharing:-)

vineeta said...

Archana, yes :) post blogging its like I've got a new set of eyes :) Im finally 'seeing' how interesting things really are.

Bhavna said...

These are so beautiful! I have never been to south of India beyond dying to make a trip, starting with Pondi.

:-)...I so agree with you..writing a blog makes you see things from a different perspective.

loopooloop said...

Bhavna, Pondi I have heard is brilliant. Im myself dying to go there. And you must come to kerala, I dare say you will love it! :)

Pacchai Milagai said...

Hi vinita..
what an interesting post. It is one of my long cherished dreams to go to Kerala. Sometime this lifetime I hope. I love the pictures and your descriptions. Seeing all this snow around me.. I sure miss tropical weather and the greenery. Thanks for dissolving my winter blues.


I just can't get over how detailed everything is. Carving. Colour. Wood. Incredible artistry.

LADY LUXIE said...

Hi there! It's been awhile since I last visited here and so I a excited to see everything !

It's always wonderful and inspiring to see your posts...

vineeta said...

Pacchai, thanx for the warm comment :) And ofcourse you will come to Kerala this lifetime! :) will keep fingers crossed & may come Soon!

vineeta said...

Liberty post editor, thanx! the palaces in Rajasthan are incredibly intricate too. Thats something that is very typical of India.

vineeta said...

Lady Luxie!!! Great to see you here :) I too have missed out on checking out your amazing blog for sometime now- will hop across one of these days!

Life Unscripted! said...

hey vineeta, this is first time i came to your blog. Loved it. I second vinita. I love to go to temples and love the architecture.

Very Interesting post indeed..


Gillian @ Indigo Blue said...

Oh you make me want to hop on a plane! ONe day.
These photos are great Vineeta.
I love the art, the colours, the attention to detail. It is all so beautiful.

zaheer said...

vinee this should be in the beautiful homes section
Gods home in Gods own country
What say

vineeta said...

zaheer, trust you to think of something I couldn't :) what an idea! Im just tempted to add it to that section ;)

UL said...

You made my day with this one. Growing up in Tvm, I adore the temples is indeed a bummer that many of these place do not allow photography, there's so much beauty to capture and you have done a wonderful job. The Srikanteswaram pics are what caught my attention, esp. that of the kaavu. Thank you.

vineeta said...

ul, Coming from a local (or ex local) it is a compliment indeed. Its your comment that has made my day :) You are right about there being SO much beauty to capture. I could have cried from the frustration when I was walking around the Padmanabhapuram temple. Its just as well that they confiscate the cameras outside- NO-ONE would be able to resist taking pics! :)