CFFC: Uplifting Scenes

Here’s a selection of uplifting images for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge on Looking Up at Things.

buddhaA late night visit to the Hussain Sagar, Hyderabad. And a boat ride to have a closer look at the world’s tallest monolith statue of Gautam Buddha.

sunriseAn early morning visit to the beach to witness the sunrise. The fishing boat was an added bonus.

mangoOn a visit to the temple, I found a mango tree in full blossom promising to make the heat worth it. But is it summer already?

I looked up to catch a glimpse of the blue skies, the swirling clouds…

20170218_121437…and the magnificent Gopuram an ornate monumental tower at the entrance of a temple.  Gopurams are particularly common in Southern India. A temple often has more than one gopuram and these gateways are a prominent feature of a temple and usually overshadows the inner sanctuary which is obscured from view by the gopuram’s colossal size. Gopurams are exquisitely decorated with sculpture and carvings. These have a  variety of themes that are mostly based on Hindu mythology, centering around the presiding deity of that temple.

gopuramWe are at the temple complex of Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva also known as the Lord of Dance. Chidambaram is the birthplace of the sculpture and bronze image representation of Lord Shiva as the cosmic dancer, a Tamilian concept and has since become a symbol of Hinduism.

The shrine is the only Shiva temple to have its main deity represented in this human form, as the Supreme Being who performs all cosmic activities. The consort deity here is Sivakami Amman (Mother Goddess and female energy). Two other forms of Lord Shiva are represented as a crystallized lingam (the most common representation of Lord Shiva in temples), and as the ether space classical element, represented with empty space and a garland of fifty one hanging golden bilva leaves.

fullsizerender1A replica bronze statue of Lord Shiva as Nataraja performing the Ananda Tandava (“Dance of Delight”). Lord Shiva is dancing on the demon Apasmara who represents ignorance and mental/neurological disorders.

wallThe sculptures on the walls of the Chidambaram temple inspired the postures of Bharatanatyam, a major genre of Indian classical dance.

bullsAs Lord Shiva is the presiding deity in this temple, figures of Nandi the Bull are everywhere. Nandi is Lord Shiva’s ardent devotee and vehicle. He glares down at us for daring to disturb his Master’s peace.

Perhaps it is time for me to take your leave – thank you for your company. Please do let me know you were here 🙂

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