Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Feb 2014: Shyamji ki Chattri - one of the most extraordinary hidden temple treasures of Central India

on the way back, I noticed a sign pointing to a temple off the main road so managed to get Baba to turn the caravan to go see the temple despite Baba having kitten because his best laid plans were all being put awry.

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This was a tiny village and its such a fascinating combination of the sublime, banal and ridiculous. Here's the local government office

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and you see this strange blocky temple facade with the most amazing balcony

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and you are in Shyamji. Another word for Krishna.

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we pile out and move into the temple

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A rusting sign gives the background to the temple, this dates back to the 16th century.

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couple of parrots having fun.

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And then I enter into the central courtyard and see this amazing structure. There are two rows of panels of carved sandstone figures. These panels themselves are amazing, every panel is different and exquisitely carved. The full set of photographs are on the link given at the bottom but just admire these few panels that i have shown here.

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See what I mean? most amazing carvings, and this sandstone is ferociously difficult to carve as it flakes off easily.

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after walking around the base, I decide to go up, there's my dad and sister speaking to one of the villagers.

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a brace of elephants frame the staircase, they have lost the mahout and the main passenger I am afraid.

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the main deity

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I walk around the upper level, the main sanctum Santorum is encased bizarrely in a aluminum and glass box.

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i look back at the back of the entrance archway, beautiful wall murals.

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see what I mean? weird cube.

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and some really strange looking lions, looks too well fed to me

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i walk away from the temple and see these very shoddy structures. They frame this view of the end of the temple courtyard.

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I turn back to notice something very interesting, as you can see, there is a structure to hold the flag pole, but its actually a figure who is holding the flag pole...for centuries..

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a most amazingly intricate panel

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a terra-cotta panel on top of one of the doors.

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walking through the bottom arch which is lit by this incongruous energy efficient bulb.

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moving into the Shiv temple area

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Ganesh on the side

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and then the Shiv mandir on the far side and then I turn back

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the quality of stonework on the doorway is simply mindboggling. Can you imagine how difficult and challenging it would be to do something like this?

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See what I mean by sublime and ridiculous? the walls are crap and then you have these balcony structures which are amazingly detailed.

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the temple

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I love my portly Ganesh :) I then go climb up the walls

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the views over this lovely landscape are so beautiful and peaceful.

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Baba is stressing as we arent going back to the bus, and then my darling sister points him out to me who is up on the roof...and he would be grumbling about his wayward son.
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heading down

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wearing the shoes now

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A last look at the balconies

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ANd then see the village buildings and the incongrous slide...

India is like that, you see amazing sights amongst the banal and common, i wish I could have spent more time there, understanding the story behind each panel or try to find out who made this wonderful structure, the architect, the master builder, the mason, the sculptor...

what an amazing find.

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