No more sacred

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March 16th, 2009 Rrishi Raote

When the tide rose high at Mamallapuram, the tourist guides told us, small sluices used to be opened to allow sea water into the Shore Temple. Then the reclining Vishnu in the garbha-griha, lit by lamps, would appear to rest on a sheet of water.

That was in 1990, when the temple was still approached across sand and rocks. Then it was something elemental, and even as a child I could see that. Now the temple sits in the middle of a lawn, landscaped earthworks separate it from the sea, and a crazy-paved path fringed with ropes leads brazenly up to the temple entrance. And the temple has been reappropriated: families enter with the tawdry paraphernalia of worship.
Now the Shore Temple is modern; it is no longer capable of awakening the pagan roots of your soul. It is no more sacred than Parliament House.

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One Response to “No more sacred”

  1. sunder Says:

    but very lovely feel it has…

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