The Gigantic Monolith

 From Mahabalipuram, India, Dispatch 2 of 3

Here in the seaside town of Mahabalipuram in South India, master craftsmen of yore had chiseled splendor in stone. Each column, each image, each form came alive with rhythm of ancient architecture.

Facing the turquoise sea stood a 90 foot x 45 feet colossus, one of the biggest stone bas-reliefs in the world. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Arjuna’s Penance comprises two humongous boulders with a fissure in between. Around it are carved figures of gods and goddesses, beasts and birds even as, somewhere in the contained chaos of stone figures,  Arjuna, the hero of the Indian epic, Mahabharata, stands upright, praying for victory in war.

It was a balmy day in the summer of 1986. I stood under a sweltering sun, taking a few sketches and black-and-white photographs with my boxlike Rolleiflex upon a wobbly tripod perched on sand. I had fashioned a 12 x 16 hardboard coated with hardened gesso and a coat of India ink. This was my scratchboard before commercially-made products were freely available.

 

– Check out www.kvkrishnan.com to get more insights into my new book Rambles into Sacred Realms: Exploring Divinity through Pen and Paint, where I invite readers to experience such adventure, humor and imagery illustrating my travels.

 

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