Chariots of Stone
From Mahabalipuram, India – Dispatch 3 of 3
In the midst of sand and spume there was only the sound of silence.
I was in ancient Mahabalipuram in South India on a sultry summer day in 1986.
A short walk away from the Shore Temple sprawled a tribute in stone dedicated to the heroes of the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata.
Upon an embankment stood fashioned five “chariots” (never understood how these looked like chariots!) carved in stone – monolithic structures each hewn into its own peculiar shape. From the mighty Dharmaraja Ratha which towers above the rest, to the oblong Sahadeva Ratha and the little hut-like Draupadi Ratha, each monument seemed to share a history of its own.
Only the thrum of the booming sea wafted in the cool breeze as I watched these stone sentinels that had seen thirteen centuries of winds and waves dashing against the ramparts of an ancient sea-port.
Commercial scratchboards weren’t available then – I therefore put my homemade scratchboard of hardboard, gesso and India ink to use, creating this work over a couple of days.
– 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.