Skip to main content


Darpan Sundari and Chennakesava’s abode at Belur Karnataka ( The Chennakesava Temple )

Jakkanaachari squatted on a stone slab as he applied some finishing touches to his most recent soapstone masterpiece. His students stood around his worktable, watching their master skillfully sign his name at the bottom of the shilabalika sculpture. Jakkanaachari stood up and wiped his sweaty forehead, delighted with his work at the under-construction temple complex of Belur. He gestured a royal guard to book his appointment with the King and Queen to present his sculpture for his majesties’ viewing and approval. 
Meanwhile, King Vishnuvardhana sat in a cream coloured tent at the edge of the Belur temple site. Squinting his eyes, he peered at the half-built temple slowly rising in the horizon, as muffled thuds and clangs of the construction activity echoed in his ears. Seated beside him, Queen Shantala Devi was debating with her Shilpa Shastris about the procurement of soapstone from the nearby quarries. Their conversation was interrupted by a royal guard as he announced the arrival of…
Recent posts

Jaya – The original name of Mahabharata

The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Ramayana.
Mahabharata today has 100,000 slokas and is believed to be written by Sage Veda Vyasa, but in reality it was narrated by him and written by Lord Ganesha. When first narrated, it had only 8,800 slokas and Mahabharata original name was Jaya (Jayam) as written by Ganesha. 
Then Vyasa’s disciple Vaisampayana narrated this story to King Janamejaya (Pariskshit’s son and Abhimanyu’s grandson) along with additional and elaborated stories. This made it expand to 24,000 slokas and was named Vijaya (Vijayam) and then renamed it as Bharata. In next generation, Ugrasravas, belonged to the Suta caste, who were typically the bards of Puranic literature, narrated this story to sage Saunaka and other sages in Naimisa forest.

The full 100,000 verses of the Mahabharata was completed several centuries later by addition of many stories and was finally named as Mahabharata. Jaya was about spiritual victory,…

Brihadeeshwara Temple (Peruvudaiyar Kovil) - Big Temple Tanjavur

Brihadeeshwara Temple (Peruvudaiyar Kovil) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in Thanjavur in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is also known as Periya Kovil, RajaRajeswara Temple and Rajarajesvaram. It is one of the largest temples in India and is an example of Dravidian architecture during the Chola period. Built by emperor Raja Raja Chola I and completed in 1010 AD, the temple turned 1000 years old in 2010. The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Great Living Chola Temples", with the other two being the Brihadeeswarar Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram andAiravatesvara temple.

The temple stands amidst fortified walls that were probably added in the 16th century. The vimanam (temple tower) is 216 ft (66 m) high and is the tallest in the world. The Kumbam (the apex or the bulbous structure on the top) of the temple is carved out of a single rock and weighs around 80 tons. There is a big statue of Nandi (sacred bull), carved out of a single …