A rule for the notice-board-sake :
Madurai Meenakshi temple was well maintained with lots of security and ample information boards. Since the bomb-blast inside the campus of the temple, the security has increased multi-fold and surprisingly it is maintained at the same level. One of the security guards in the entrance, wanted to look at my digi cam and he started operating it casually and I was thinking he was doing a security check. Only when he enquired about the camera’s shooting modes, I realized he wasn’t just security checking it but was also inquisitive about the camera.
One of the cleanliest temples I’ve seen where maintaining is a tough task especially now when the sabarimala devotees come in huge numbers to the temple en-route to kerala. I clicked the temple gopurams (temple tower) as much as I liked them. Gopurams are a very good source of inspiration and I was spell bound by the minutest details in the engravings. Every temple in tamil nadu proves time and again that we had some of the best civil engineers, centuries back. I am still amazed and would love to know how they conceived such ideas of gopurams and calculated the measurements so accurately.
One of the notable documentaries in Discovery channel was about the building of Tanjore temple. The single stone at the top of the Tanjore temple gopuram weighs more than 80 tons and it must have been a Herculean task to set it right on the top. But the Cholas were more intelligent. They built a huge sand slide from the top of the gopuram extending 5 kms into the village. The single stone was then tied to elephants and pulled all the way to the top. I was thoroughly spell bound when they prototyped it in the documentary. Even today Tanjore temple stands as one of the mightiest creations of the south indian architecture.
Madurai Meenakshi temple has the kind of silence, despite the huge crowds, which is not present in most of other temples. Combined with the grandness and all other tourist attraction nearby madurai, it invites lots of foreigners.
I’ve noticed off late a notice board just before the entry into the main gate of many temples. It would read as this: 1) Non-Hindus not allowed. 2) Cameras prohibited after this point. Well, while video cameras are something that can be prohibited, the first of rule looks very crude to me. And this rule needs to be looked at introspectively.
Especially for a tolerant religion like Hinduism, which is much more than the rules to worship god, this rule defies the basic principles of the religion. Hinduism is a way of life and this rule seems to obstruct them and brings in the crudeness that misleads others. If Non-Hindus meant the Indian non-hindus alone, it is a much bigger treat to the national unity. Despite of the rule, if they still allow everyone into the temple, there isn’t a need to such a notice-board-sake-rule. Break the rule and let Hinduism open up more kindness and tolerance towards mankind.