“You got it from your grandpa”

Dravidian temples are extremely well known for its marvelous sculptures and other architectural gems. They have been celebrated for excellent stone carvings since the starting of the ancient history in India. This art piece is a hand drawn form of an exquisite stone carving of the South Indian god, “Jagan Mohini Kesava Swami”.

Before i go into detailing the work, let me tell you “Why this?”

It was the summer of 2015. I had come to my paternal grandparents’ home for vacations. It was a boring afternoon until i decided to explore my grandpa’s closet. After a lot of scrutinising, i ran into an extraordinary intricate piece of art. The smell of old canvas prickled my nose. The poor maintenance made it look all shabby. The edges were withered. Some parts of it were even torn. I was fascinated by the detailed delicacy as of how the man painted this with such perfect brush strokes. He, beyond the shadow of doubt, used to be an artist of great finesse. That’s his only painting I’ve ever seen.

I thought of remaking it (atleast try) . The same day, i got a white chart. The paper was way too thin so i stuck some old calendar pages at the back. In case you’re wondering why i didn’t use a canvas ; i didn’t know what a canvas was… It was a time when i knew absolutely nothing about different art techniques, mediums etc. In fact, i used a black gel pen to draw this (not even a micron pen lol).

Took me 4 continuous days and 3 black pens. The left one is my grandpa’s. It came out well i guess, atleast by a 15 year old me. I would’t ever compare mine with his’ because he “painted” this.

How i wish he was here to witness this. Could’ve learned a lot of things from him. He passed away way before i knew how to hold a pen. Today this art piece hangs in my living room wall….

I was today years old when i found out the exact carving where he drew from.

This is a shrine from Sri Jagan Mohini Kesava & Gopala Swamy temple, Ryali. The exquisite idol, made of black stone depicting Maha Vishnu and Mohini on its front and rear sides, is a real marvel of sculptural dexterity. The incarnations of Lord Sree Maha Vishnu with consorts Sri Devi, BhooDevi, Sage Narada, Thumbura, Rambha, Urvasi, Kinnera, Kimpurusha, Lord Krishna with Govardhanagiri, Adiseshu, Garuda and Ganga are beautifully sculptured around the shrine. The shrine is Salagrama Ekasila with 5 feet height and 3 feet width. The unique features of the shrine became very sacred. Further it gives impression as is a new idol though it’s origin is of 11th century. People visiting the temple from several parts of the country believe that the shrine is not man made but is certainly a creation of Devatas and Darsan of Swamy Varu which gives the feeling of presence of real god.

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