Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Representational Image. Image source: www.tierratravels.com

NEW DELHI, August 12: It’s unusual to come across a person who is indigenous to both pen and camera- more so when photography grew out of a casual remark. Tarun Chopra is one such person and what he has managed with his 12th book, “Temples of India – Abode of the Divine”, is to also trace the evolution of temple building with major architectural trendsetting examples.

To this extent, “Temples of India” (Prakash Books/pp 360/Rs 1,295), with its plethora of photographs, illustrations, ground plans as well as sections, is a valuable resource for both experts and laypersons to understand the fascinating science of geometry and architecture as temple-building evolved over some 2,000 years.


Follow NewsGram on Twitter


Lingaraja Temple in Orissa. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Ten years in the making and based on painstaking research of the ancient texts of Shilpa Shastra and Vaastu Shastra, as also interactions with temple priests, the effort is quite an eye-opener.

“I visited the temples of varied faiths. It somehow compels you to think if there is a God, He has to be one for all. He cannot be different for each religion. The realisation then dawns that there is one Supreme cosmic power which itself has no religion,” Chopra told IANS in an interview.

A 48-page introduction makes for a handy primer on subjects like the oral tradition, Vaastu Shastra, Vaastupurushamandala (the metaphysical plan of a building), the legend of Vaastupurusha, temple builders, traditional building rites and rituals, the main architectural features of a Hindu temple, iconography of the temple, proportional measurements of an image, and temples as the markers of energy zones.

This sets the tone for Tripping On the Divine: a visual documentation of the evolution of most prominent temple styles spanning more than 2,000 years.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook

“Very few places in the world offer this vast a canvas of art and architecture. This book is not based on the temples of religious importance; rather the temples illustrated in it are purely on their architectural merit. Many of them have unique qualifications to be first of their kind in the Indian subcontinent and in the world. Some temples are the stepping stones of architectural styles and initiated temple styles that evolved for the next 1,000 years,” Chopra writes.

Most of the 28 temples featured are A-listers — Sanchi, Ajanta, Ellora, Elephanta, Kanchipuram, Shravanabelagola, Khajuraho, Trichy, Madurai and Hampi, to name just a few. There are also some not too well known, at least for readers in North India. Among them are Teli Ka Mandir in Gwalior Fort, Gangaikondacholapuram (a smaller replica of the Brihadeshwara Temple in Tanjore), Darasuram (Tamil Nadu) and Aihole (Karnataka).

The bulk of the temples are located in South India and Chopra explained it thus: “Due to waves and waves of invasions that North India experienced at the hands of idol breakers, the temples in this region bore most of its brunt. Since the temples down south were relatively protected due to geographical distance, there is a wide variety of architectural styles that still exists today.”

“Temples…” is a logical extension of Chopra’s 11 previous books, most of which have India as their theme.

“My bestselling book ‘Holy Cow and the Other Indian Stories’ contains small chapters answering simple questions about India, why cows are on the road, why we get stamped so many times at the airport, the chaos that exists on the roads.. ‘India Exotic Destination’ illustrates the places frequented by visitors, while ‘Soul of India’ is a photo book that illustrates the beauty of the land through portraits, landscapes, street life and the like,” Chopra said.

“I am a photographer and writer devoted to making books on India. My endeavour is to take out books that are easy to read and assimilate. As a photographer, I have been commissioned to do various projects both in India and abroad,” he added.

All this grew out of a casual remark: “Why don’t you start taking pictures since you travel so much?”

What is rather unusual about “Temples…” is its standard format rather than the large coffee-table format generally adopted for such books — and the publisher said this was with a purpose.

“We decided to go with a smaller size to make the book handy for the buyer. Typical coffee tables are larger in size, but the sales of these books are down for the last few years, mainly because of the internet. A lot of images and data is now available on the net, but also because it’s hard to carry large books because of weight limitations or the general bulkier nature of the book.

“We wanted the readers to be able to enjoy ‘Temples of India’ while they travel through India and visit these temples,” Megha Parmar of Prakash Books told IANS. (IANS)

ALSO READ:


Popular

Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

When transitioning to tech, some communication, innovation, research, and analytical skills come in very handy.

By- Sebastian Miller

When transitioning to the tech world. One of the scariest things can be the fear of living up to the task. It is because you feel like you do have the right skills for the job. But this should not be the case. If you have worked before in any other field outside of tech, you most definitely have skills that you can use. These skills might not all be relevant for the tech job, but some of them might come in handy. When you are transferring to a tech job, the first thing to focus on is transferable skills. The good thing is that some skills span through different fields, and if a candidate has them, they are desirable. To add to this, we have technical skills. These skills are easier to learn compared to other skills. When transitioning to tech, some communication, innovation, research, and analytical skills come in very handy. These skills will give you an edge when getting into the tech world. According to professional dissertation writer, these are the most important skills hat can help you get an edge when applying to jobs that are in tech:

Keep Reading Show less

The IAS exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to appoint the most deserving candidates for IAS, IPS, IFS, and other respected positions.

By- Collegedunia

The majority of candidates writing the UPSC exam have only one goal in mind, to become an IAS officer. The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is one of the most sought-after careers that gives the golden chance of serving the nation.

Keep Reading Show less
Unsplash

Interestingly, 63% of the overall registrations in the training were made by women learners from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, and Hyderabad.

By- Sunidhi Beeliya

Internshala Trainings, the e-learning arm of Internshala, recently brought out a report highlighting the inclination of young graduates towards learning professional communication skills. The platform has registered a massive increase of 90% in the number of enrollments, in communication skills training, within the past 1 year.

Keep reading... Show less