Heritage Trip to Cheyyur – Reach Foundation: Conserve our Rich Heritage!!
Heritage trip to Cheyyur
The monthly heritage trip for December 2012 was on 15th of December at Cheyyur, thanks to the persistence of member Geetha who is pursuing her doctoral thesis on the subject of heritage temple epigraphs in her native village. Cheyyur is nestled with many heritage sites. Few to mention are the Kurathi Malai in Onambakkam where we saw the Jain reliefs and inscriptions. Wonder why the site so vulnerable for encroachers and granite poachers. All around this site you can see a circle of hillocks, many getting sucked by the granite dons.
Next are the Shiva temple, Murugan and Vishnu temples in this vicinity. The Murugan temple is an unique one, bearing all the vedalams, each assigned to one Star! The goshta of the Murugan shrine also has various forms and postures of Muruga.
The Kailasanathar temple at the North East side of Cheyyur are bedecked with inscriptions, but some mindless sthapathi had played havoc while breaking the stones bearing the inscriptions into two, to re-set them on renovation. Geetha and the Epigraphy teacher Shri. Ramachandran tried for hours but in vain to read the ‘Parikrama’ Epigraph, which Shri. Ramachandran assures, was one which he read during his earlier visit!
The group of heritage lovers comprised of Historian Shri. Vakula Varadarajan and REACH Epigraphy teacher and master historian Shri. Ramachandran. Their exchange of information while discussing on each and every site was a treat to listen and grasp for the members around. We also had photography expert Udayan as our new member and also Poetry in Stone blogger Vijaykumar joining us.
The last visual treat in the evening hour was the Vedal Kailasanathar temple, which is supposed to be the only Gajabrushta Vimana based brick temple retained during the Chola Era. This temple which needs immediate restoration is what was discussed among members during the return. And before the trip ended, Geetha sprung a surprise of showing us an Ayyanar (Sastha sculpture dated very early as 9th century) from nowhere among some bushes!
Heritage Impact Assessment:
Meanwhile intercepting the monthly work load, we were also working on heritage impact assessment for few land owners in and around Pallavaram hillock, at the behest of the State Archeology department and the Chennai Corporation, and prepare an impact report, so as to decide if the owner can be given permission or not for developing the land into construction plots. Members Parandaman and Udayan had been helping Secretary Chandrasekaran on this.