Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Notes in Thanjavur . . .

The Sri Brihadeeswarar temple gets a steady stream of visitors. A few tourists and many, many travelers from all places. They spend little time, heading straight to the shrine and are out in minutes.

The sprawling campus here allows those with time on their hands to take in the temple slowly as the sun sets on the other side and the crescent shows up!

The entry floor space has been fully cemented and the parking lot opposite the campus saves much noise and pollution.

With time on our hands we chose to read closely the legends that ASI has set in metal sheets. Useful for the discerning visitor. But the focus lights are either vandalised or have conked out so these legends cannot be read after dusk.

The base of the giant Nandi is the best natural stage for dance and the hosts of the festival have done well not to 'decorate' it; the lights are just right to highlight the sculpture and the dancers.

Spread across 7 days, the Brihanatyanjali has chosen to schedule concerts from 6.15 pm to 9.30 pm.
Visitors spend some time to watch the dance but there are few Thanjavur residents in the audience. In some ways, this venue is some way away from neighborhoods and is circled by institutions and commercial centers.

You don't find the kind of local support that Chidambaram provides to the Natyanjali. And thats the difference between Thanjavur and Chidambaram.

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