Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mahabalipuram Trip - Part 3 : Arjuna's Penance, Krishna's Butter Ball, Varaha Cave Temple and Tiger's Cave

Arjuna's Penance : The huge relief structure, Arjuna's penance is also called the Descent of the Ganga. Story from Mahabharata, where Arjuna performs tapasya(penance) to get Pashupatastra from Lord Shiva is depicted here. In addition, the story of Bhagiratha's efforts to bring divine river Ganga to earth finds place here. Arjuna's penance, Mahabalipuram
Arjuna's penance, Mahabalipuram
Arjuna's penance is a structure measuring 30m (100ft) long by 15m (45ft) high, quite huge compared to human figure. Near to the Arjuna's penance, you can find the Krishna Mandapa. Walls of the Mandapa tell the story - how Lord Krishna lifted Mount Govardhana to protect the villagers when the rain god Varuna vented his anger by bringing incessant rains.Lord Ganesha Temple, Mahabalipuram
Lord Ganesha Temple, Mahabalipuram
Varaha Cave Temple and Krishna's Butter Ball : Moving on we spotted Varaha cave temple next. On way to cave temple, one finds Lord Ganesha temple, where unlike many temples in historic places, poojas seem to be conducted. But surprisingly, there was no statue of the god in the Varaha cave shrine. But one could find carvings of Varaha on temple wall. On the rocky hill nearby, Krishna's butter ball is a huge mounted rock, with virtually no support. People posing for photos as if they are holding it from rolling down was a common sight. Well, we did take our turn in doing so too! Down the hill, we found one more cave temple but dedicated to Lord shiva.Varaha Cave Temple, Mahabalipuram
Varaha Cave Temple, Mahabalipuram
Tiger's cave : That brought an end to the visual treat we could have at Mahabalipuram town. But I had read in a travel guide about the Tiger's cave which is located 5 km before entering the Mahabalipuram town. So, I made sure to ask the driver to stop there. Apart from the cave, it is surrounded by trees, making it an ideal place for picnic.Krishna's Butter Ball, Mahabalipuram
Krishna's Butter Ball, Mahabalipuram
Chennai Bits : Don't know is it because of the part of Chennai we explored, I noticed only few big commercial complexes or modern glass buildings, a far cry from a city like Bangalore. Of the few, Hilton Chennai caught my attention for a while! Chennai traffic which greeted us on that day morning did say bye in the evening too, again in the same fashion - traffic jam. We had to get down from the Volvo bus we boarded to reach CMBT and walk to catch the KSRTC Corona to reach Bengaluru next day morning.Hilton Chennai
Hilton Chennai
Afterthoughts : After completing a series of posts on Mahabalipuram, I felt that any documentation on India's heritage site always leaves genuine readers wanting for more, purely because of the intricacies of architecture and not to forget the history and mythology associated with the place and the work of art. Here, I have tried to highlight only few aspects. If it arouses interest in the minds of readers about the rich heritage of India, I would consider my efforts fruitful. For more details on Mahabalipuram, click here. Also, another thought passes by - if Mahabalipuram trip travelogue has to be stretched into 3 parts and required as much effort, what it would take to document the vibrant Hampe(Hampi)? :)Carvings on wall of Varaha Cave Temple, Mahabalipuram
Carvings on wall of Varaha Cave Temple, Mahabalipuram
Cave Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, Mahabalipuram
Cave Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, Mahabalipuram
Tiger's Cave, Mahabalipuram
Tiger's Cave, Mahabalipuram
Sunset at Chennai
Sunset at Chennai

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Oriyardori Asal - Film Review

Movies can be entertaining or thought provoking. Tulu movie Oriyardori Asal, falls into both the categories. So, it is clear that why it has drawn crowds in Mangalore and Udupi districts. Oriyardori Asal literally means one better than the other. The film is based on the Tulu drama of the 90's of the same name. Punch dialogues of the drama are part of modern Tulu folklore! Evidently, the film has been able to take full advantage of that.

Objective Note : Film begins with talks of highs and lows of Tuluvas, takes note of the people who have excelled for the right reasons and mentions few who have become infamous for wrong reasons. Also, it discusses the present challenges faced by Tulu Nadu, Tulu language not being included in the 8th schedule of constitution. Director of the movie, Vijaya Kumar Kodialbail has dared to present several issues upfront, which is a positive note for the marginalized linguistic community as well as for the coastal region. In his effort, he also makes a passing mention of the communal tensions marring the region in recent years.Naveen D Padil, Aravind Bolar in Oriyardori AsalWhat to look out for : Needless to say dialogues are the most entertaining part of the movie. With the likes of Naveen D Padil and Aravind Bolar you are destined for full throttle of laughter all the time. Some of the dialogues and characters have been modified to suit the new age - like driver Babanna's never ending lines - Yaan panpun daada panda... (translated : What I want to say is..) during Bhoota Kola have been totally removed and replaced with his cell phone histrionics or say the character of coconut plucker Naathu who comes well dressed with a brief case to hold the coconut plucking tool! Film is also not devoid of glamour too as it has Ramya Barna of Pancharangi fame as heroine. Famous song from the original drama Bhageerathammana Per, Aitundu Ardhala Neer finds new tune here. There is also a song shot entirely in Mumbai, with lyrics in Tulu and Hindi with a Marathi line too - Sundar Sundar Amchi Mumbai shows Tulu dramatist's longing for Mumbai. Technically, I have no doubt in my mind to say that this Tulu movie is on par with the films made in Gandhinagar.

'Star' Cast : Kannada music director Gurukiran who hails from Mangalore makes a guest appearance in a song. Mr.World Raymod D'souza has a brief role in the film too.Likhit Shetty and Ramya Barna in Oriyardori AsalThought provoking questions : An inept government body governing the city, leaders who are not ready to protect the fertile lands from polluting industries, deteriorating values among people - all come under hammer. High literacy rate and the presence of Tuluva people in prominent positions - have not ensured the constitutional recognition for the lingua franca of this coastal region. Though the film puts across these questions to the audience, treatment is superficial.

Asserting identity : Vijaya Kumar Kodialbail already said that he will announce the name of his next movie on the 100th day of the movie Oriyardori Asal. Nice to see such development for Tulu cinema which has only about 40 films to its credit. Apart from that, two other minority languages of Karnataka - Kodava and Beary are also finding their voice through cinema. Kodava movie - Jadi Male got released last year. Kannada actor Shiwadhwaj Shetty is directing the Kodava movie - Naa Puttna Mann. Beary language got its first film ever this year.

Going places : Encouraged by the stupendous success of the movie, Vijaya Kumar Kodialbail intends to release the movie in neighboring Kasaragod, of course Mumbai and Gulf countries, where Tuluvas have a good presence. Not to worry, film is going to be released in Bangalore too. As per the latest information, Oriyardori Asal will be released in Bangalore on Friday, 22nd July, 2011 at Gopalan Cinemas, Mysore Road (7 PM show).

Update - 25/07/2011 : As per the latest info available in media, due to technical reasons, Oriyardori Asal was not released in Bangalore on 22nd July 2011. Instead it will be released this Friday, July 29, 2011.

Update - 18/01/2012 : New Tulu film - Aamet Asal Eemet Kusal starring Naveen D Padil, Sai Krishna and directed by Ranjan Raghu Shetty will be released in the month of February 2012.

Happy viewing!


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