Rope-pullers; Minaksi temple, Chittrai, 1982; Keywords: devotees, ratha, procession
Sundaresvara, during Minaksi digvijaya; Minaksi temple, Chittrai, 1984; Keywords: sundaresvara, digvijaya
Brahmin assistant drags burning bundle into street, to pacify or purify Avani Mula Street, during vithi-vastusanti ceremony.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Leaving Putu-mandapa at east entrance, onto East Avani Mula Street. Bundle made of samittu: dry sticks of margosa, araca tree, and other kinds of light wood.; Keywords: priests, santi
Jnanasambandar image, before 6th evening procession. On the 6th evening, the great Tamil devotees (nayanmar) of Siva are recognized.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; East Adi Street, near elephant stables; Keywords: nayanmars
Siva Sundaresvara mounted on Kalpataru (wish-granting tree) vehicle, awaiting 1st procession; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; 1st evening procession; Keywords: sundaresvara, vehicles, decoration
Oil-rag lamps held during street site-pacification (vithi- vastusanti), a necessary purifying rite before festival processions.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: personnel
Minaksi's Marriage (tirukalyana) sculpture, depicting Visnu, Minaksi, and Siva Sundaresvara, in Puthu-mandapa. Mid-seventeenth century.; Minaksi temple; Putu-mandapa; Keywords: deities, minaksi, mandapas
Three-breasted Minaksi Statue, in Puthu-mandapa. Constructed in the mid-seventeenth century, during the reign of Tirumalai Nayakkar.; Minaksi temple; Putu-mandapa, SE corner; Keywords: deities, minaksi, mandapas
Sirpathis carry pole supporing icon; Minaksi temple, Chittrai, 2004; Preparation for 1st evening procession. 42 Sirpathis (non-brahmins, not directly temple employees).; Keywords: personnel, sirpathis
Three priests in front of Sundaresvara image; Minaksi temple, Chittrai, 2004; C. Muttapatter Sivaraja, on right, does image decoration.; Keywords: personnel, priests
Chief priest blesses drum, during site-pacification ceremony; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: priests, personnel, musicians
This slide of the pagoda at Muroji was taken in the spring, 1998, before the typhoon damage of September 22, 1998, and the subsequent restoration work on the pagoda. The slide shows the first story of the five-story pagoda, which is only 8 feet square. Also shown is the detail of some of the bracketing that was used in Buddhist pagodas and other temple buildings. The bracketing is perhaps less important here, structurally, than in other temple compounds, because the roofs here, at Muroji, are covered with cedar bark, rather than the very heavy tile of other temples.
Perhaps one hundred yards to the left and behind the pagoda, one begins a steep ascent up the side of the mountain to the Hall of Eternal Light. The stone steps lead one up the side of the hill in almost a straight line, going up the side of the hill for perhaps a quarter of a mile. At one point, off to the side of the stairs leading up the mountainside, one sees this short set of stone steps leading up to a niche carved out of the hill, where there is this small group of memorial stones.
Subrahmanya of Tirupparankundram, decorated for 8th evening procession. The Subrahmanyam image has also come from its home temple, on the outskirts of greater Madurai, to take part in the festival.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: subrahmanya, decoration, tirupparankundram
Priests place prabha (ornamental arch) over Siva Sundaresvara on Golden Horse vehicle, completing decorations for processio; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: sundaresvara, vehicles, priests, decoration
Minaksi decorated for 6th morning procession, rear view. Her hair ornament is part of her special decoration for this day's procession.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; in Gold Capparam; shows (jatai alankara) special decoration of pinnal (hair braid); Keywords: minaksi, decoration
Siva Sundaresvara decorated for 6th morning procession, in Kalyana-mandapa.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; photo by natural light, in Kalyana-mandapa before start of procession; Keywords: sundaresvara, decoration
Worshipers at small shrine of Nine Planets, in Kambattadi Mandapa to east of Sundaresvara shrine.; Minaksi temple; small shrine in mandapa to northeast of Sundaresvara shrine; Keywords: deities, planets, devotees
Yali vehicle, with Minaksi, on 5th evening procession.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; 5th evening procession, S. Avani Mula Street; Keywords: minaksi, vehicles, processions
Minaksi on Kamadhenu vehicle, 3rd evening procession; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; 3rd evening procession; Keywords: minaksi, vehicles, processions
The entrance to the Hall for Memorial Tablets, at Muroji is on ground level of a small level area. Most of the hall, however, is built out over the steep hillside, supported on scaffolding, as shown in this image taken from the stone stairs as one approaches the small plateau.
This is a view of the path, the steps leading up the mountainside at Muroji to the Hall of Eternal Light, also called the Hall for Memorial Tablets. It is a very steep and long climb, consisting of 400 steps built in the 1860's. It also is a beautiful walk up the mountainside, as the steps pass through a quiet forest of giant crytomeria trees. As suggested in the description of the kondo, with its placement in a "natural" wooded site, the presence of nature at Muroji is important and points to a change in the role of nature in relation to Buddhism in Japan, compared, e.g., to the role of setting at earlier temples such as Horyuji. This use of natural setting at Muroji is, of course, consistent with the central awareness of nature in traditional Japanese culture and aesthetic values. The construction of Muroji in the forest no doubt reflects also the intent to remove the temple to the quiet of the mountain site, away from the political environment of the capital.
The Great Buddha (Daibutsu) at Kamakura, a representation of Amida Buddha, was cast in 1252. The wooden building that surrounded it was swept away by a tidal wave, but the figure of the Buddha was unharmed and it has withstood repeated earthquakes, fires, and other calamities. It is 13.5 m (about 44 feet) high, making it the second largest statue of the Buddha in Japan, after the Daibutsu of Todaiji, Nara. Built without imperial or shogunal support, completed entirely with donations from the faithful, it is all the more impressive in its heroic scale.
A Jizo is a Buddhist bodhisattva (bosatsu) who is the guardian of the souls of children who have died, as young children or in birth. Persons wishing to offer a prayer for the care of a child often bring a bib or apron or cap to dress one of the Jizo statues, as they ask that it care for the soul of the child in their prayers. These rows of Jizo figures are at the temple, Hasedera, where there is a hall dedicated to Jizo.
This rather unusual image is a view of the inside of the sculpture of the Great Buddha at Kamakura, taken half way up the stairs inside the figure, looking up into the head of the figure. The dark circles visible inside the head are the coils of hair of the figure. -- Aside from the remarkable scale of the sculpture, which one senses powerfully as one climbs the stairs inside of the sculpture, the striking feature of this photograph is probably the illustration of the manner in which the sculpture was made, fabricated. It appears that it was cast in sections or plates, which were then assembled to create the finished sculpture (look at the outside of the sculpture in the image, ecasia000062). Also of very particular interest here are "brown" elements on the neck and upper torso of the figure. During the great Tokyo earthquake, the head of the sculpture separated from the rest of the figure and ended up in the lap of the figure. It was mounted back in position but, by the late 1940's or early 1950's, stress cracks had begun to appear in the neck. The brown elements visible here are strips of an early plastic compound that were places on the interior of the neck at that time to attempt to reinforce the structure; there was some doubt that the plastic would prove adequate or that it would retain its strength but, obviously, it has served well. (information re: the reinforcement, thanks to Tokyo metalsmith and sculptor, Kosugi Takuya, former metals professor at the National University for the Arts in Tokyo)