Posts Tagged ‘adalaj’

Mamallapuram, tamil nadu, chennai, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel

Shore Temple at Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu (Chennai), India

This is a sketch of the Shore Temple (Mamallapuram) in Tamil Nadu (previously called Chennai), south India. Standing in front of the temple is a woman with her orange sari dancing in the  ocean breeze. I went to Tamil Nadu (Chennai) in October 2008 to spend Divali with my friend, Harish. He is originally from Chennai and was going home from DC for vacation. I left Ahmedabad, along with my housemates who were also originally from there and were heading home. I was bound with bright-eyes and bushy tail to Chennai. Harish and his family (hello Appa) were the perfect hosts for my entire stay. His dad who I affectionately also called “appa” made sure I was always well fed. He always had a snack of some sort for me. One of the many places Harish took me was Mamallapuram. It was beautiful…the beach was too! As one of the Group of Monuments at Mamallapuram, the Shore Temple has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thanks Harish & Appa!

Here is a bit more about the Shore Temple and Mamallapuram below:

The Shore Temple, is erected on the beach not far from the great relief of the Descent of the Ganges. The temple was planned in such a way that the door of the sanctuary opened to the east, in order to catch the first rays of the rising sun. This in itself resulted in a rather peculiar arrangement, since it necessitated the placing of the maṅḍapa and the temple court at the rear or west end of the main sanctuary. The terraced spires crowning both shrine and porch very clearly reveal a development from the form of the Dharmarāja rath. In the Shore Temple, however, the dependence on the vihāra type is less marked, owing to the new emphasis on the height and slenderness of the tower, like an attenuated version of the Dharmarāja rath. Actually, the characteristic Dravidian form of a terraced structure with the shape of the terminal stūpika echoed in lesser replicas on the successive terraces still prevails, but these recessions are so ordered as to stress the verticality of the structure as a whole. Such hallmarks of the Pallava style as the pilasters with the rampant lions persist in the decoration of the façade of this structural monument.

shore temple, Mamallapuram, chennai, india

Shore Temple - Tamil Nadu, India

From the Māmalla Period there date the remarkable rock-cut temples of Māmallapuram or ‘Seven Pagodas’ on the sea-coast below Madras. The work here was under the patronage of the king, Narasiḿha. The principal architectural monuments consisted of five temples or raths that are really free-standing sculptural replicas of contemporary structural buildings carved from the granolitic outcrops on the shore. These monuments are of the greatest importance for the later development of Dravidian architecture because they reveal the dependence of the later Hindu style on pre-existing types of Buddhist architecture. Especially revealing for this latter aspect of the style is the Dharmarāja rath. It has a square ground storey with open verandahs, which forms the base of the terraced pyramidal śikhara above. It has been rightly suggested that this typical Dravidian form is an adaptation of a Buddhist vihāra, in which successive storeys were added for the accommodation of the monks. The terminal member of the structure is a bulbous stūpika, which is repeated in smaller scale on each of the lower levels of the terraced superstructure. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of this and the other raths at Māmallapuram lies in the open verandahs on the ground-storey. The pillars are of a distinctive Pallava type with the shafts of the columns supported by the bodies of seated lions.

Reference: The Art and Architecture of India: Buddhist, Hindu, Jain by Benjamin Rowland


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This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

You're Special, vernelle noel, thinking insomniac

You are special, and the world needs you

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of this, and remind others too. At times we may get stuck in the rut of trying so hard to make things happen and its distance or absence may discourage us, or beat us down. Never give up! The onus is on you to continue trying, especially if you believe in what you are doing, and can see its contribution. It is also important that you encourage others and remind them of that fact, that they too need to keep trying. Stick it out because you never know when the solution, formula, idea, or person may show up and make everything just seem to work out. Continue doing meaningful work, and remember that YOU CAN.

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sketch, vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, vodafone

Phone on bed

6” x 9” Pen and ink on handmade paper sketchbook

In November 2008, I met a gentleman who came to India to work with us on a project. I saw his drawings for a proposal and was very impressed, you could tell he had a good hand. We became friends and when he returned to the US, we would chat and draw… We would choose an object or view that we had in front of us at that very moment, sketch it, take photos of our sketch, and send it to each other to compare. It was mutual and simultaneous sketching via phone/ emails/or Skype. I did the sketch above during one of our chats. Thanks Matt!

Stay tuned for more…

Have a productive day!

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This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Cross Section through step-well, vav, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel

Cross Section through step-well

Above is a drawing of a cross section through a step-well in Gujarat, India. I have written before about the step-wells in Gujarat (click here) and their magnificence. They amaze me and I have experimented (on paper) with their form, and principles in some of my design studies. In Gujarat (western India), rainfall is scanty and water sources are sacred. Tanks and wells were constructed on a magnificent scale and in large numbers. These step-wells look like palaces. The lower you go into the well, the cooler it gets…with wall replete with sculptures. It is estimated that there are at least 100 step-wells in Gujarat. On 26 January 2001 an earthquake rocked Gujarat and either destroyed or damaged monuments of Gujarat’s rich past.

Reference: The Guide to Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent by Takeo Kamiya

The Adalaj Vav in Ahmedabad – Treasure of Delight and Detail >>>

Have a wonderful day!

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This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

adalaj-stepwell column, vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, india, ahmedabad

Sketch of the entablature above a column at the Adalaj Stepwell in Ahmedabad, India

The sketch above is of the entablature of a column at the Adalaj Stepwell or Vav in Ahmedabad, India. The sculptures at the step well in Ahmedabad are very intricate! Elephants, flowers, they all adorn the vav. It is a beautiful place, and a feast for the eyes and the hands. While in India, I went to this vav, several times. It was the first place I would take friends and family when they came to visit. Down in the stepwell it is cool…very cool. The water level drops during the dry months as should be expected. I don’t think it is used anymore, at least that’s what I was told. I did a section through the vav, my perception of what a section through this marvel would look like. I will post it for you another time.
Article on the Adalaj Vav >>>

Modhera sun temple

Modhera Sun Temple, India

Rani ki Vav or Ranki Vav or the Queen's Stepwell

Patan Stepwell or Rani ki Vav or the Queen's Stepwell in Gujarat

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This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.