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The art seems to have begun in the 8th century in the court of the Pallava monarchs of Kanchipuram, but it was their nemesis, the imperial Chola kings of Tanjore, who patronised the sculptors and brought the art to perfection.

Here in the streets and fields they can receive tributes and offerings, while their devotees and subjects - including those of the lower castes, who were traditionally not admitted to the temples - can see them, and make darshan, so giving the gods pleasure while at the same time providing spiritual benefit for the devotees. The pious pilgrim who steps within the temple enters a zone of transition, where the celestial can become suddenly imminent, manifest; it is a doorway to the divine where you can cross from the world of men to the world of the gods as easily as you might cross a slow-flowing stream at the height of the dry season.

Yet, where the culture of south India differs from that of the Romans or the Aztecs is that the Hindu civilisation of the south still survives almost completely intact.

Around midnight, the raft pulled into the ghat and the idols, still on their palanquin, were raised on to the shoulders of the priests and carried ashore. Sexy girl and girl video. This hillock here was a demon in the form of a giant snake who tried to devour the temple; that rock was an evil elephant who attempted to trample the town's Brahmins to death before being turned to stone by Lord Shiva; the river there was created by Lord Sundareshvara to quench the thirst of one of his wedding guests, who had developed an unbearable craving for water after too much salty rice.

T here are few places in the world where landscape and divinity are more closely linked than in south India. Naked chola girls. Renewed and purified, the Nataraja is dancing the universe from perdition to regeneration in a symbol of the circular nature of time.

Lord Shiva reaches out and fondly touches the breast of his consort, Uma-Parvati, a characteristically restrained Chola way of hinting at the immense sexual prowess and unmatched erotic powers of a god who embodies male fertility - his iconic image is the erect phallus - and who is celebrated in the scriptures for his millennia-long bouts of Himalayan love-making. The fierce elegance of Shiva reflects that of the Cholas themselves.

Finding myself next to a priest, I remarked on how much everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The same is true of Hindu poetry: Rajaraja himself gave his temple in Tanjore kilos of gold from his conquests, yet more of silver, and great sackfuls of jewels. In western art, few sculptors - except perhaps Donatello or Rodin - have achieved the pure essence of sensuality so spectacularly evoked by the Chola sculptors; or achieved such a sense of celebration of the divine beauty of the human body.

But the gods of the country are understood to be jealous and territorial deities, and instead of sitting in their palaces, their devotees believe that they like to guard their domains carefully. The goddess takes them away from themselves. In some temples, the last act of the priests, before they close the doors of the inner shrine, is to remove the nose jewel of the bronze idol of Shiva's consort, lest the rubbing of it irritate her husband when they make love - an act, so the priests will tell you, that ensures the preservation and regeneration of the universe.

That night the whole town gathered to see the return of the goddess and her consort to her temple palace. John carter actress nude. It was for this reason that in the 10th century - around the same time as the Vikings were settling in northern England, and Turkish warlords from Afghanistan were beginning to swoop down on the plains of Hindustan, burning the temples of the north - that the first portable bronze deities began to be cast in southern India.

Naked chola girls

Such expeditions sometimes end with the god taking a bath in a sacred river, or even a trip on a boat in a temple tank. For that reason, on the great festivals they are sometimes taken out from the temples, robed, jewelled and garlanded; put on a palanquin, or temple chariot; offered betel leaves and areca nuts; and then given a tour so that they can survey their lands, and be taken along a circuit of the borders of their kingdom.

On one level, Shiva dances in triumph at his defeat of the demons of ignorance and darkness, and for the pleasure of his consort. One bronze survives that shows her adorned with earrings of human cadavers. Amman [the mother goddess] does this for them, and for this reason they love her and are happy. Anaradhapura, the great Buddhist capital of Sri Lanka, was twice plundered, sacked and consigned to the flames by their warriors; for 75 years, Sri Lanka was ruled from Tanjore.

But with the Cholas, the sexual nature of the gods is strongly implied rather directly stated - in the extraordinary, swinging rhythm to these eternally still figures, in their curving torsos, their slender arms, their high, rounded breasts and their firm thighs. On the completion of their great dynastic temple in Tanjore inthe Cholas donated to their new structure no less than 60 bronze images of deities, of which about two-thirds were given by the Chola monarch Rajaraja, while the rest were given by his sisters, queens, officials and nobles.

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Certainly, the Chola's conquests and trading expeditions - they sent embassies to China and war fleets as far as Bali - produced a massive concentration of wealth in south India, much of which was channelled by Chola patronage into art and architecture: In the early morning, the idol was escorted from the temple through the streets, and taken for a boating expedition on a temple tank at the far side of the town.

It is a perfect symbol of the way the bronze-casters managed to imbue their creations with both a raw sensual power and a profound theological message. When these temples were first built, the large stone idols of the temple sanctuaries were often found to be too large to move around.

Lord Shiva reaches out and fondly touches the breast of his consort, Uma-Parvati, a characteristically restrained Chola way of hinting at the immense sexual prowess and unmatched erotic powers of a god who embodies male fertility - his iconic image is the erect phallus - and who is celebrated in the scriptures for his millennia-long bouts of Himalayan love-making. Freaky short haired swinger milf. For that reason, on the great festivals they are sometimes taken out from the temples, robed, jewelled and garlanded; put on a palanquin, or temple chariot; offered betel leaves and areca nuts; and then given a tour so that they can survey their lands, and be taken along a circuit of the borders of their kingdom.

It was for this reason that in the 10th century - around the same time as the Vikings were settling in northern England, and Turkish warlords from Afghanistan were beginning to swoop down on the plains of Hindustan, burning the temples of the north - that the first portable bronze deities began to be cast in southern India. For even as they brought south Indian culture to a peak of courtly civility and perfection, they also wreaked a savage destruction of their rivals and enemies.

Anaradhapura, the great Buddhist capital of Sri Lanka, was twice plundered, sacked and consigned to the flames by their warriors; for 75 years, Sri Lanka was ruled from Tanjore. Exquisitely poised and supple, these bronze deities stand silent on their plinths, yet with their hands they speak gently to their devotees through the noiseless lingua franca of the gestures or mudras of south Indian dance: The fierce elegance of Shiva reflects that of the Cholas themselves.

There is a startling clarity and purity about the way the near-naked bodies of the gods and the saints are displayed. Yet by the simplest and most modest of devices, their spirit and powers, joys and pleasures, and above all their enjoyment of each other's beauty and their overwhelming sexuality, is highlighted. Naked chola girls. Yet, where the culture of south India differs from that of the Romans or the Aztecs is that the Hindu civilisation of the south still survives almost completely intact.

Amman [the mother goddess] does this for them, and for this reason they love her and are happy. The dancing figure of the god is not just a model of bodily perfection and the encapsulation of virility and desire, but also an emblem of higher truths. It is also the first time a large number of Chola bronzes have been brought together in Britain since the In the Image of Man exhibition in The Cholas worshipped and propitiated Kali, the fearsome goddess of destruction.

With one hand he is shown holding fire, signifying destruction, while with the other he bangs the damaru drum, whose sound denotes creation. Ellen barkin naked pics. This hillock here was a demon in the form of a giant snake who tried to devour the temple; that rock was an evil elephant who attempted to trample the town's Brahmins to death before being turned to stone by Lord Shiva; the river there was created by Lord Sundareshvara to quench the thirst of one of his wedding guests, who had developed an unbearable craving for water after too much salty rice.

You can still see the practice of touring the bronze images of gods at any of the great southern temple festivals. On return, the idols of the all-conquering deities are bathed in milk, curds, butter, honey and sugar, before being anointed with sandal paste and dressed in the finest silks.

The great Chola temples at Chidambaram and Tanjore are still thriving. Here in the streets and fields they can receive tributes and offerings, while their devotees and subjects - including those of the lower castes, who were traditionally not admitted to the temples - can see them, and make darshan, so giving the gods pleasure while at the same time providing spiritual benefit for the devotees.

Around midnight, the raft pulled into the ghat and the idols, still on their palanquin, were raised on to the shoulders of the priests and carried ashore. The same is true of Hindu poetry: The goddess takes them away from themselves.

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On one level, Shiva dances in triumph at his defeat of the demons of ignorance and darkness, and for the pleasure of his consort.

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