Have been on ruin-spotting runs so often that ruins have taken a liking to me . And are now spotting me !
Returning from Gosayi Ghatta , in Srirangapatna , am virtually ambushed by a ruin of respectable proportion looming behind wayside shrubbery ......Weird ! Dont remember noticing it during any of the many past trips along the same dirt road .
In the failing light of the late evening, the stone and masonry edifice ,built in 18 th Century Mysorean style, looks forbidding . But explore, one must !
The gopuramless entrance is guarded by two small dwarapalakas
... and watched over by a darkened LintelLakshmi .
The limeplaster creeper on the cornice shows a few bright leaves highlighted by the surrounding grime . Pretty !
The doorway leads to a vast courtyard with long pillared corridors which end in abrupt collapse . There is no sculpted image of any kind , anywhere .
The main cella surmounted by a crumbling vimana ,is severely walled up, allowing no light in .
The interior is bare, with a few unornamented, well weathered pillars .
A strong earthy odour of wilted weeds, bat droppings and cowdung indicates long neglect .
.....umm....not ...so....interesting .....but suddenly .....
...the feeble torchlight of the mobilephone picks out two shadowy figures . Life sized stucco figures of Dwarapalakas , on either side of the entrance to the cavernous Garbhagudi, each within his own ornamental avali , much discoloured but miraculously unbroken ! Impressive !
God knows what tumultous history they have witnessed , but they still stand proud , diligently guarding a black Void .
A curious , suspicious local stops to stare at the unusual attention the ruin has attracted , but waits cautiously till the mad party has boarded the car to announce that it used to be Rama Devaru temple .
And he is not too old .