We go out to Iraivan now to look at the floor work and the forms on the roof. here we see the sand layed our and leveled in the main mandapam of the temple. Floor stones will be placed on top in the days and months ahead.
The silpis have nearly finished setting all the giant floor stones that go around the main sanctum. The north and east sides are in place. Here Chidambaram Sthapati and two silpis are placing stones. With simple boards as a straight edges and string lines, everything is placed with remarkable precision.
The floor stones in front of each column are set first as the base of the Chitra pillars establish a base line. Now they fill in the stone in between two pillars, and the board is used as a straight edge.
Apparently the upper corner of this stone it a bit high. So we have to use this hi-tech tool to set it down in the sand a bit more: a large, very heavy piece of blue gum tree has been cut off, edges chiseled to “soften” the huge mallet which has an old broom handle inserted. Here are some statistics on this amazing tool.
* Weight: about 20 pounds.
* Cost: zero; made from recycled materials
* Maintenance overhead: zero
* Energy requirements: idli sambar for breakfast by operator should suffice.
* Replacement Cost: zero
* Source: made at Kauai Aadheenam, not for sale; cannot be ordered off the internet.
OK, one more blow!
OK, that’s perfect….
You cannot “cut, paste, backspace, delete, paste again” in the stone temple work. Each step has to be right, and it affects everything around it. Go slowly! Next the silpis line up joints by picking a spot on the sanctum wall and pulling a line out to the outer edge of the floor
Sthapati asks them to adjust the line.
Hmmm. Looks good…almost…
Using another hi-tech tool, a flathead screw-driver, the silpi makes a minute 1/16th inch adjustment to the floor stone’s position.
Here is the floor at the back of the sanctum. Standing on these stone, Amma Vicki said she could feel some almost musical sound coming out of each stone!
On the east side, Chellaiya is smoothing the edges of each stone.
The floor will have a softness to it on the feet of those hundreds of thousands of future pilgrims who will go ’round and round the sanctum.
An edge stone beeing fitted.
Everywhere we look inside of Iraivan we see the beauty of our culture in solid granite. The temple is new, but the granite is millions of years old and Iraivan already has a profound message that comes to you from within it’s silent majesty: it is Sanatana Dharma, the Saiva Neri, the perfection of Lord Siva flowing in the inner ethers.
Climbing aloft we see the center ridge of the next cement pour is in place.
This is about 9 inches high and the cement will be sloped own to the outer edge forming a slightly peaked surface for drainage.
We wave to our guests below who are being taken around Iraivan by Brahmacharini Shama Kumaran.
And here is of the crocodile spouts in action, with roof water pouring off and away from the temple.