Kulapati Jiva Rajasankara writes:
I have attached a set of photos on the carving of the karnakoodu. This sits on the vylan vari. It is a smaller version of the capstone . There are 12 in numbers.
You can see the how detail the silpis have carved. There is no vacant space at all. Full of intricate carvings. It will be the only temple in the world where such hand carvings is in progress and possibly the last such temple too because the skill for this hand work may be lost in the next generation in India.
Mamalapuram near Chennai is the main place in India where one goes to get a temple carved and a statue made. It was 90% handmade with 10% machines until 1980.
Today all stone carving are only 5% handmade and 95% machine cut. You would be surprised — when the power supply goes off, they stop their work!!!
Carving by hand has become extinct. Only Gurudeva has revived this dying tradition. You pay out more and have to wait for years. No one has the patience of Gurudeva and Bodhinatha.
Here we see the karnakoodu with the kalasam. How beautiful it looks. It is just one side completed and another 3 sides to go. We have another 11 such karnakoodus to carve in the weeks ahead.
Here we see the 12 kalasams already carved. It takes about 5 days to carve one kalasam because it is only about 4 inches in height. Just imagine a silpi holding a hammer in one hand and a chisel in the other hand trying to carve this tiny piece.