Last week we told the story of how the team in Colorado (as a gift to the monastery) molded and cast copies of the carbide chisels now in use in sculpting Iraivan Temple. It is important that we show these chisels, partly because they are the brilliant invention of our own team in Bengaluru and partly because otherwise visitors in the future will be unaware of the change from mild steel to carbide-tipped tools.
Yesterday the monks installed them at the Temple Builders' Pavilion, on the stone you see here with two siplis seated. The slide show reveals details.
Aum Namah Sivaya
Today our camera-monk takes us out to Iraivan Temple for this week's update of the progress going on there. right now the next layers of the temple steps are being placed and the lavarock plinth is getting higher and higher. Also, join us for a quick detour into our Sacred Gardens.
A few years back, we completed the Temple Builders' Pavilion, the seven bronze masterpieces showing Gurudeva, Ganapathi sthapati and the silpis at work. A kind of workshop where visitors and pilgrims of the future could see the ancient technology used to carve Iraivan Temple.
But during the making of the pavilion (which took some 7 years) something happened. The Bangalore team invented a new chisel. Instead of the thick soft iron chisels that most of Iraivan was made with, these were made of carbide steel. They could be sharpened with a diamond wheel and last 20 times longer than the old-style steel. Plus they have a sharper point, allowing the sculptors to do even more refined work.
Recently we realized that these new-style chisels are not represented in the Pavilion, so we sent one of the carbide chisels to Loveland, Colorado, to have copies made to be placed in the Pavilion, showing something important to future generations (even if they don't fully understand the story).
Yesterday, this envelop arrived at the monastery.
Inside were four copies of the original, made in bronze and looking identical to the original. Then we learned that Bobby and Kathy Page gifted their molding and casting fees, and the forging folks gifted the metal work and Patrick Kipper, the patineur, gifted his application of the colors (amazing achievement of gold color we thought). The entire project was free! Thank you, everyone.
Aum Namah Sivaya
Today is a bright, dry and sunny day at the aadheenam. Perfect for construction efforts. A tour of Iraivan Temple reveals the quickening progress on the lava rock wall which surrounds the temple foundation. All along the east side we already have two layers of stone in place and work has begun on the western side as well. The angles this rock wall requires are complex, yet they present a natural simplicity. On other fronts, or on THE front, rather, the temple's entry steps have gained some more completed steps. Not too many left to go before Iraivan's grand stairway is compete. Aum.
With restrictions on construction loosening in our state, Umut and his team of rock layers have restarted their work. They are currently laying the first layer of stones which will serve as a barrier for the concrete which will be poured in behind the stones. Here they are carefully sorting out each stone from their hand-picked collection and determine which ones will be placed.
At Iraivan Temple the siplis have nearly completed the installation of the first four stone steps that comprise the temple's main entrance. These slabs are fit over the existing stair-shaped foundation. They are then carved along the joints to make them relatively seamless.
Today after, some code warrior work, we are showcasing a new capability on TAKA. (Cue the drum roll) Introducing our interactive slider, the amazing little gadget that shows two photos in the same space. After posting this, we learned that it is acting oddly in Chrome, but works perfectly in iOS and Firefox. More engineering to be done.
This first example comprises "before" and "after" shots of Iraivan Temple, taken from the same location in the west garden, one around 2003 and the second captured a few days ago. Hold your mouse (or touch on your phone) on the dividing line, and drag it left and right, back and forth to reveal each photo. Here with a simple swipe you can witness 17 years of progress!
This entry was posted on Sunday, May 3, 2020 at 12:09 pm and is filed under Construction, Temples. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
This week our masterful team of siplis has placed the first layer of step stones for Iraivan Temple's main entry stairway. The stairs have a precisely measured concrete foundation over which the granite pieces are placed. After spending weeks adding fine details to the stones and making sure the spacing was just right, it was time to start placing them. As the detail carvings are completed more and more layers will be added. Aum Namah Sivaya
A short video depicting the siplis rhythmically moving one of the giant granite yalis into place along the front steps of Iraivan Temple.
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