Saturday, January 28, 2017

Silappathikaram Art Gallery, Poompuhar, Nagapattinam

Silappathikaram Art Gallery, Poompuhar, Nagapattinam
Silappathikaram Art Gallery is a heritage site located in Poompuhar in  Nagapattinam District of Tamilnadu. It is a beautiful building of great sculptural value. Scenes from Silappathikaram, the Epic of the land have been given lively shapes in stones on the walls of the Gallery. These sculptures carved by the sculptors of Mamallapuram Art College remain the treasure house of Tamil Culture. It is a beautiful seven-storied classical structure.

This lovely place is scenically located on Poompuhar Beach. It is located in the place called Poompuhar or Puhar. Puhar in Tamil means the ‘estuary’ of river in the sea. Poompuhar is located close to the spot where the river Cauvery flows out into the sea. This is an ancient port city earlier called as Kaveri Poompattinam, served as the Capital of early Chola rulers. Original town destroyed by sea and submerged presumably in 500 AD was rebuilt after that.

Ancient Pottery and figurines dating back to the 4th century were recently found in ASI excavation. Emperors like Sembiyan, Muchukunda, Manuneedhi and Karikala of Chola Dynasty added glory to Poompuhar. National institute of Marine Archaeology confirms through its marine archaeological researches, that, much of the town was washed away by progressive erosion and floods. Submerged wharves and lengths of pier walls have been excavated in the recent times. They match the literary references to Poompuhar.

Places of Interest
Silappathikaram Art Gallery:
The Silappathikaram Art Gallery is a seven storied, classically built structure. The first floor of this building is 12 ft high and all the other floors have a height of 5 ft each. The tower comprises of Kalasams having a height of 8 ft, which brings the total height of this gallery to 50 ft. The arte facts in this gallery comprises of scenes from Sangam Epic Silappathikaram. They were created by the sculptors of Government College of Architecture and Sculpture of Mamallapuram, and remain the treasure house of Tamil culture. 
Magara Thoranavayil:
'Magara Thoranavayil' has been designed on the pattern of Magara Thorana Vayil, found in Suruli Malai Mangala Devi Temple. The Anklet shaped tank within the building premises, has the statues of Kannagi and Madhavi on the sides of these tanks.
Elanchi / Ilanji Mandram:
Elanchi (Ilanji Mandram) is nothing but a monument referred in the epic Silappathikaram. In Silappathikaram, Devanthi, the friend of Kannagi, told her about the Elanchi Mandram. It is situated in the Confluence of Cauvery into Bay of Bengal. It is a park where Neydarl filed opens its petals and where two sacred tanks are dedicated to the Sun and Moon. These miracle tanks cured all the diseases. And it is also believed to bring harmony between husband and Wives. 
Kotra Pandal:
The Stage in which the arrangement of Madhavi took place was chosen in accordance with the time honoured tradition set by the architects. The Canopy was painted with many beautiful pictures, from which were hanging loosely set garlands of pears. It showed the novel and attractive appearance, which the stage presented.
Useful Info
Operating Hours:
·        Mon-Sun: 08:30 AM - 01:00 PM, 02:00 PM - 08:30 PM
Contact Details:
·        Phone: +91 4364 260439
Parking Fee:
·        Two - Wheeler: Rs. 5/- Car: Rs. 10/-
·        Entry Fee: Adult - Rs. 3/- & Kid - Rs. 2/-
Tourists have to alight at Mayiladuthurai Railway Junction, to proceed to Poompuhar by road. Visitors from Chennai who travel by train have to get down at Sirkazhi. Poompuhar is connected to Mayiladuthurai and Sirkazhi by road. The distance from Poompuhar to Mayiladuthurai is 24 kms and to Sirkazhi is 21 kms. Tourists from Chennai to Poompuhar by private carriers can take the route via Tindivanam, Pondicherry, Cuddalore and Sirkazhi.
Those who come from Madurai, Ramanathapuram and Tirunelveli may proceed via Melur, Tiruppathur, Karaikudi, Tharangampadi and Akkur. They can also come via Pudukkottai, Thanjavur, and Mayiladuthurai. Bus facilities are available to this place from Nagapattinam, Mayiladuthurai, Poompuhar and Sirkazhi. Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporations operate town buses to nearby areas. Hired Vehicles like cars and auto rickshaws are available too.

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