Sunday, December 30, 2007

Deep Stambh - Tower of Light

Long long ago, in the mystical land of Mardol, there stood a tower tall and stately. It towered alone over the Mahalsa temple in Ponda taluka.

But it woke up one day and found that the temple devotees had erected another gleaming tower next to it. Twenty two levels of oil lamps rose into the air, with this glorious metal pillar resting on a brass turtle's back.

The solitary glory gone, the tower now had a companion. But before long there was another slim, young upstart standing alongside.

But undoubtedly, the real grandeur belongs to the seven storied stone-built deep stambh (lamp tower). "The Lamp Tower is a polygonal (octagonal) structure, with the corners of the ploygons marked by engaged columns, the space between them being occupied by niches for lamps, and the whole crowned by an entablature surmounted by finials." - Jose Pereira, Baroque India (Aryan Books International).

With its elaborate capitals, cornice and arch moulding, this beauty could be standing right in the heart of Rome! Pereira observes that the Lamp Tower, one of the major structures of the Goan Hindu Temple style is perhaps derived from the minarets of Bijapur. "...But the derivation of the Lamp Tower is more probably from the Goan piazza cross - by the addition and dwarfing of storeys and the insertion of niches."

The brass lamp pillar gleams in the sunlight, shining in its own right!

A piazza cross is a cross standing in the church square. This is the cross in front of the Holy Spirit church in Margao. More on the evolution of the Lamp Tower and more pictures of the amazing towers at Bandora, Kavlem, Mangueshi, Savoi, Ramnathi and Parshem in a later post.

Photographs by Pantaleao Fernandes


edson_dias said...

these a beautiful pictures..

check this

amicalechica said...

This is well written! I admire the pictures and all the effort gone into explaining them :)