Post 28 (Pt 2) Day 14, at Kolkata: “I next visit the Jain temple complex, the Parshwanath Temple, at Baridas Temple Street. The complex was built in 1867 and is divided into four temples. The ornamentation that confronts the visitor is like Sydney’s Luna Park ‘fun park’ gone crazy. It’s a wild mix of fairground figures, pseudo-Rococo and Pre-Raphaelite statues and mosaics, all madly gaudy and coloured as if put through the pastel paint blender of a candy store. If you got all your old toys and sent them away to the lolly factory that makes old-fashioned ‘love hearts’ this is what they’d look like when they came back, this would be their play ground. The only architectural parallel I know to the Parshwanath Temple is that of Gaudi’s masterpieces of architecture and functional splendour in Spanish Barcelona, but his style of design and ornament is totally different, it’s only the mishmash of exuberant madness that the two styles convey that makes me lump them together. It’s all a maze of magic; yellow lions, swan ship castles, candelabra-lollipop fountains, candy colours of pinks and blues and others besides, Greek muses, men atop an elephant, column capitals that make the Greek Corinthian style look dull, ornate glazed tiles, mirrored wall mosaics, exuberant floral motifs, enamelled images of peacocks and Babylonian kings.”
If indeed it was made of candy I just might have nibbled pieces whilst no one was looking…… forget the risk of tooth decay. But I suspect the worst that would have happened would have been lots of smiles, just like the happy man within the temple’s precinct who followed me in hope of my custom.
One thought on “Photo essay – The Temple of Candy and Magic”
Pictures are good but the narrative makes it all the more interesting.