• Journey route

      South
    East
  • Travel Distance

      1500
    KMS (Apx.)
Cities: Kanchipuram, Pondicherry - French Quarters, Pondicherry - Tamil Quarters, Villapuram, Trichy, Chettinad, Madurai, Ambasamudram.

About the Journey

Remember the massive wooden door with golden knobs and intricate carvings that left you awestruck in Kanchipuram? Or the dainty door in Pondicherry, painted in vibrant yellow, hidden partially under pink Bougainvillea.

You remember them of course. They caught your eye and piqued your curiosity.
You took out your cell and thought they were Instagram-worthy. Then you moved ahead and forgot about them. But each of them has an enthralling story. A story waiting to be unearthed and told to the world.

A story of its untold past, of the artisan who crafted it meticulously with a vision and precision, of the building it protected, of the people who beautified it and restored it for our generation to be proud of.

Enriched with a glorious past and stunning architecture as old as the 7th century, this stretch of Southern India is steeped in history and culture. From the largest temple in the world in Trichy to the 1000 pillared hall in Madurai. From the palatial mansions of Chettinad to a melange of French and Tamil cultures in Pondicherry. Join us as we open these sentinels of a lost era and appreciate the modern ones that blend seamlessly with the local culture.

Follow the tracker as we explore and document doors of the temples of Kanchi, Trichy and Madurai, the French colonial homes of Pondicherry and the traditional Chettinad mansions of Karaikudi.

Stay tuned to know where a homestay owner found its teak door, how a heritage hotel was restored from a dilapidated condition and which door is known as a doorway to heaven.

Stories will be told. Doors will be personified and their qualities will be appreciated on this journey like none other.

A visually enticing journey awaits. Are you ready?
#Doors of India: for the artistic souls.

The Door's Stories

The Doorway to Stories: Brahmadesam Temple

  July 24, 2017
The South-east zone has been a treasure trove of majestic doors. There have been doors that left me in awe, doors that were ornate, doors that were simple yet beautiful, and doors that were nothing short of magic.

And then I found a door that perfectly summed up my quest for stories in this zone. A door, nestled in a tiny village near Tirunelveli. Tucked away, with stories imprinted on it. The door of the Brahmadesam Temple: a perfect storyteller.

The Brahmadesam Temple in Ambasamudram is a lesser known beauty. It is one of those architectural marvels that speaks volumes of our heritage yet is locked away, not visited by many.

The 2000-year-old temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has a mandapam with 100 pillars (all monoliths). There are scenes from Ramayana carved on some of them and the wood work in the temple is attributed to the Chera period. There are influences of the Cholesbury and Pandyas too.

I walk around these pillars and experience optical illusions in some. From one side they look gigantic, from the other they look lean! Such was the mastery of the artisans and their hard work is now battling for life.

The entrance to this forgotten temple is a massive wooden door, with 80 different stories carved on it. These are scenes from epics, Hindu Puranas with various deities and even sages.

I look at the carvings and marvel at the skill of the Kerala artisans who built this strong door, so heavy that it had to be closed with the help of elephants.

It is believed that this door protected and shielded the villagers during various wars during the Chola era.

Truly, this door for me is like a preface, to a rare novel. With such a plethora of unique stories, it was a storyteller in itself.

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