Almost 2 weeks ago, I was introduced to the wonderful TV documentary by Arte Wolfe on Photography in his series of Travel To The Edge. That was about traveling around the world highlighting photography as the subject matter. This week, I am happy to be watching another series, this time by Dan Cruickshank and his subject matter is architecture. These series are truly nice and entertaining for someone whose primary focus is traveling and secondary focus are photography & architecture. These are series geared for audiences like me! Awesome! :-)
Dan Cruickshank @ Kornak Sun Temple
Leshan Giant Buddha in China
The 1st episode of a series of architectural delights focuses on igloo of Greenland, the largest Buddhist statue in the world of Leshan Giant Buddha (I've visited this one personally), Catherine's opulent palace in St. Petersburg (Amber Room is considered the 8th wonder of the world in this palace; Yep, been there too ;-)) & Indian temple glorifying sex (ooops, missed this one when I was in India!)!
How's that for some excitement? ;-) I googled for some photos of the Kornak Temple. See for yourself!
Ok, now that I've got your full attention, here's the story behind the Konark Sun Temple in Orissa, India. You think a picture tells a thousand words? You are definitely right! In this case, it's a temple which was having pronounced influence on the people living around it for 400 years, then it was abandoned totally. But why built a temple with sexual imageries all around the temple and what's the belief system behind it?
Well, from what I understood from the documentary, it has something to do with tying sexual activity to spiritual intelligence in the sense that the sacred nature of body fluid and the exchange of it is being perceived as feasting on the divine nectar. Fluid is necessary for life and that's the extension of the nectar of immortality.
Oh well, I'm not so sure if I got this part right but whatever it is, if you insist on finding out the truth to it, why not watch the series? As far as what I can see from its first opening episode, it's interesting enough for me to want to check out the next one which will be on architectures from Egypt, Guatemala, Italy, Czech Republic & India again. All in all, there are 8 episodes with each focusing on a different theme: beauty, death, paradise, disaster, connections, power, dreams & pleasure. I sure am looking forward to seeing them again on TV next week!
Alternatively, you can probably find some version of it on Youtube or DVDs. Have fun watching!
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About the reviewer
I'm a traveler at heart & have been nicknamed Travel Queen by friends & colleagues alike. Traveling has been my life passion for the last decade or so. As we enter a new decade, I'm excited … more
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Dan Cruickshank's Adventures in Architecture is a BBC series first aired on BBC Two in April 2008 in which Britisharchitectural historianDan Cruickshank travels around the world visiting what he considers to be the world's most unusual and interesting buildings, structures and sites.