Older than time

Voices and Visions

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By Sharon St Joan

The stone steps, narrow and slightly sloping from centuries of use, extend downwards from between the paws of the great lion down into the green waters of the tank where devotees put their hand into the water and sprinkle it on their heads. The largest and oldest of the temples in this area, the Vrinchipuram Margapandeswarar Temple stands near Vellore, in Tamil Nadu, in south India.

Its outer walls tower perhaps forty feet into the air and are massively thick, like those of a fortress. The atmosphere in the courtyard paved with giant stones is peaceful and very ancient — its ancientness being interwoven with its peace and its massive structure. Like eternity, it seems indestructible, permanent, and unmoving, calm like the great stones that dot the nearby granite hillsides.

Two Ganeshas in bas relief stand near the temple entrance – one for the main…

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