The Sun Temple of Odisha, Konark, the most enduring homage to Surya, the elixir of life and energy, stands in grand isolation on the golden bed of sands of the sea-board of Odisha, Eastern India.
The exhibition of photography by A. Prathap, Ramli in Konark, represents a collection of photographs taken in the early dawn of 8 Nov, 2015 at this great temple-wonder, once known as India’s Black Pagoda. Ramli in a simple odissi dhoti provides a lone dance figure in the misty early morning complimenting the majestic architecture of Konark, built as a magnificent celestial chariot of Surya, the Sun God. Here, each morning is a celebration when the stone sculptures of indolent damsels, musicians and dancers come to life as they offer their benediction to the splendor of Surya with the first pencil rays of the morning sun as he rides his exquisite chariot and sets on his celestial journey. His wheeled chariot drawn by seven prancing horses whizzes across the sky and is infused in the aura of molten gold mingled with the magical touch of maiden morning rays.
As if for the first time, Ramli touches with reverence and affection, the fallen heroes – the lion, the elephant, the lotus as well as the eternal wheel of time, giving them the touch of his raw energy. Come! He beckons them to dance with him. Once again, the lion roars, the elephant trumpets, the stone lotus blooms and the wheel of time rumbles on. This indeed is a different Ramli, blessed with the divine aura of Surya; A. Prathap, the ace photographer has caught in his lenses. The Temple of Konark changes with each fickle second of time – making each moment poetic and artful. The early dawn – when morning dews are still fresh on the faces of blushful nayikas (heroines), like drops of perspiration resultant of love-making – is the most opportune time that Ramli and Prathap have chosen to immortalise these images.
The photographs in the exhibition speak volumes of the inner equanimity and joy that flow through the communion of the dancer with the spirit and architectural splendour of the Sun Temple of Konark. Ramli’s lone figure strikes a complimentary and powerful contrast to contained energy of this paean to the Sun God.
The exhibition of photographs is a fitting tribute to Surya who dances in everlasting rhythm with Time.
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