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MUSICAL PILLARS IN HINDU TEMPLE HAS BAFFLED SCIENTISTS :
Scientists are baffled @ ancient Civil engineering in india !
Hanging Pillar temple !
Muscial pillars !
1.Vijaya vittal temple , Hampi
Built by KrishnaDevaraya, this temple has around 56 musical pillars. When tapped gently, these pillars produce musical sounds. These pillars are popularly known as Musical Pillars or SaReGaMa pillars.
2.Nellaiappar Temple at Tirunelveli there are four musical pillars.
3.Thanumalayan Temple in Suchindrum in Tamil Nadu.
4.Adhinathar temple at Alwartirunagari in Tamil Nadu.
5.1000 pillars Madurai Meenakshi Temple
6. Temple in terakanambi,gundlpet,chamarajanagar dist
7. Triyambakapuira temple
Sound of conch or horn if wind is blown in to the holes.
Sivan Koil of Shenbagarama Nallur near Nanguneri in Tamil Nadu.
Hindu Temples of India are architectural wonders. Each sculptor has shown his genius in the temple sculptures and carvings in his own way. Every temple has something to boast about. Modern engineers marvel at Indian temples and wonder how they built without the modern tools thousand years ago. Temples like Madurai Meenakshi temple contain thousands of statues.
South Indian temples stand unique in certain aspects. The Nayak kings of Vijayanagara Empire made unique contribution to art and architecture of South India in the past. Musical pillars found in five or more temples are Nayak’s contribution. The most famous Musical Pillars are in Sri Vittala Temple in Hampi in Karnataka. There are musical pillars in Madurai Meenakshi Temple, Nellaiyappar Temple in Tirunelveli, Thanumalayan Temple in Suchindrum and Adhinathar temple at Alwartirunagari in Tamil Nadu.
Musical Pillars are standing testimony to Hindu art. The sculptors have invested their sculptural and musical skills in them. Sri Vijaya Vittala temple was built in 15th century. It has got 56 musical pillars also known as SAREGAMA pillars. Sa, Re, Ga, Ma are four of the seven musical notes.
Scores of articles, books and research papers have been written on these pillars. H.A.Patil has submitted one research paper on Hampi temple.
Following is the gist:
“ In this paper, we present the spectral analysis of the sound recorded from a musical pillar at Vitthala temple, Hampi - a world heritage site in Karnataka. The pillars in this temple have musical columns which produce sounds of different musical instruments when struck with a thumb (i.e., a kind of impulse-like excitation). The sound recorded from a pillar is found to produce bell-like sound. In addition, an analysis is presented to model dynamics of such columns in a pillar to find the flexural frequencies along with its eigenmodes. It was observed that there is close correlation between spectral (i.e., resonance) characteristics of bell-like sound from pillar and actual bell sound. The measured frequencies of pillar have also been found to be in close agreement with flexural frequencies derived from Euler-Bernoulli beam model and energy separation algorithm (ESA) based on Teager's energy operator. This model correctly predicts the resonant frequencies of the bell-like sound from the musical columns of the pillar”.
In the Nellaiappar Temple at Tirunelveli there are four musical pillars. They have a central pillar around which there are 48 small cylindrical pillars of varying girth. When they are taped they give different sounds. When pillar is tapped, there are sympathetic vibrations from the neighbouring pillars.
In the Thanumalayan temple at Suchibram, there are four musical pillars. The central pillar is surrounded by 24 or 33 small pillars.
In the Adhinathar temple at Alwartirunagari, tow musical pillars are found.
Madurai Meenakshi Temple is considered one of the 100 Wonders of the world ( Please read my post THE WONDER THAT IS MADURAI MEENAKSHI TEMPLE). The five musical pillars inside the temple are known to many. They are monoliths. Large central pillar is surrounded by 22 small pillars.
There are small pillars in Sivan Koil of Shenbagarama Nallur near Nanguneri in Tail Nadu. They emit the sound of conch or horn if wind is blown in to the holes.
Please read about the Stone Nagaswaram of Alwartiru Nagari temple and Ivory nagaswaram of Tiruvarur temple in my earlier article 100 WONDERS OF TAMIL NADU. One foot long stone nagaswaram of this temple is made of granite. It has got seven notes.
Mr K K Pillai has written about Suchindram musical pillars in depth in his book on the Thanumalayan temple. He gives the follwig details:
“The two northern groups present each a cluster of 24 pillars, while the southern ones present each a cluster of 33. A striking feature is that all the pillars of each group, together with the exquisitely carved turret at the top of each group are chiselled out of a single rock of granite. A tap on each of the pillars in a group produces different sound”. He added that the quality of sound is not as good as Tirunelveli Musical pillars.
A study team led by Dr S Kameswaran, Chief of the Ent Institute in the Madurai General Hospital has analysed the musical pillars in the above temples in 1981( Indian Express news report ,July 30, 1981).The cluster of pillars carved out of a huge block of resonant stone was played upon with two sticks, provided with a hard striking knob at the ends. The performers stood on opposite sides and played on pillars. Solo music as well as accompaniment was provided by them. Rhythmic accompaniment was given to performances of dance by playing jatis, hols on them; The tone colou of the notes emanating from the pillars resembles the tone colour of the ‘Thala Alangaram’.
The peak of excellence has been reached at the musical pillars in Suchindram. The study of these pillars with a high fidelity tape-recorder, wooden plant and inch tape included physical measurement of the pillar, sound recording and analysis and identifying modal points. The analysis of the rock sample (from the pillars) was done at the geology department of Presidency college, Chennai. According to Geology Professor Dr Subramanina, the rock rich in Silica, is fairly abundant in Hospet near Hampi in Karnataka.
A book has been published by a research scholar on Music Pillars in Temples ( in English) long ago. —