This is a time for a bit of a rewind. When we wanted to park the car, we went all around the temple (thank you, Google Maps) searching for parking. When no obvious spot was forthwith in its appearance, we just figured that we’d just put it under some random tree on the side of the road. It was right in front of a small shop of some sort but they old lady sitting in the shop did not look one bit bothered so, well, we did not, either. Bother, that is.
As we finished this parking expedition (by this, I mean, of course, the hitching of our steed, not the expedition in the park that said friend undertook in the park-esque lawns of the temple) and started walking towards the temple, we saw something that looked like what was once something that was not ruined. We decided to visit it on the way back.
Back to the present. We visited it. It was a gateway of some sort. Or so it seemed.
I’m sure that Blue Bell spoken English was not what this was a gateway to but looks like it seems to be now. The British did indeed invade India and were quite zealous in their spreading of the English and the whatnot but I doubt that even they used a crumbling gateway to lead the locals toward an English education. Replete with a blue bell, of course.
We entered and looked around. It seemed to be a temple of sorts. By ‘of sorts’ I mean, it was a temple. There was a large-ish patch of grass all around and the wall on the left was a new cement one. The one on the right, however, was straight out of a post-war-view-of-the-city scene of a movie. It was all over the place. Bricks strewn around. We looked at it and wondered what this could have been. We wondered for a bit and then made our way back. After all, GKC awaited.
When walking out, however, something was odd. I looked to the left and saw something. Something that looked like a staircase. Only, it was not a staircase in the conventional sense of the word. It was more of a few bricks jutting out of the wall, forming a staircase moving up.
This certainly was a watch tower of some sort. Being opposite the temple, this was probably the tower that was the entrance to the city of Darasuram (?). Or perhaps it was where the guards of Darasuram were on the lookout for messengers — both friends and foes — who came carrying news, Naturally, curiosity was piqued. Climbing was done. What awaited us was nothing short of spectacular.
I will tell you, nay, show you what we saw. But first, a bit of a history lesson.
Chozhas — circa 1100 AD.
British — circa 1900 AD.
British Empire — circa 2017 AD.
A wise man once remarked:
show a man a TASMAC and he shall find his beer bottles. Show a man a ruined spot and you shall find his empty beer bottles.
Truer words have seldom been spoken
It is, of course, most ironic that in these most Chozha of ruins, it is the British Empire that appears to have fallen.
On that ironical note, Paneer soda was put. Sopanasundari was started. Self driving — by that I mean that I was driving, not that the car was driving itself — was done. Ruins awaited.