Arts of Tamil Nadu – Antique wooden doors

Sculptures in South India are always synonymous with Rocks and stones. Bronze sculptures are unique and native to the ancient Tamil kingdoms. They are well known and can be found in museums and private collections the world over. The lesser known wooden sculptures are mostly confined to temple and doors.

Ancient wooden sculptures are mostly seen on temple cars (ratham or ther). Temple cars in India are huge wooden platforms fitted with mammoth wooden wheels. Idols of gods are mounted on these wooden platforms, decorated and covered. Using ropes, hundreds of devotees together pull the temple car. The wooden platform is adorned with wooden carvings and detailed artwork.


temple car wooden carvings

Source: Flickr – Anandamoy chatterji

The symmetry and details on wooden temple doors are a visual treat.

Temple door tamil nadu

Source:  Indian journeys

It is not only temples that can boast of artistically carved doors… Chettinad mansions have beautiful teak wood doors.

Chettinad door

Source: Chennai First

The Dakshinachitra in Chennai exhibits a beautiful masterpiece door at the Chettinad house in it’s premises.

Dakshinachitra chettinad

source: redscarab

The mantelpiece on top of this door is exquisite and matchless


source: Reflections of an art-o-holic

Typical wooden doors in the old houses of South India also have heavy wooden doors, though not as exquisite as the above door.

plain door

 source: Flickr – Suchitra

Yet another, with a beautiful mantelpiece

artful wooden

Source: Flickr – Printz4u

4 thoughts on “Arts of Tamil Nadu – Antique wooden doors

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