I happened to visit this huge temple complex in Mangalore called Kudroli temple. This temple complex, inaugurated by Rajiv Gandhi, has the normal temple structures and additional stuff like a marriage hall, park with fountain etc. After the visiting the main shrine and offering our prayers, we entered the, park.
Now this is a park with a pool, a large number of sculptures and paintings of Gods and Goddesses. There are these really magnificent sculptures of Siva at all corners of the pool and I was told that they have this wonderful display of light and water there on special occasions.
And then there is the park with grass, a smaller pool, rocks, small trees and shrubs etc. There, they have made life-like statues of animals and have tried to recreate the natural settings in which these animals occur. Mostly these are animals with some kind of religious significance like the tiger, lion, snakes, rat, peacock, cow etc. Well, there are a few ‘secular’ ones like the crow, spotted deer, egrets etc. Then I found this very interesting item. They have kept name tags for each of these statues just like they do in a zoo. I found it pretty amusing. Had it been a live peacock or crow, it made sense; but keeping a nameplate near the cement statue of a peacock? I found it funny.
Later on I was thinking about this. I was wondering what made these people do something that looks as silly as this. This was the time when the reports on “0nly 1410 tigers left in India” were beginning to come out. Then I realized with a start that if things go on at today’s pace, this kind of cement statues will be all that we have of all these magnificent species. We will have to make parks full of statues like this replace our zoos.
It is time for us to start doing something about saving our forests and its denizens for the generations to come. If we don’t do something, that too pretty fast, these painted figures will be all that our children, and their children, will have as a proof off all the wonderful creatures that used to inhabit this earth.