Temples of Mahabalipuram – An unaccomplished Project

One of the companies, that I worked for in the past, boasted of possessing several project accelerators or “Assets” as they were called, to attract the Customer’s attention. However I used to refer these “assets” as the Temples of Mahabalipuram. Those who did not know the history of this UNESCO World Heritage site, argued the analogy and the context.

This is perhaps the only Temple premises in South India, located about 60 kms south of Chennai, where you can walk right upto the “temple” wearing shoes. This is because the structures have no religious significance, as they remained unfinished and unconsecrated.

The project of building the Temple complex was undertaken by the Pallava dynasty, backed by a grand architectural design modeled around rock cut chariots in early 7th Century AD. The Temple complex was ideated by Narasimhavarman, the Pallava King, but sadly the project had to be abandoned after his death. Had the Temple complex been completed, the innovative structure would have been revered as a holy and religious site today.

No doubt the Temples of Mahabalipuram still attract tourists, who may perhaps lament at the thought of the structure being incomplete. This is beacuse the Hindus do not consider a Temple without consecration, as a holy site.

Using the analogy of the famous Shore Temples of Mahabalipuram, we can correlate to projects that are undertaken on a grand scale but do not see light at the end of the day. The examples could range from Infrastructural facility to Buildings to Films to even projects delivered by IT companies.

The “assets” or accelerators were backed by great PPT content boasting about the rich features and benefits, which the customers would derive from its usage. But in reality the “assets” did not support the claims made in the demo, simply because they were not ready to be rolled out. They were incomplete. The analogy, now, seems apt.

This phenomenon is quite common among companies that start with a big bang while ending on a sad note. In the case of Mahabalipuram Temples, they lost a visionary King, who died a premature death. In the case of companies it could be the exit of a visionary leader. There are several examples to quote but I leave it at that……just like the Temples of Mahabalipuram.

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