Monday, January 10, 2011


Camels  we met on en-route Vadnagar

One of the two 40' 'Toranas'

I love to visit historical sites - but, I did not utilise my stay and visits to Gujarat for travelling for pleasure,except for the last one in 2009.This was when Ruby and I visited Ahmadabad in late August of that year.I was there in connection with our PANIIT's project - 'IITians for ITIs'. I was visiting several  ITIs in Guajarat - together with the Dy. Director of ITI,Tollygunge - to study their association with Industries and introduction of ISO in ITIs.

Details of the intricate work on a 'Torana'

On the 2nd day of our stay, we visited, among other places, an ITI at Vadnagar. I learnt much later that Vadnagar's history very likely, dates back to Harappan civilisation.Our hosts did not touch upon  this aspect , but after lunch,  took us to a  12th century ( Solanki period) archaeological site showcasing the 'Toranas' on the bank of Lake Sharmishtha. Some people believe - I learnt later from internet sites - that the 'Toranas' were part of a big palace or temple complex , built elsewhere and now transplanted in the present location.There is very little of the  complex  in the vicinity of the 'Toranas' , except for some stone slabs, with reliefs,statues and motifs. Those were   found strewn around. I  have read that a lot of them have disappeared - the ones which survived  - are neatly arranged.I took photographs of some of those few  preserved in the location.

One of the several Saiva imageries that survived ravages of time. Here, Siva has four arms. View for a ten-armed Kala Bhairava

The 'Toranas' are about 40' tall. They have several 'Makara' motifs on them, much like the 'Yalis' of South India. There are deities and social scenes carved in stone.The statues and motifs have suffered a lot of erosion - a lot of the details were left to my imagination.Some of the interpretation is my imagination !

View of the top of the magnificent 'Torana' top. At the centre, Kartikeya sits in in yogic posture - we can see his three faces only . His peacock is  at his feet. Is his consort Devasena on his left ? 'Makara' motif appears repeatedly.

On the left, Uma  rests on the left thigh of Siva . On the right, we see a naked woman stooping to touch the feet of a man coming towards her.Two on lookers, one standing and one in a sitting posture placed in the background. What the man in the right flank trying to do ?

This one is ,very likely, an erotic wall relief .A very interesting  wall relief of this site is my last entry for this   blog of mine .

Wife 1 pulls at the hair of wife 2 while the husband tries to bring the temperature down !!

Note - Please refer to   for more details.

1 comment:


Mr Harjivan Suthar from Vadnagar, who owns the very informative blogsite on the history of this town has sent an email to me on 16/01/11 and the following is a quote from it:
'Many thanks for your mail and appreciation of the Vadnagar blog.

We are grateful for providing a link to the blog in your This Prism!

Your images of Vadnagar Torana are some the best i have ever seen. What camera did you click for those? And, explanation of various carvings on it is revealing.

Thanks to HS.