Tuesday, March 22, 2011



Damaged sculpture of 'Vishnu reclining on Ananta'. Lots of details attract our notice. Vishnu is exquisitely built, ornaments on his limbs, torso neck and head are beautiful.His consort is bare-breasted, with a locket and a sacred thread running through her torso intact, Her left leg is bent while only thefingerss of right leg have survived. Look at the Makara and conch ,wheel ("Chakra'), mace of Vishnu depicted on the base - lotus lost to ravages of time.
Sculpture at Museum of Lakundi.

Lakundi is a village near Karnataka's big town Gadag - approximately 20 km from it.Mr Deshmukh, the soft-spoken and knowledgeable Manager of Hotel Mayur Bhubaneswari, Hampi guided us into visiting Lakundi - he suggested that we avoid the direct Hospet - Badami bus route as a stretch of that was not in good shape.He suggested a slight detour - he advised us to proceed to Badami via Gadag
and have a stop-over at Lakundi. Lakundi has a bus-stop , a small shed for local passengers , but, not a big place for tourists.We landed there with our small baggage during the village's lunch-break hours  of a bright day in February,2011. The only auto-rickshaw driver's greed for a kill was tamed by a middle-aged man and we savoured a wonderful  treat of Chalukya architecture of 10th Century AD for next few hours.

A few hundred meters on the right hand side of the highway to Gadag stands Manikeshwara temple and an attached  Pushkarini with 3 very well laid-out staircases leading down to it.On the left hand side of this highway, we visited the local Museum, adjacent Jain temples - Brahma Jinalaya and Naganatha temples which share the same compound, Naneswara temple and lastly the Kashi Vishwanatha and Surya temples complex which share the same compound and are connected by a common platform too.

Blackstone Brahma in Jain temples complex.

Brahma,Siva-Parvati and Vishnu on the lintel of Naneswara temple.
Intricate work on black stone is a speciality of the temples of Lakundi.

Some of these temples have numbers of  green- and black-stone pillars, with delicately polished surfaces . A couple of them, when wet, act as concave mirrors ! Lots of delicate work - carvings and and forms - hold the viewers spellbound ! On the outside walls of the two temples mentioned last , one can see Hindu deities and scenes from mythology, a few of which are not very common. The divine and human figures showcase dance postures which made my task of photo-editing and uploading a pleasure.

 Musicians in classical dance postures. Work on black stone.
Naneswara temple, Lakundi.

KashiViswanatha temple (near)  and Surya temple (far) share the same compound and have a common platform connecting the two.

The most unusual wall relief shows Siva dancing on skeletal Andhakasura, his top two hands hold  torn skin of Gajasura and in  notable similarity with RavanPhadi cave of Aihole, accompanied by Ganesha and Devi on his left and Yogeswari (?) on his right . There are several celestial figures in the frame , all in various dance postures, now broken beyond recognition.The posture of Siva is unique - we can see his rear side as he is dancing away from us - then in an extra-ordinary dance posture, he has turned hsis face towards us. Comparable is Nataraja of Muvar temple, Koddumbalur(TN) and a MahisuraMardimi Murty created by late Jiten Pal in 22nd Palli DurgaPuja in early 1960s.

Awesome combination of AndhakasuraMardan and GajasuraSanhara Murty Siva has eight hands, his face lost all the features, but typically, he has two different earrings ! 
KashiViswanatha Temple, Lakundi

A conventional depiction of Siva's Andhakasura Mardana.He is pierced by Siva's trident and held up .
The frame is balanced by a figure on Siva's left - either Parvati or Yogeswari.
KashiViswanatha Temple, Lakundi

NB - All the photos above have been taken   either by my wife or me.

Reference documents :
1. Siva in Dance,Myth and Iconography by Anne-Marie Gaston.


siddeshwar said...

Sir, your narration is smooth, detailed and to the point. There's so much I can learn from you, sure to spend more time on This Prism !


Thanks Siddeswar for your generous comment.

I too enjoy the details of your blogs on Karnataka as well as the photos.