Thursday, January 19, 2012

CEILING ART IN TEMPLES @ AIHOLE & PATTADAKAL, KARNATAKA

COLLAGES  IN STONE !

Ceiling art in the Jain Cave  temple @ Aihole.*

I was quite keen about taking photographs of the mythological scenes on the ceilings  of temples @ Aihole and Pattadakal. But, it was a difficult task, specially @ Huchchappayana Matha , Aihole. There is a big stone-bull  right below  two reliefs on ceiling . Further, the light inside the 'Mandapa' of this 'Matha' was quite inadequate. Therefore, taking a position for clicking photos was extremely difficult.  There are three reliefs on the ceiling - each  very interesting. We took a dozen photos each, but,  only a few  could capture the details in a presentable frame . The other problem was flash - this robs the photos a lot of their appeal. Karnataka Tourism is very particular about not allowing tourists benefit of using a tripod. Though I carried one, I could use it at none of the locations.

At  Papanatha temple, Pattadakal. taking photograph  of the  ceiling was much easier. The ceiling  of the area @ the entrance - we can call it a porch -  has a wonderful wall-relief of Siva and Parvati in a pose of dance. The light was adequate, there was no obstruction on the ground level and no visitor around.I could just lie prostrate  on the ground and click.

 Siva and Parvati dancing.Their feet are crossed in 'Swastika' posture 
Siva's right-hand in 'Abhaya-mudra' and Parvati's right hand in 'musti' 
while her left hand in 'dola' posture

Here we find  8-armed Siva and Parvati dancing, in accompaniment of  Musicians and celestial dancers. All the four arms  of Siva's right side are intact, but, on his left side , three arms are gone.

At Huchchappayana Matha, Aihole, we have Trimurti - Brahma Vishnu and Siva - depicted on the ceiling, though not in this sequence.The first one  here  depicts Vishnu sitting on 'Ananta' the snake and Laksmidevi  and other goddesses & worshippers are around on his side. The limbs are drawn with very non-angular smooth lines. With time -  @ Huchchappayana Matha was built around 11th century - the faces have lost the details.

Vishnu sitting @ rajalila asana posture on Ananta the snake. The snake's coil is a little too small. But, Visnu's posture is very graceful - well-crafted.

Next in the sequence is Siva. He is sitting on his bull - Nandi's - hump  in lalitasana . Parvati  sits on his right side !! - has been offered a most uncomfortable sitting area on the back of Nandi. An attendant holds an umbrella on her head. Musicians and dancers revel around the divine couple. Siva's face show details, unlike  Vishnu's face, but suffered erosion.

Siva-Parvati on Nandi. Siva has 4 arms - he holds  two snakes in his two top hands. Siva's left-hand in Katakamudra. Parvati holds a lotus in her raised right hand.

Last in this Trimurti series is Brahma. He is seated on a rather small swan. He has 4 hands. Akshamala is very prominent. Among the hermits offering salutations to him, quite a few are  emaciated with just skin covering their skeletons . Brahma's face has suffered  erosion.

Brahma sitting on a rather small swan. And... the swan is resting on a stool, though its  wings 
are spread across. Brahma's feet also rest on this stool. Parvati and Brahma have not been shown in graceful sitting postures !

 The  ceiling art of Virupaksha temple,Pattadakal is of Surya in his seven-horses chariot - not any one of the Trinity. Very  seriously done arrt-work, with many charatcters of Surya's Iconography. Art historians can compare with the Poosha - the morning sun of Konark temple !

 Surya holds two lotus buds in his two hands - will they bloom as the day progresses ? his two consorts  strikes pose with bows - as if the arrows will pierce the darkness. Surya stands 'samapada' 
on two lotus. He wears no shoes.
Virupaksha temple,Pattadakal .

We have an elaborate  Kartikeya in the ceiling of  Huchchamalli temple of Aihole. Kartikeya's young face and physique is very carefully crafted. The peacock is quite proportionate in size - I liked this ceiling-relief very much.

   Kartikeya, Huchchimalli Temple,Aihole.

*NOTE : We have either missed out taking a photograph of the plaque outside the Cave temple or the plaque outside was missing.However, from the Tourist guides we have brought home, it appears that the shrine is called 'Jain Basadigalu'.

5 comments:

injamaven said...

Those are really well photographed at Aihole, very dirty, very dark, not much contrast. Good job. Thanks

Sandeep Channappa said...

wonderful blog...

pawankalyan said...


hi i visit br hills with my wife really we enjoyed a lot over there and bandipur resorts realy good place ill vist one more
time for sure

pawankalyan said...


hi i visit br hills with my wife really we enjoyed a lot over there and bandipur resorts realy good place ill vist one more
time for sure

Nishitha KM said...

hi..thanks for the post.Are you planning any holiday trip with family.i will suggest you the places br hills resort and also near by place k gudi resort..its a nice place to enjoy with family..do visit..