Wednesday, April 11, 2012



SwarnaJaleswar temple . 
A portion of the  wall around the tiny court-yard is seen as well as the  empty ground from where  some photography is possible.

This temple will not be in the list of regular tourists cris-crossing Bhubaneswar. It does appear   in the list of temples of this town -  but it does not at all figure among the  well-known ones. I could not trace one photo of this temple in the Internet ! Well -  Internet  dates this temple to 7th century AD , mentions its resemblance to that of Parasuramaswar temple and added that Kotitirtheswar temple is in its neighbourhood. Someone told me while I was planning my trip to Bhubaneswar that it is best approached through a narrow lane opposite to  Parasuramaswar temple - a tenacious auto-rickshaw driver did take us to the right spot through a winding lane and not without several misses. You must not quite believe the simplicity of ' Bhubaneswar Heritage Walk : Route 2' of

 Fragment of a beautiful 'Mithuna Murti' . 
One of the finest amorous couple in my collection.

This temple's height would be that of Parasuramaswar temple, but there is no Jagmohana here. Maintenance must have been much worse than that of Parasuramaswar temple. It must have been neglected for quite a  long stretch . Now, with reconstruction, some of the wall-reliefs are noticeable to the occasional visitors. It is tucked away in a court-yard beyond a cluster of houses and photography of at least two sides is possible from a large empty ground on the side of the court-yard, in spite a tree in the vicinity. If a large building comes up in this large tract of land, this temple will be hidden from public view for ever.

 Wall-relief of Ganesha and the smaller version on  its top (above). 
A bowl of fruits in front of the stool makes it interesting.
Pious  persons are both on the top and central depictions  
may be the ones who built this temple.

 I found a wall-relief of Ganesha , badly mutilated, sitting on a pedestal with lions as its legs . There is another small Ganesha, quite intact, just above the head of this mutilated one. I found a bust of a Nagdevata too - much like the one I found  @ the main temple of SriMukhalingam. I have noted  Nagdevata is a regular feature of  Orissa temples, but often without the status of a  'Parshadevata'.


The  broken and damaged wall-reliefs in the front of the temple are the ones which  deserve special mention.There is a wonderful Nataraja here - most of it is lost - but  one can imagine how beautiful it was when intact. Nataraja is in tribhanga posture. Only a small part of the 'dola hasta'  rsurvived the vandals and ravage of time. It has similarity  with the 10-handed Nataraja above the Jagomohana of Parasurameswar temple , but more attractive . The influence is evident from the headless person playing drum in the left-hand corner.

  Nataraja exquisite. Ithyphallic ,with his head tilting towards left, 
finely chiseled face,eyes and matted hair. 
We see a small portion of Siva's 'dola hasta' and 
 delicately crafted fingers and nails ! 
The simple waist-band and the hangings  and index finger touching  his own left thigh create an irresistible image.

 I have taken  some more photos which include a three-headed manifestation of Siva, several grotesque figures - human and animals, a four-armed god in 'yogasana', a two-armed 'Nataraja' or a dancer in the centre of a 'Bho' during reconstruction. Strangely, during reconstruction, someone has put the mutilated figures of  a 3-persons amorous scene in two parts - one part each at two ends ( !) , only a pot-bellied short character intact. More such examples can be a subject of academic discussion, but what is intriguing is a 'Uma-Maheswar' reconstructed in such a manner that it becomes an interesting  subject of discussion.

 A jigsaw puzzle  for all of us . 
1 - Siva or Sivani with a trident in his/her right-arm, question - relevant in this depiction , 
2a - Siva/'Maheswar's face, 2 - part of his body,
3 - Uma's left arm, 3a -Uma's right leg,
 4 - Ganesha, 5 -bull, 6 - Lion, 7 - a 'yogini',8 - a very fine and intact 'Bhringee'. There are many more figures in this wall-relief.

I invite readers of this blog, trained in Photoshop, to reconstruct this panel. My very 1st attempt is here :


Rangan Datta said...

Dear Shyamal Babu, thanks for your post. Now I understand Swarnajaleswar was a big miss.

We did spot the temple near Kotitirteshwar but it was surrounded by a puddle of water. We simply ignored the temple. It was quiet a miss.

I am still left with a few temples of Bhubaneswar like the Brahmeshwar, Bhaskareswar, Megeshwar, etc. Also I missed out on the 64 Jogini temple.

Next time in Bhubaneswar I won't miss it.


Dear Rangan,

I took a few shots of Megheswar temple from the gate because I found the priest a quarrelsome person. Shall post a photo of this temple later.

Pl do not miss Bhaskareswar temple either. It is w/out a Jagomohan and quite tall. I took 2 photos w/out going inside.Later I learnt that it accommodates an extra-ordinarily tall Linga .That is why, the structure is tall.

Best wishes.

injamaven said...

thank you so much for posting these. Hasn't IGNCA ever snapped it? Odissi Murthis ROCK!!