Friday, May 25, 2012



Siva and SuryaNarayal temples of Lakundi.They face each other.

I  had an inner feeling that I have not  uploaded enough photos of Lakundi temples. When my friend Devashish Nandy of CESC Ltd  wanted to drop in to my place during his planning stage of a visit to north Karnataka & Goa, I opened my computer's HDD   and went through the photos once again.I recall that was a day when my camera mal-functioned at least twice - once when I tried to capture the sculptures lying outside the local museum and next when I tried to click a photo of a drummer at Naneswara temple. Fortunately, Ruby and Canon s3is were there to my rescue !

Highlight of this this photo is are the two face-to-face 'makaras', with  peacock-like tails,perched on two pillars.  
Below - A pack of lion-like creatures are surging 
like a pack of dogs pulling a snow-cart !

Heavily ornate black-stone Siva and Surya temples are little-known assets of Lakundi - and a delight for a 'student' of iconography like me. In this blog, I shall post photos of mythical and real-life animals sculpted here.  I intend to publish a third blog on pillars, frames of wall-reliefs   and doors of temples of Lakundi.

 A  Dancer - 'Gandharva' - among mythical animals, placed within a mythical 300 deg trunk
His companion not adequately captured in this shot.

 All the animals of Lakundi temples are not mythical. There are horses and elephants aplenty. I found there is an emphasis on elephants from mythology. Kubalyapeerha, Airavata and Gajasura - after being slain - are here.There are vertical panels  with hunting scenes , later adopted in several terra cotta temples .

 Elephant carries Indra & Indrani (or royalty ?) amid celebration !
Erosion has eaten away into the finer aspects of the wall-relief.

A hunting scene from a vertical panel. Animals depicted very prominently.
 We have seen in many 'Rekh-Deuls', the sides of the temples  have king's insignia  and alcoves meant for wall-reliefs framed  such a way that it looks like a front- view of a 'deul'. Significant 'Parshwa_Devatas' are placed in these alcoves.  I have captured a photo where Siva is on the top, a rather eroded image of a  deity standing samapada is in the next tier  with makaras, mythical composites and elephants all around. At the bottom, Garurha salutes Nandi - the implication is quite apparent.

 A portion of the RH side of SuryaNarayan temple.Lots of animals 
and motifs abound this portion!

 A section of the animals on one of the side pillars. Lion,buffalo 
and elephant jostle with each other !

 The spouts of temples and -for that matter - historical monuments of Western hemisphere too have interesting gargoyles and grotesque figures. Many historians of architecture have prepared compilations of the same. I end here with one example from a temple of Lakundi .

A lone figure, holding a lotus in  right-hand, cuddle up makara's neck . Here is a pattern of this type of co-existence!

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