Friday, July 27, 2012



  View of  Brahmeswar Temple Complex - to observe similarity of Jagmohan-Deul here with that of Lingaraja Temple.

Zodiac signs in 'pabhaga' section of Brahmeswar Temple. 
Laced with female figures  meant for attracting viewers' notice !

Brahmeswar temple  is  somewhat  away from the core area of  temple sites of  Bhubaneswar, often missed out by tourists who are  pressed for time. A tidy courtyard , Jagmohan and Deul at its centre, four smaller temples in four corners of the courtyard and a green patch   at the entrance  - maintained by ASI.  Here are another two small temples along the pathway to the courtyard.

A section of the temple wall. Abstract design,erotica,people - 
positioned one above the other as well as  side-by-side, 
in a very aesthetic manner.

Those who have visited  Mukteswar Temple of  Bhubaneswar are familiar with its famous 'Bho'. Shall we call the wall-relief below the 'Bho' for this temple ? Before you decide . please look at the photo above - this wall-relief is certainly not at the centre of the wall ! Was it  moved from its designated place at  some point during renovation ? Or a deliberate positioning as an omen   or just for attracting notice ?

A 'Bho'-like display. Human figures,arabesque,snakes,bells 
- it has all the intriguing ingredients !

This temple was  built by Kolavati Devi, mother of King Udyotkeshari. Probably around 1050 AD. The architecture has  similarity with the gem of Bhubaneshswar - Lingaraja temple. Some of the wall-reliefs are exquisite. I noted a few which appeared to be precursor of  a good nos of  wall-reliefs  we find in Surya temple, Konark - specially those of royalty, seers and erotica.

Royalty  and seers. In court and private chambers. 
We shall see more of them in Surya Temple,Konark.

Amid the usual wall-reliefs of deities and erotica, what attracted my notice are : abstract designs, zodiac signs, a series of unfolding love scenes and on closer scrutiny, swans and flowers. I have  mentioned in one of my  earlier posts about  a wall-relief of 'Veenadhara Siva' (*1) - this is not so common in Orissan temples. I shall also mention a wall-relief of 'Ekapada Siva' - another special manifestation of Siva , not commonly known and a Gajalakshmi with a special attribute.

'Ekapada' Siva with all his attributes, straddling  'Apasmara' 
who is also pierced by Siva's trident.

Gajalakshmi in lalitasana, holding two large full-bloomed lotuses. 
Was the sculptor influenced by Surya's iconography? 
The designs around are interesting too !

 In at least one of the four smaller temples of Brahmeswar temple's courtyard, there is a series of erotic scenes, showing a couple in conflict - the story-line is clear. But, neither the the execution is artistically good nor the story-line is  in good taste. Perhaps, the wall-reliefs were 'banished' to   a smaller temple instead of according them  prominent display.But, the ones below stand out among the whole lot !

 Her music, his desire !
Watch the man's body language & gestures by  hands.

Indian sculptors have pictured 'Kama' on the walls of Hindu temples - photographers have published thousands of photos of erotica on Hindu temples.Ruby and I have collected many such photos over the years , some which can be subjects of serious viewing and discussion. Brahmeswar Temple Complex has at least 3 series - is not that an uncommon practice , one of which is presented here.

Row of swans and an elephant used for adornment of  space
 above a ledge.

 Writers  have mentioned several specialties of this temple  , like the pavilion -'chandratapa' - within Jagmohan, use of Iron beams in a Bhubaneswar temple for the 1st time, adornment with birds and animals  etc. To me, the wall-reliefs of Royalty/seers and string of erotica scenes - proliferation of which happened  during the Konark years are important for studies.

*1 -  Please view -


utpal said...

Full of Heritage !

injamaven said...

I just love Odishi sculpture!


Thanks to both of you.

Vivek Vedic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vivek Vedic said...

Very useful tips.............Vedic Architects & Sculptors a the leading Temple Architectural firms in Chennai and temple designer in India and abroad, and have been doing sculptures, vastu, stone carving and Monuments designers in Chennai.

Temple Designer In Chennai