Friday, July 27, 2012

SPECIALTY ARTWORK OF BRAHMESWAR TEMPLE , BHUBANESWAR

TEMPLES EXTRA-ORDINARY - OUR TRIP TO TEMPLES OF ORISSA  - VI.

  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.

NOTE :
*1 -  Please view - http://przmm.blogspot.in/2012/06/look-alikes-in-architecture.html

5 comments:

utpal said...

Full of Heritage !

injamaven said...

I just love Odishi sculpture!

LET US STAY CONNECTED said...

Thanks to both of you.

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

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