Today we are going to look at some unique pillars from the amazing Srirangam temple. The temple is the foremost among temples for Vaishnavites and has been the centre of the spiritual movement of Lord Vishnu ‘ The Preserver’. The temple has various legends associated it with and for viewers who are interested to read more, below site has an excellent account.
The temple has such has undergone many restorations and has been the beneficiary of many a generous endowment. One such later addition is the pillared hall - an artistic wonder and a treasure trove of intricate stone work.
Lets analyse just two of these splendid pillars. The entire composition of these pillars is stupendous with every inch of space covered with miniature sculptures..such intricate work on this scale and complexity..with no margin for error in the hardest stone is a living tribute to the mastery of the craftsmen. We would look at these in more detail in subsequent posts.
The main plot in the two pillars is what we are to see in this post. Take a minute to drink in the beauty of these two pillars.
The artist has chosen two widely varying themes for these two adjacent pillars. The first one is obviously a hunting scene and shows a mounted hunter ( what a wonderful despiction of a rearing horse ..and its splaying hooves)…he is spearing a leopard ( watch the spear piercing the jaw and coming out of the side
….a foot soldier and his assistant are shown under the rider….the foot soldier is thrusting his broad sword into the animal ( it too has been sculpted to pierce the flesh and exit in the back …the foot soldier is shown having a shield …to see more clearly you got to switch to the other side of the pillar, where another foot soldier is thrusting his sword into the leopard….what a splendid work in stone with each trust passing through and exiting the other side.
The second pillar is a puzzle
it shows well built man carrying a lady on his broad shoulders …..but surprisingly he is being stabbed from behind in his thigh…what does this depict….we need to go closer to the pillar to study this….so wait for next post….