Archive for September 4th, 2008

Thiruvizhaloor temple miniature sculptures are a treat to watch. We saw in earlier posts how Ravana the King of Lanka is humbled by Shiva. Well this is a continuation of the learning process..


Lets see the pictures first. Just to give you an idea of the scale/size of these excellent miniatures ( there are tons more to come - from darasuram, etc etc) see the Narasimha sculpture and the ball pen in front.


Now we see a very special one - lets analyse the characters in the frame…a Shiva Linga, a monkey praying with folded hands and then a man on his knees - looks bound by some rope…lots of hands and multiple heads. Hey, this is our old friend Ravana, oK - now the story is clear.

Vaali is one of the most powerful men in the universe - its is said that along with his immense personal power, whoever confronts him in a head on battle, he would get one half of their strength as well due to a boon. Hence he was killed from the back - but that becomes a subject for a different post..

Lets come back to this one - Vaali and Ravana are both devot Shiva worshipers - maybe Vaali a bit more than Ravana - every morning he would go to the four sides of the world to offer his prayers and he would be so immersed in his prayers that he would not even think of anything else.

One fine morning, our friend Ravana is on one of his flying chariots roaming around, when he sees a curious site. A monkey offering prayers to a Shiva linga…he is amused, so he gets down quitely and walks up to the monkey, intending to pick it up by its tail and fling it. Just as he catches the tail, its grows and binds him - all the while Vaali is even unaware of this.. he finishes his prayers for that direction and then jumps to the other corner of the world - tagging our hapless ravana around, till he finishes all four sides.

Then as he resumes his normal senses, he realises that someone is wimpering behind him - and finds ravana - he immdly frees him and tenders his apology. While Ravana comes to know of the greatness of Vaali and asks his forgiveness and they become great friends.

The beauty of the sculptor is that he did not depict ravana and vaali facing each other - meaning, even without aid of boon, vaali as stronger than ravana or rather his tail was stronger than ravana.

Poor guys both of them found their ends in the hands oops arrows of Rama.

thanks ( check out many more such images)

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We read often in newspapers about idol theft, but nothing prepared me for this.


Kbal Spean is a an amazing treasure trove of Hindu Art deep into the jungles of Cambodia. We see an entire river bed carved into a thousand stone lingas ( will feature in a separate post). across the small water fall we see a lovely bas relief of Vishnu in his characteristic sleeping pose, with Brahma the creator emerging from his naval via a lotus flower, Lakshmi his consort by his feet…three shrines are depicted to the right and a separate depiction of Brahma to the left…

lakshmi stolen other angle.jpg
laksmi stolen.jpg

Now come the looters - art thieves -who first took away the face of Lakshmi. The local papers published these pictures….but guess no action taken, at least on the positive side when the looters struck again. This time taking away the face of Vishnu.

both stolen.jpg

What a sad sight. Anyway some good soul has restored the monument through in a crude manner.. the loss is indeed too great to even comprehend. Guess until the buying stops the killing wont stop for these as well.


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