I have been wanting to feature this delightful miniature from Utiramerur Sundara Varadha temple for almost 6 months now, but have been postponing in the hope that i could decipher the story behind the panel. With no luck till now, i guess its best to put it to you all to infer and comment.
First off Utiramerur as a temple town is a treasure trove - its abunds in many pallava beauties and this particular temple is called the ` sun among shrines ‘ - srivastuno bhaskaraah - the aptly named Sundara ( enchanting- beautiful) Varadha temple.
As you circum ambulate the main shrine - the three sculpture panels that adrone the sides of the shrine are masterpieces of stone work. I will try and feature each one by one, but we jump to the last sculptural panel - my favorite, for it is a puzzle that i have not been able to crack. The main sculpture is that of Brihu - a saint ( i had earlier mistaken it for Dhakshinamurthy)
You can see the sculpture from long shot
The main Sculpture now…
But what interested me was the minature panel just above the main sculpture. Lets zoom in a bit and see if you can decipher the amazing panel.
Ok, to make it easier for you - let me break up the key players in the panel.
Am lost to explain how the sculptor could go into such minute details - look at the seated asetic, the classic yoga pose - one feet resting over the other. and look at the detailing of the legs of the pedestal he is seated on - one one side is a lion and another side an elephant Yaazhi motiff.
I just fell in love with this cute lion motiff carved to such detail.
The other two - doing penance on one leg. with snakes for company.
Simply superb, pity the story behind this is not clear !!!