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 panel.jpg

The main Sculpture now…

the Brigu rishi  sculpture.jpg

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.

closeup of the miniature relief on top.jpg

Ok, to make it easier for you - let me break up the key players in the panel.

utm panel central fig.jpg
the even smaller stools legs - on one side a lion and another an elephant yaazhi motiff.jpg

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.

the delightful minature lion yaazhi.jpg

I just fell in love with this cute lion motiff carved to such detail.

snakes everywhere.jpg
snakes in apt devoation.jpg
utm panel leftyogi.jpg
utm panel rightyogi.JPG

The other two - doing penance on one leg. with snakes for company.

Simply superb, pity the story behind this is not clear !!!

Leave a comment »

Category: Sculpture

Tags:  , , ,

Related Posts:

Read this in தமிழ்தமிழ்

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 at 12:57 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Comments so far


Excellent godly service and blog

January 8th, 2010 at 19:36
Geetha Narayanan

Hi! Vijay, I am Amazed…dumb founded…Awesome!!! - regards

August 13th, 2010 at 10:36

hi geetha

thanks, keep visiting

August 14th, 2010 at 18:22
Kathie B.

the one legged pose is same as Bhagiratha’s various places. Just a frieze about various Rsis?
Any Rsi esp. connected w Nags? Hand position mudra difficult to make out.

January 12th, 2011 at 23:08

could be a Jaina Motiff kathie - especially with the snakes

January 13th, 2011 at 7:19

Snakes are not symbolization here, they are more representing treacherous environment.
Impressive pictures VJ !

February 23rd, 2011 at 15:13

Thanks for showing us the loveliness that exists in the remote corners of our land….pity that time has taken it toll and blunted the features!!

February 23rd, 2011 at 17:05
Pradeep Chakravarthy

I think this is a Jain image, the lions and the snakes representing some Jain thirthankara. One of the saints has his leg almost kicking the seated figure and thats disrespectful. is that a clue?

October 22nd, 2012 at 9:48
Usha seshadri

The ashtanga vimanam of sri sundara varadhar perumal temple definitely needs a special mention. The other one is koodal azhagar temple of madurai

November 21st, 2013 at 19:07

Leave a Reply

Name (required)(*)
Mail (will not be published)(*)