Friends, today we are in for a feast. A real Sculptural feast..for we are to witness today the imagination and expertise of the chola sculptor running riot in Pullamangai - the famed Brahmapuriswarar Temple. The temple itself is treasure trove of stone art, but sadly forgotten by most. This is our humble attempt to showcase this magnificent edifice of Chola Art. Thanks to Satheesh and Arvind Venkataraman for taking the time to visit this temple, actually there was selfish motive behind sending them there, so that we may all drink in the sheer brilliance of that place - thanks to our two contributors again for patiently getting the lovely photos

Normally, i would start posts with long shots and then move closer. But today we are going to attempt the reverse for maximum effort. Once you read the full post, am sure you will understand what i mean.

We are going to see a series of four panels - hailing the birth of Muruga. Kumarasambhava and a few amazing Yaalis ( my personal favorites)

To start with will show you the yaalis.

the amazing warriors
warrior emering with his mount
action pose
even ladies
not just a mount he is a yaali rider
sadly broken
see the detailing of the crown

How to describe these in words. Such brilliance lends credence to the thought that these are not there just for ornamental value !!

Hmm, well that’s not the post, here is a lovely Vyaala as well.


Ok, I talked of the birth of Muruga and am showing you nothing of it….ok, here they come.

shiva n parvathi dance with rathi and manmadha watching

Here we see, the amazing dance of Shiva and Parvathi. Splendid depiction of the synchronised dancing. The masculine grace of Shiva and the feminine charm of Parvathi is a delight to watch. and watched they are by a resurrected Kama ( manmadha) and his wife Rathi.

wow, what a lively composition

The next panel we are going to see is a lovely depiction of Shiva wooing his consort.

shiva striking a pose for a shy parvathi

See the shy stance of the maiden and the stylish pose of Shiva.

the shy stance of Parvathi
the style of shiva - see the crossed legs

The next panel, shows Shiva embracing Parvathi.

shiva courting parvathi

This is a very beautiful depiction of the sense of fluid motion that a sculptor manages to bring into stone. Just watch the right hand of Shiva. He is shown with two right hands, one resting nonchalantly on nandhi behind him - but imagine for an instant that he is moving his hand towards parvathi - the next act - the moving arm is portrayed by the second right hand. Can you sense it

the fluid motion of shiva

And see the expression of Umai, tender love lorn shyness.

seated grace of parvathi

The sculptor is not finished yet, see the detailing on Nandhi.

the detailing of nandhi, the fold of skin on the net, the bent leg

and the two Ganas on the top and the lady attendant below

gana top left blowing a conch
lady assistant bottom left
the gana top right prasing shiva

Lastly we see shanmuga being born and held by the six mothers, Karthigai Pengal.


Not clear is it, lets explain a bit. A seated Shiva is shown lovingly holding one of the babies who is reaching out to his cheek. While the other five are being held by the mothers.

ladies holding babies

I am sure some of you are already commenting on the quality of the photographs and sculpture ( both positive and negative comments for sure)

Hang on, let me show you the reason

the bottom panels
the top panels

We are not finished yet

so much to see
closer look

Now for the long shot, it shows how easily we can miss these little bundles of beauty

what to see in pullamangai

Now, you know why i went reverse order for the zoom!!

By the way, did i mention ` little’

size comparison

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 at 17:17 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.

26 Comments so far


சிற்பங்களும் வர்ணனைகளும் மிக அருமை


August 25th, 2009 at 17:22

Thanks to Satheesh and Arvind Venkataraman…
they seems to have spotted such small sculpture outside the temple…
VJ ur lucky to have people who have passion for art and also help you with photos!

August 25th, 2009 at 18:03

Got it,unless we see the sequence in full, may mistake single panel with a different story! Many trips to Pullamangai and I am yet to complete a full insight!!!

August 25th, 2009 at 18:45

காட்டுவித்தால் யாரொருவர் காணாதாரோ? கூர்மை, நுணுக்கம் நிறையவே கொண்டு, பாவனைகளைச் சுவைக்குமாறு தூண்டி, கலைமரபுகளுக்குள் ஆட்கொள்ளும் தகவல், செய்தி, கருத்து, வழிகாட்டல் யாவுமாகி ஆட்கொண்டடீர்கள். தொடருங்கள்.
திருப்புள்ள மங்கை அருமையான வழிபாட்டிடம். நன்றி

August 25th, 2009 at 19:21
Kathie B.

Love that temple! It was one of 3 I most wanted to see when first travelled South by myself. Thanks for all the new explanations. I didn’t examine the small panels when I was there, ‘95. Want any more photos?

August 25th, 2009 at 23:17

amazing sculptures!!!and the way u chose to exhibit them was striking….my jaw struck the ground when i went scrolling the page to see actual size of the panel…!!!i haven’t been there,but i’m happy that i went through ur post b4 actually going there…else i would have surely missed to see n cherish these miniatures….thanks to vj n team…

August 26th, 2009 at 0:29

மனதுக்கு இதமான சுற்றுலா போல அமைந்தது. வெறும் விருந்து அல்ல்.. ஆன்மாவுக்கு விருந்து..


August 26th, 2009 at 11:44
shanthi palaninathan

Thank you for the beautiful visual treat.Thanks to Arvind and Sateesh too.

August 28th, 2009 at 18:19

thanks to Aravid and sateesh for beauiful panel.I saw action person in yalli mouth in many temple but man on yalli ina yalli mouth is super.

August 29th, 2009 at 5:15

Wow.. Couldnt even imagine the hardwork the sculptor should have made!! That too in those early days!!!

September 17th, 2009 at 16:19

Thanks all. prasi, welcome to the site

September 18th, 2009 at 14:18

they are so tiny…….. but splendid detailing… beautifully portrayed by you VJ.. it was a feast…. Thank you……..

April 1st, 2010 at 16:43

Excellent post; you have a great eye to watch the minute hidden beauties in the sculpture. Btw, it would be nice if you also mention where the place is exactly located, distance, and all.


A unique travel blog

April 2nd, 2010 at 11:46

hi. pullamangai is a real hidden treasure. 11km fm tanjore on the road to kumbakonam. the village is called pasupathy koil. if you find the temple locked, look for the old women who lives in the hut just in front, she is the care taker !!


April 2nd, 2010 at 15:33

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