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We are proceeding with our analysis of the Somaskanda froms in Pallava period today. We had earlier seen the one in the Dharamaraja Ratha ( to be correct we should be called it Atyantakama pallavesvara griham ) and compared it stylistically with the one in the Shore temple - Rajasimeshwara Shrine. We also looked at the outlines of the chiseled out Somaskanda panel in the Ramanuja Mandabam.

Recapping the questions that were posed based on the 2 parts of the series seen so far:

1. Between the two styles seen so far, which could be classified as the prototype / earliest and which is stylistically more evolved.

2. What are the stylistic and inconographic differences that can be spotted among the two.

3. Basing on the above, the panel in the Ramanuja Mandaba belongs to which style.

While we are waiting for viewer responses, lets proceed to another splendid example of the Pallava somaskanda, in the tiger cave complex. We have already seen these ( not one but three somaskandas) and the reason for them being there, when we studied evidence of the presence of three shiva lingas in the Atiranchanda Mandabam.

the atiranchanda mandabam as it stands today

Lets look at the central shrine of this cave first. Multiple views to give you an idea of its beauty.

the central shrine
somaskanda in the main shrine

Do you see the Somaskanda Panel etched behind the shiva linga. Dont worry, we will take you closer.

the prismatic lingam and somaskanda
closer look at the somaskanda
the closest

A trace to further assist you.

somaskanda tiger cave central shrine

Now, we step back to view the other two somaskanda panels.

highlights where we are going to focus
the somasskanda panel on the left
the somasskanda panel on the right

The two Panels now

the somaskanda in outer wall right side
the somaskanda in the outerwall leftside

and their traces

ss tiger cave left
ss tiger cave right

Questions for readers:

1. What style are these Somaskanda Panels?
2. Are all three somaskandas attributable to the same period?

We continue our journey in subsequent posts

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Category: Sculpture

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