We have seen an entire series on the horsemen of the Sesharaya Mandabam in Srirangam, so time now to start with another one.

Horses have always held the imagination of men, warriors, artists, sculptures. The horse rider is an embodiment of valor and its not surprising that the Pancing horse inspires many creations of art ( and cars!!). The energy of the horse, flowing through its every muscle, bone, sinew, waiting for the rider’s clue to gallop away at top speed, the feel the wind against your face is a sure rush of blood ( today’s youth who haven’t experienced it can compare to riding a 500 cc Bullet) - the sheer power between your legs ( no pun intended) is exhilarating. The charging cavalry with their outstretched lances would have sent many an enemy scampering. Many a kid would have gone to sleep hearing the heroics of valiant horses of benevolent heroes - be it Bucephalus of Alexander, Chetak of Prithiv Raj Chauhan or steeds of tamil folklore - Ori of Valvil Ori, Panchakalyani of Raja Desingu - the tok tok tok tok would have been the lullaby to many being heard long into their sleep in their dreams.

Today, we are going to see one such amazing horse rider, in a town and temple that is famous for a greater miracle involving horses ( we will see that in a seperate post) - thanks to artist Mr Jeeva, we are going to Aavudayar temple ( Tiruperundurai).

An amazing artist, Mr Jeeva ( www.jeevartistjeeva.blogspot.com) is sharing an exclusive digital art of the horse for us. So before we see the sculpture lets see his amazing work.

the horse

Temples built around this period ( late 14th C onwards - Nayak / Vijayanagar style) abound with such depictions. Sadly, visitors don’t even stop a minute to drink in the beauty of these marvels in stone.

Lets look at the beauty of this creation in more detail. The saddle, the stirrup, the reins, the designs of the riding pants … how did they manage to sculpt this in stone.

avudayar koil horserider 1
avudayar koil - detail of stirrup and riding pants
avudayar koil - detail of the harness
detailing 1
detailing 2 - a double knot
looks like two iron rings anchor the reins
the designs
the detailing

The weapons of the rider, the beauty of the lance. Its hard to believe that they are all of the same stone.

from the other side
other weapons
the lance
the saddle with sword

Not just the same stone as the sculpture, but part of a large stone that is the pillar.

one piece of stone

Truly, mind blowing.

Photos: courtesy Mr . Kandaswamy

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11 Comments so far


//Chetak of Prithiv Raj Chauhan or steeds of tamil folklore - Ori of Valvil Ori, Panchakalyani of Raja Desingu - the tok tok tok tok would have been the lullaby to many being heard long into their sleep in their dreams//

ஆஹா, நீங்களே சொல்லிட்டீங்க// Truly, mind blowing.//
அப்படினு, இதுக்கு மேலே என்ன சொல்றது??? குதிரையின் டாக், டாக் காதிலே கேட்கும் வண்ணம் உங்கள் எழுத்தும் அமைந்துவிட்டது. வாழ்த்துகள்.

October 2nd, 2009 at 12:45
V. Dhivakar

வழக்கப்படி அருமை. நாயக்கர் காலம் சிற்பிகளுக்கு மறு வாழ்வு கொடுத்த காலம். அந்த நன்றி மறவாமல் மிக நேர்த்தியாக சிற்பங்களை வடித்தவர்கள். குதிரை வீரனை நம் கண் முன்னே அப்படியே நிறுத்திவிட்டார்கள்..


October 2nd, 2009 at 13:22

Its Amazing!!!!!!!!!!

October 2nd, 2009 at 20:26

Truly Mindblowing

October 3rd, 2009 at 10:30

extraa ordinary (ordinary is not a right term to describe this). to know that every thing is done out of a single rock is amazing…. horse’s teeth looks so visible and distinguishing… next time my eyes will attract all the horses in the temples i visit

October 3rd, 2009 at 13:39
Kathie B.

You’re a poet, just don’t know it. . .


October 3rd, 2009 at 22:06
rhoda alex

oh this reminds so much of the terracotta horses of ayyanar temples in Tamilnadu. Here is a pic i clicked in a village called Urupetti in Puddukottai district. http://i83.servimg.com/u/f83/13/03/66/32/img_2411.jpg
Though they dont tell so many stories like the sculptures at Avudayar temple do…they are also beauties in ordinary clay!!

October 9th, 2009 at 21:21

yes, these terracotta ones and their deities are not in the lime light - but still revered in villages. guess its to do with strengths of the believers.

October 10th, 2009 at 8:14
Kathie B.

Does anyone know the names of the Ayyanar groves near Narttamalai, Kodumbalur or
Thirugokarnam? I’d appreciate it so much.
Have lots of photos of all three.

October 19th, 2009 at 21:44

Avudayarkoil is different in all aspects to that of other Temples of Hindu Pantheon. This temple is a beautiful work of art. The horses have significant part in this Temple, since Saint Manickkavasagar spent all the money, that was meant for purchase of horses, on construction of this Temple. I have written in detail about this Temple in my Blog http://brahmanyan.blogspot.com/2008/11/avudayarkoil-temple-with-difference.html

November 15th, 2009 at 11:03

Dear Brahmanyan

Many thanks for sharing yours. The entire story is captured in stone here



November 16th, 2009 at 11:52

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