The internet is a definite boon for armchair researchers like me !! Quite often we do stumble on some unique puzzles in our quest to decipher the work of the ancients. One such task was to recreate the lost paintings of the Kanchi Kailasanatha temple.
We ran into quite a difficulty when we had to make out the minor forms especially the two figures found below the divine couple.
We wanted to be as true as possible to the original - but it was interesting to note that these two ganas - a male and a female dwarfs were in the scene at the first instance.
Possibly the first instance of a lady dwarf gana - an assistant to Parvati maybe?
Their iconographic significance was soon lost or so we thought, until Arvind shared this album of his capture of the beauties of Lalgudi
Though our main pursuit was in the narrative panels in the miniatures, there was one particular relief - dimly lit which had vague familiarity in it.
It was a relief of the divine parents albiet sans the skanda seated in the familiar posture - with a kneeling devotee on the right, two more on the top right and two more top left. Can you spot any attributes to assign them as Brahma n vishnu? Not clear. But the familiarity scene was played out at the bottom of the throne.
it would be difficult to date this panel as it does not fall in the early chola 9th-10th C CE scheme of narrative story boards. However, it is interesting that the sculptor chose to sculpt this dwarf couple in the same layout and postures.
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