Quantcast

Posts Tagged ‘Shiva Gana ’

Today we are going to see a very rare and unique bronze from a spectacular temple. Kadambur brings back fond memories to all History buffs ( to be read as fans of Sri Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan). We visited Melaikkadambur an year ago !

melaikkadambur+entrance

It was the first day of our tour and we were pushing ourselves to complete this splendid temple before heading for our night halt at Chidambaram ( 30 kms away). It was already dark by the time we reached its gates and the dark clouds were threatening to open up anytime. The temple was getting ready for Prathosham the next day.

temple+getting+ready

But then, i can see you asking, why it took a year to feature the same !

Two reasons - one, Sri Raja Deekshithar had done such a superlative task of documenting this temple, that i was corresponding with him to feature the same here. Unfortunately, fate intervened and the great soul left us. We are working on translating his post and featuring it here shortly. Second reason, was this bronze. He would be taken out only for Prathosha Pooja and despite all our pleadings, all we could get was a photo of the same from the temple board !

bronze+on+temple+board

However, thanks to the net, managed to track down Sri Vijay the Managing Trustee of the temple via his site
Kadambur Temple
Regarding the origins of this temple check out

Kadambur Temple Puranam in illustrations

For starters, the temple is Amrithakadeshwarar Temple or Melaikkadambur temple. The current structure is assigned to the reign of Kulottunga Chola I (1075 -1120 C.E.). Regarding its architecture and sculptures, we will wait to feature the post of Sri Raja Deekshitar, and proceed to view the wonderful and Unique bronze first up.

the+pala+bronze

This magnificent bronze is called Dasa Buja ( ten handed) Rishaba ( bull or on the bull) thandava murthy ( dancer!)

Lets take a closer look at the beauty.

front+when+orb+is+fitted
reverse+with+plate+orb
view+from+left
view+from+right

The striking feature of this bronze is the high pedestal, with straight line edges and the characteristic plate fixed behind as the aureole with the flames emanating out.

Eminent scholar Sri Nagasamy writes thus about this bronze, ” The temple also houses several processional images of exquisite beauty, consecrated in the time of Kulottunga chola. The collection also includes one metal image of Siva dancing on the back of Nandi and surrounded by Ganesa, Subrahmanya, Bringi, Nandi, Bhairava and ganas. This particular image is from Bengal made in the time of the Pala rulers who were contemporaries of the Cholas of Tamilnad. This metal image belongs to 9th – 10th cent. It might have been brought by the Rajaguru of Kulottunga who hailed from Bengal. It is one of the finest and early bronze image of the Pala dynasty but found in Tamilnad. It also establishes a close link between Bengal and Chidambaram in the Chola times.”

Kadambur Temple Dr RN article

Lets compare this bronze with a Pala Bronze Buddha from the Metropolitan Museum Nyc.

pala+buddha+metropolitan+museum

You can see the resemblances as far as the pedestal and aureole go. Lets step in closer and analyse the features.

closeup+face
the+orb+flames

What clearly strikes you as the non local nature of this bronze is the Urdhva Linga of this bronze. We do not find this feature in South Indian bronzes.

Mr Vijay also accommodated our request to study this bronze is closer detail and without the back plate.

without+the+orb

The style and grace of this bronze is evident in the way he is shown dancing. The attachment of the arms at the shoulders rather than at the elbow ( as we see in most early chola bronzes and even earlier Pallava bronzes) . You can study this aspect more clearly below.

closeup+of+reverse

There are a profusion of attendants and Gods on the aureole and on the Pedestal, whom we will see in Part 2 of this post.

Leave a comment »

Its been an amazing journey taking our readers through the last couple of posts, as we are treated to ring side seats to this delightful recreation of a lost pallava painting, from the Kanchi Kailasantha temple of Sri Rajasimha Pallava ( 700 CE !!), moving with the artist stage by stage.

pallava+somaskanda+remananets.jpg
pallava+somaskanda+remanents2.jpg
pallava+somaskanda+remanents3.jpg

We had started of by blocking in most of what we could salvage from the surviving pieces and started working on filling the finer details. The main hero of this panel comes up now. Shiva.

shiva+face1

Next Umai, takes form.

umai+face

Working on the divine mother a bit more. We notice that she is wearing a thin yellowish blouse or has applied turmeric on her upper torso.

umai+blouse
umai+color

The coloring starts now, with very light skin tones.

coloring+started

Shiva gets his color including his famous Neelakanta !

finalising+shiva

Umai matches her beloved now.

umai+face+final
umai+coloring
umais enhanced figure

Lets see how they both pair up.

composition+brahmapose+to+change

Its coming up quite well. lets add more color and fill in the details of Shiva’s Keyuras ( arm bands)

shiva+keyura+arm+ornaments
shiva+neelakanta

The bottom ganas and stands get colored up.

throne+color

and as we approach the final stages of the composition, time for a quick stock taking. Have we missed any detail.

coloring+the+composition

We forgot to correct the hands of Brahma, to be in the anjali pose.

redo+brahma.jpg

This is where we go back to the origins of this study on Somaskanda evolution - the 1971 article of Dr Gift Siromoney.

http://www.cmi.ac.in/gift/Archeaology/arch_somaskanda.htm

“Of Siva’s four arms, his lower right arm is extended horizontally to the side with his hand in the position of holding something, such as a flower, though no object is actually shown. With his upper right hand he holds a snake by its tail. His lower left hand is in the ardha-dhyana mudra. His upper left hand is near his shoulder as though holding a rosary or akshamala. Siva’s left leg is down.”

This is ofcourse his reference to the early pre Rajasimha Style somaskanda sculptures. But there is no reference to the snake in the Rajasimha style Somaskanda. But his pointer made us search for the snake in more detail.

notice+siva+lower+right+hand

Do we see something in the lower right hand?

snake+detail

Do you see the raised hood of a beautiful Cobra. We incorporate it into ours.

snake+on+hand

and without further delay, with many thanks to the artist Mrs. Subhashini Balasubramanian and our young photographer jagadeesh, we have our recreation of the 8th Century lost wonder.

Somaskanda+Complete

We hope you all enjoyed this attempt ( any mistakes are purely unintentional and we are open to comments)

Leave a comment »

 Page 2 of 8 « 1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last »