The splendor of Pullamangai – Brahmapurirswarar

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.

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.

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.

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

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

The next panel, shows Shiva embracing 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

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

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

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

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.

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

We are not finished yet

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

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

By the way, did i mention ` little’

14 thoughts on “The splendor of Pullamangai – Brahmapurirswarar

  1. சிற்பங்களும் வர்ணனைகளும் மிக அருமை


  2. 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!

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

  4. 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?

  5. 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…

  6. விஜய்!
    மனதுக்கு இதமான சுற்றுலா போல அமைந்தது. வெறும் விருந்து அல்ல்.. ஆன்மாவுக்கு விருந்து..


  7. 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.

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

    • 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 !!


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