Tracking the evolution of the Pallava Somaskanda – Part 2

In the previous post, we saw stylistically the earliest and latest somaskanda images.

Today, we are going to see why the Somaskanda Panel in the Dharmaraja Ratha is the earliest available panel of this form.

Lets take a look again at the Somaskanda panel from the Dharamaraja Ratham and the sketch.

To compare it with say a typical Rajasimha style Somaskanda – we have a beautiful almost perfect specimen from the Rajasimeshwara Temple in the shore temple complex ( the shore temple is a complex shrine comprising of an earlier Vishnu shrine buttressed by two shiva shrines – the Rajasimeshwara and Kshatriyasimeshwara shrines – the Kshatriyasimeshwara too has a Somaskanda but we will see that in a subsequent post)

A sketch to assist you in finding the differences. Lets see if you can point out the characteristic differences between the two Somaskandas.

A further twist to the various puzzles that abound in Mallai, the Ramanuja Mandaba is the most complete of the structures but due acts of vandalism – its like a slate that’s been wiped clean. Someone has chiseled out the door guardians, the three relief panels inside as well.

But as they say no crime is perfect, the chiseled out panel does leave an outline. The central shrine clearly shows the outline of a Somaskanda

Lets try and trace that and see what style is it – the Dharamaraja Ratha style or the Rajasimeshavara style.

To assist you, i am giving some additional outlines of the Shiva and Umai sides of the Dharamaraja Ratha Somaskandar

Hope you dont need any further clues. Lets test your observations skills.

Images courtesy: and Mr Ashok

5 thoughts on “Tracking the evolution of the Pallava Somaskanda – Part 2

  1. First to comment! 🙂 .. Easy to answer. Its Dharamaraja Ratha style Hopefully.

    But I have a bigger question? Why is this hall called Ramanujan Mandabam? Whats the history behind the name?

  2. Well, Shiva’s Rajasana leg reversed, Uma in profile in earlier Dharmaraja & Ramanujan M., V & Br moved in behind them in later Rajasimha, parasol added, flying ganas missing.

  3. //இரு வாயிற் காப்போன்கள் முதல் உள்ளே இருக்கும் மூன்று புடைப்பு சிற்பங்களும் உளி கொண்டு முழுவதுமாக செதுக்கி எடுக்கப்பட்டுள்ளன. ( யாரால், எதற்கு ?)//

    கண்ணில் நீர் வர வைத்துவிட்டது. ஆக்க முடியாவிட்டாலும் அழிக்காமலாவது இருக்கலாமே! :((((((

  4. ம்ம்ம்ம்ம்ம்??? தர்மராஜா ஸ்டைல்???? பார்வதி அமர்ந்திருக்கும் நிலை அப்படித் தான் தெரியுது.

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