Ashta dikpaalas of Raja Rani Temple Bhubaneswar

The Rajarani temple (11th -12th C.C.E) of Bhubaneswar is one of the Kalinga temples well known for exquisite sculptures.

Like many other temples, this temple too has representation of the ashta dikpalas

Ashtadikpalas are the guardians of the 8 directions in Hinduism.

I have captured in my camera  5 or 6 of the dikpalas depicted in Rajarani temple during a recent visit. I missed the others due to the paucity of time and due to my failure to do some homework. (Or maybe I was overwhelmed by the beauty and grace of the sculpted female figures!)

Lord Yama with his Danda and noose on a buffalo

Lord Yama with his Danda and noose on a buffalo on the South

The four cardinal directions E, W, N, & S are ruled by Indra, Varuna, Kubera & Yama respectively. The ordinal (Intermediate) directions SE, SW, NE, & NW are guarded by Agni, Nirurti, Isana & Vayu respectively.

Varuna, Lord of the West, water and rain with a noose and crocodile

Varuna, Lord of the West, water, and rain with a noose and crocodile

Vayu rule the North West with an Ankush [prod]

Vayu rules the North West with an Ankush [prod]

Agni on a ram SE (the bearded figure on the bottom right)

Agni on a ram SE (the bearded figure on the bottom right)

Kubera, the Lord of wealth guards the North

Kubera, the Lord of wealth guards the North

Nirrti on the South West?

Nirrti on the South West?

Sometimes, these 8  are supplemented by 2 more directions – Urdhwa (Zenith) and Adho (Nadir) assigned to Brahma and Vishnu.

This concept of Dikpalas is applied in Vaastu Shastra, in temple and house architecture and also in town planning and layout.

Similar concepts also appear in Chinese and Buddhist philosophies. Not surprisingly it is also evident in countries like, Java, Bali, Cambodia etc which have Hindu influences.

Advertisements

Mahishasuramardini

Mahishasuramardini, Odisha

One more Mahishasuramardini. This is from the Parashurameswara temple, Bhubaneswar. Dated c. 7th or 8th C. E. this is one of the oldest structural temples in the region.

Note the divine figure below with intricately carved floral pattern

Ravana and Mount Kailash – a Recap

[This is the second of my Recap series. The first one was on Mahishasuramardini. This is a compilation of my earlier photoblogs.]

 

Ravana shaking Mount Kailash

After severe penances and conquests, Ravana became very strong and arrogant. He went to the Himalayas, defeated his half-brother, Kubera and usurped his Pushpaka Vimana . On his return, he was overflying Mt. Kailash. Nandi advised Ravana to circumambulate Kailash so as not to disturb Shiva and Parvati.

The arrogant Ravana said, “Who is Shiva?” and tried to shake the mountain. Though Parvati and her entourage were frightened, Shiva nonchalantly pinned down Ravana with his toes. Ravana wailed for mercy. Having humbled Ravana, Shiva released him. After this experience, Ravana became a great devotee of Shiva.

In another version, it is believed that Ravana’s mother, Kaikasi, herself a great devotee of Shiva, wanted to go to Mt.Kailash. Arrogant Ravan said that he could bring Kailash to her and attempted to lift it and transfix it in Lanka.

Epilogue: Ravana after becoming a devotee of Lord Shiva sang in His praise. Since he had no musical instruments to accompany his singing, some believe, he cut off one of his heads and an arm to make a stringed instrument with his thigh nerves. This is also believed to be the origin of musical instruments. In fact, an instrument called Ravanahatta (Ravan’s hand) is still in use in some parts of Rajasthan.

ravana

Ravana Shaking Kailash, a pillar in Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakkal.

Other sculptures: the other famous figure of Ravana and Mt. Kailash is in Ellora (Cave 16)

Ravana lifting Mt.Kailash

Ravana lifting Mt.Kailash. Ellora Cave 16

Another image of Raavana shaking Kailash

Another image of Raavana shaking Kailash. ellora

In Cambodia. on the pediment of Bantey Srei temple.

e086c-dsc_9091a_resize

Ravana and Mt Kailash Bantei Srei, Cambodia

At Belur / Halebidu

Ravana at Halebidu

Ravana at Halebidu

Ravana trying to lift Kailash at Belur

Ravana trying to lift Kailash at Belur

Ravana shaking mount Kailasa

At Murudeshwar ina man-made cave.

Gopuram of Mallikeswarar temple, Mannady, Chennai

Gopuram of Mallikeswarar temple, Mannady, Chennai

There is also the image of Ravana and Shiva with mount Kailash on the vimana of Parasurameswara temple (7-8 C.CE)  at Bhubaneswar. I missed capturing this. However, I was glad to see a post by Bushavali N. This is a link to that image by Bhushavali  

and Link to her blog: http://travel.bhushavali.com/2017/10/lesser-known-bhubaneswar-temples-odisha-2.html

Ravana with Mt Kailash on a Gopuram

Gopuram of Mallikeswarar temple, Mannady, Chennai

Gopuram of Mallikeswarar temple, Mannady, Chennai

another image of Raavana carrying Mt Kailash. On the gopuram of Sree Mallikeswarar temple, Linghi Chetty Street, Mannady, Chennai