Narasimha at Aihole

 

Narasimha at Aihole, Karnataka

This Narasimha at Aihole is from the Chalukya period. It seems different from the other Narasimhas seen elsewhere.

 

 

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Lesser known Rathams of Mamallapuram

Pidari Ratham at Mahabalipuram

Pidari Ratham at Mahabalipuram

Very few visitors to Mamallapuram get to see the Pidari Ratham and Valian kuttai (Valayankuttai) rathams.These are located about 500 mtrs West of Arjuna’s penance and can be reached by road. The entrance to the complex is close to ECR.

Both rathams are unfinished structures carved out of huge boulders. The work has begun from the top but the bottom is not completed. They resemble huge ‘Chettiar bommais’ at the bottom. The sanctums are also not complete and one is not sure for which god(s) these are meant for.

Valian kuttai ratham at Mahabalipuram

Valian kuttai ratham at Mahabalipuram

Map of Mamallapuram. Courtesy: Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation

map of mamallapuram (TTDC)

map of mamallapuram (TTDC)

In the sanctum of Valian kuttai rathamWhen we reached the Valiankuttai ratham, a man was peacefully sleeeping in the niche, oblivious of the visitors.

Rama’s archery

Ellore - Ramayana Panel - Rama pierces 7 trees

Ellora – Ramayana Panel – Rama pierces 7 trees

In Kishkintha Kaandam, Sugreeva approaches Rama to help him overcome his brother Vaali, who has usurped his kingdom (and wife). Rama consents as he  needs the vaanaras’ help in locating Sita.

Sugreeva needs some reassurance of Rama’s ability. To prove, Ram takes an arrow from his quiver and shoots into a sal tree. The arrow penetrates seven trees as well as some subterranean layers of the earth and returns to his quiver. Sugriva is very pleased and prepares to call Vaali for a duel. The above scene is depicted in miniature in Cave 16 of Ellora (Kailash cave) in the Ramayana Panel. 8th Century CE

What follows Vaali vadham – a highly debated episode in the Ramayana. That is for another post.

Three-faced bull

Three faced nandi at Hampi

Three faced nandi at Hampi

This unique three-headed nandi is in the Virupaksha temple, Hampi, Karnataka. I have not seen such nandi anywhere else. The three faces are supposed to symbolize three kaalaas – the past, the present, and the future. Or do they represent the Trinity?

 

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