Acrobatic Dancing Women

Darasuram sculptures

The Airavateswara temple at Darasuram was built by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th Century CE. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for the intricate sculptures.

Her we see a panel of dancing ladies. One is shown with multiple limbs indicating either the movement of one performer (something like multiple frames of a movie) or multiple performers behind the main one.

Camel in Hindu Temple

Hanuman’s vaahanam

When I visited the Balamurugan temple (then under construction) in Saveetha College campus I was curious about the camels in the Hanumanji’s shrine. Later, I learnt that camel is one of the vehicles of Lord Hanuman.

I was even more intrigued to see on a pillar in Kacchabeswarar temple, Kanchipuram, a praying sage with a camel on the side. A quick search on the web did not yield any answers. Can any one of you fill up on what this sculpture represents?

A pillar in Sri Kachchabeswarar temple, Kanchipuram

Submission of Naga King Apalala

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Submission of Naga King Apalala, ca 2nd C.CE, Loriyan Tangai

Submission of Naga King Apalala, ca 2nd C.CE, Loriyan Tangai

A relief from Loriyan Tangai region of Pakistan at the Indian Museum Kolkata.

The legend: In the Swat river of the Gandhara Kingdom, there was a naga king called Apalala. He used to harass the local residents and they, in turn, offered him a tribute to stop harassing them. Once when the tributes started dwindling, Apalala was furious and turned himself into a Dragon. He threatened to invoke floods in the Swat river and annihilate the community. At that time Buddha with Vajrapani was visiting that area to propagate his thoughts. Vajrapani used the weapon Vajra (lightning)  to bring down the mountain and subdue Apalala. Apalala submitted to Buddha and converted to Buddhism.

It was interesting to come across an article in Dawn (Pakistan) about the archaeological department invoking a slightly different version of this legend in the context of floods in the Swat valley. See story: