Standing Nandi

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caption id=”attachment_661″ align=”alignnone” width=”1259″]Standing Nandi at Baijnath temple, Himachal Pradesh Standing Nandi at Baijnath temple, Himachal Pradesh[/caption]

Nandi, Shiva’s vaahana is invariably depicted in sitting posture in all South Indian Siva temples. e.g. see my blog on Lepakshi.

However, in the Baijnath Temple in the Kangra district of  Himachal Pradesh the Nandi is in standing posture. This temple is about 8 or 9 centuries old and houses a Swayambhu linga. It is situated on the banks of river Binwa with a breathtaking view of the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas.

Another curious feature was the image of man hanging from the Nandi’s tail. I searched the web to find the story behind this but could not find any lead.

Nandi's tail

Nandi’s tail

In this temple, you are required to leave outside all leather items, including bags, belts, etc. beside footwear.

Three-legged figure

Three-legged figure

Three-legged figure

Is this three-legged dancer a saint or a God?

From one of the pillars in the Eastern mandapam of Thirupporur temple.

Monolithic Stone Chain

monolithic stone chain

monolithic stone chain

The 100-pillar mandapam at Varadaraja Swami Temple was built around the 15th century by the Vijayanagar rulers. It is well known for the intricate carvings on the pillars. A well-known feature is the monolithic chains hanging from the corners of the mandapa. These chains form an integral part of the roof and have 12 links and an ornate pendant all carved out of a single granite piece.  A masterpiece in stone craft and an architectural marvel.

Jwara hareswara Temple, Kanchipuram

 

Jwarahareswarar temple Kanchi

Jwarahareswarar temple Kanchi

This small but important temple is located right on the main road leading from Ekambareswarar temple. Though it is centrally located it is easy to miss this unless one looks out for this as the facade is simple. Once you enter you will be struck by the beauty of the structure and the serenity of the surroundings.

This is a Chola period temple and is currently maintained by the ASI.

 

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

Eka Paada Murthy

Trimurthis with only one leg

Trimurthis with only one leg

On the Northern Wall of the Sree Thyagarajaswamy temple, Thiruvottiyur.

This is the Ekapada Murthy aspect of the Trimurtis.

There can be many interpretations. The one given by the heritage tour leader, Pradeep Chakravarthy was this:
It was a time when Jainism and Buddhism were kept at bay by Hinduism. However, there was friction between various factions of Hinduism. This depiction of an integrated form of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma was to highlight the fact that all philosophies converge.

This is also sometimes referred to as Tripaada Trimurthy since a leg each of Brahma and Vishnu are also seen.

Another interpretation is that this showcases the supremacy of Shiva as the axis of the world or its cosmic pillar

Little known gem of Kanchipuram

Vaikunta Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram, Pallava 7-8 Century C.E

Vaikunta Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram, Pallava 7-8 Century C.E

I was not aware of the Vaikunta Perumal Temple of Kanchipuram till now. If you are amazed by the Kailasnatha temple, you will be stunned by Vaikunta Perumal temple. This 7 century Pallava temple has bas-relief sculptures all over the walls – divine images as well as battle scenes, everyday life etc. Sadly, a lot of the sandstone sculptures are eroded and were plastered by ASI in an attempt to stop further damage.

The temple is in three levels – Vishnu is in sitting posture in the main sanctum. At the next level, approachable by a narrow stairway, he is Ranganathar, in lying posture. At the third level, which we did not see, he is in standing posture.

 

The picture was taken with phone camera (Redmi 4 Note) and tweaked on Snapseed. #phoneography.

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.

Celestial marriage

Meenakshi Sundareswarar thirukalyanam. The wedding of Shiva with Parvati, one scene from many depicted on a temple gopuram at Thiruamazhisai, near Chennai.

Ravana and Mount Kailash 3

Another image of Raavana shaking Kailash

Another image of Raavana shaking Kailash

This is another image of Raavana shaking mount Kailash.This was near the left side steps (Northern side) of the temple in Cave 16 –   See earlier postings for description.  and this