Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This west facing cave excavation is a pillared hall of 20.5 feet long, 8.5 feet wide and 10.5 feet high. It is supported, in front, by two lion-base pillars and two lion-base pilasters on the sides. It is one of the shrines where it is sculpted DSC00501in detail and the ASI is doing a commendable job in protecting the relics. 

There is a closet in the middle and are guarded by dwarapalas As we do not see any dwarapala with trisula character (horned dwarapala), it can be assumed that this cave was dedicated to Vishnu.

One the Northern part of the Mantapa, has a bas relief of Varaha, one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu, in a standing posture. He is carrying Bhudevi (Goddess Earth) in his hands. His one leg is firmly rested on the ocean ground while another is on the hood of Sesha-naga. He is shown with four hands, in upper hands he DSC00502 carries a chakra and shankha while right lower hand is behind the goddess and left lower hand is holding the legs of the goddess. Bhudevi is shown seated in his bent uplifted right knee. Shesha-naga is shown with five hoods, emerging from the waters with his hands folded in devotion. Brahma is shown standing beside Varaha and Narada behind him, holding a Veena. Over Brahama and Narada is shown Chandra coming out of clouds. Opposite corner shows Surya. There is a female standing with folded hands in front of Varaha and Sesha. The way the detail is depicted in this bas relief is extraordinary. And each of the figure is lifelike.

Next to the above relief is shown a relief of Gaja-Lakshmi. Lakshmi is shown seated on a lotus seat, her both hands is a position probabDSC00503ly to hold lotus stalks. Her hair are put in a conical formation on the top. Four maidens are shown standing, two on  either side of Lakshmi. Two inner side maidens are shown holding water vessels, while the outer maidens are holding flowers in one hand. There are two elephants on the top, left one is shown pouring water from a vessel while the right one is shown picking the vessel from the hands of a maiden.

Southern end shows a bas relief of Trivikrama, Vishnu in Vamana incarnation. Vishnu is shown with one leg placed firmly on the ground and another lifted up to the level of his neck. This posture suggests that he has taken his two steps already and in that he has measured the earth and the heaven. He is shown with eight hands. In left hands he carries Shankha (conch), Khetaka (shield) and dhanush (bow), while one left hand is pointing DSC00504to the direction of his lifted leg. In his right hands he carries chakra (discus), gada (club) and khadga (sword) while his one right hand is raised up with palms turned up. Brahma is shown seated on a lotus and shown washing the foot of Trivikrama. Shiva is also shown seated in padmasana with one hand raised in adoration. On left of Trivikrama, Shukracharya is shown seated facing king Bali and trying to move away from the impact of Trivikrama’s expansion impact. Demon King Bali, wearing a crown, is shown seated next to Shukracharya. He is shown with gloomy faces and amazed at the scene he is witnessing.

Next to this panel is a bas relief of Durga. She is shown standing on a lotus seat She is shown with four hands, in upper hands carrying shankha and chakra while one lower hand is reDSC00505sting on her waist and other lower hand is in abhaya mudra. Four ganas (goblins) are shown flying across the panel, two on either side of the goddess. Ganas on right side are carrying a bowl of offerings in their one hand. On top corners, left and right, are lion and antelope, both mounts of the goddess. There are two devotees shown seated near the feet of the goddess. Devotee on left side is shown cutting his head, holding it by his tuft by one hand, with a sword in his another hand. Right side devotee is seated with one hand raised in adoration and another rested on his thigh.

I spent almost 10 minutes in this small mantapa move on to visit the Dharmaraja Mantapa.


Sujatha Sathya said...

i had been here just recently - September last month
the way you've captured the pics is just awesome

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