Dec 27, 2011

Stories in stones, Tripurantakesvara Temple

...continued from the previous post - Tripurantakesvara Temple, Balligavi.

Scene of a baby being adopted into a royal family. To the extreme right is a couple, woman lamenting separation from her child. To the left, in the mantapa a couple holds the adopted child and merry-making around them.

Rama aims an arrow at Vali's back. Vali engaged in a fight with his brother Sugreeva.

Rama shoots an arrow through seven Saal trees to prove his power to Sugreeva. As per legend the arrow after passing through seven trees hits a boulder and shatters it to pieces.

A child, men and women dancing. Since each of these characters have a pair of stick, the dance must be Kolaata ~ Dandiya.

Man watching a deer leaping over a baby deer in a garden or a forest. The sculptor has created two different trees.

Character on the left must be a hunter. Is that a python? Man playing flute is trying to wake up the man lying down? Elephant has bowed down to let the man climb on to it's back?

Pachatantra scene: Crow dropping pebbles into a pitcher to raise water level. The animal to the right must be a fox.

Story of a tortoise and two geese. A tortoise and two geese living in a lake are good friends. One bad summer the lake starts drying up. Feeling pity for the future suffering of the tortoise, the geese plan to fly off with her. The geese would hold a stick in their beaks while the tortoise would grasp it in his mouth, but she must be careful not to talk. On hearing the comments of people in the city they are passing over, the tortoise opens its mouth to tell them to mind their own business. The tortoise falls to her death and eaten up by dogs.

Panchatantra story of a monkey and a crocodile.

Rams trying to woo an ewe. From this panel the theme shift from Panchatantra to Mithunashilpa ~ erotic images. A couple engaged in unconventional sex.

Men, women and monkeys in a sex orgy. Few images in this temple display zoophilia- humans engaged in sex with animals.

Couple making love on a bed, even the pillows are so well sculpted. Second couple from the right, man using a mirror. Normally mirrors are seen women's hands here its different. The couple to the extreme right are all hugs and kisses.

Couple making love on a diwan. Sculptors wanted to make the images as realistic as possible, attention was paid to furniture and upholstery too.

The sixty-nine position.

Woman and horse engaged in zoophilia.

More couples, nude except for necklaces.

Couple engaged in circusex.

Of all positions, this one depicts love between the partners. I feel other positions and unconventional sex practices are more about lust than love. I consider this image as the most beautiful one amongst all the images in this post.

I'm not sure if any of the modern day temples have Mithunashilpa. Temples of those days being the centers of society were sources of information of every aspect of life. Images of Panchatantra stories convey morals. Scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata inspire young minds to tread the path of righteousness. However I cannot understand why images of zoophilia were created. Is there a meaning hidden some where?



Team G Square said...

Nice to know about this temple and sculptures on this temple . Some of the sculptures are unique .
Thanks for sharing .

ತಾಳೆಗರಿ said...

Thanks for the description and explanation.

On similar lines: temples on

Manjula Umesh said...

The sculpture of adoption of baby seems to be the story of Lord Krishna, Vasudev, Devaki ( parents), & Nanda - Yashoda at mantapa..