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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pavagadh Jain Temples & Navlakha Kothar (Vadodara - Gujarat)

Beside the Lakulisa temple is the route to climb up the hill. Err... It took some time for me get the word 'Lakulisa' in my mouth. I was repeatedly referring to it as 'Lavakusa' (Lava and Kusa are the sons of Lord Rama)!!!!
Atop the hill, are 3 Jain temples. They belong to the Digambara sect of Jainism. Originally there was just 1 temple here which was in extreme level of ruins. 

In other words, there were panels of just 1 temple, strewn all over this place. In recent years, those have been put together and 3 temples were built.
Sadly in the rebuilding process, the ancient charm of the temple is lost. There are some new panels inserted in the midst of the old ones, totally spoiling the look which should have been like Lalikusa, otherwise!

Almost at the cliff was another little temple which was more in ruins, but with very beautiful sculptural detail, almost like in Lakulisa. I thought, the view from here was spectacular, but little did I know, this was only the intro!!!
Something that intrigued me was these cute creatures in the lower section of these little mandapas on the cliff. On the 2 sides of each structure, were the creatures and they're holding a chain in their mouth, as if they're pulling the chariot shaped mandapa!!!

Further atop was this 5-domed brick structure, built by Solanki rulers called the Navlakha Kothar, almost at the cliff, which was later on used as a granary. Its not the granary that took me by awe, but the walk towards it!!! 
It was a slight trek on a shallow slope, on a dirt track. Yes, I did the mistake of not taking enough water and was almost panting by the time I came down....
A view from the cliff, showed the hill top of a shorter hill beside, into the deep valley. There was another brick structure there completely in ruins. I was told that the brick structure there was used as a prison. A make shift ladder was put in place from this cliff to that hill top using which prisoners were transported there and imprisoned there in lonely cells! 



These are some shots from the cliff of Navlakha Kothar hill to the valley deep inside. The feel was awesome... The feel of the wind blowing on the face was great! The adrenaline of standing at the very last tip of the cliff was fabulous!!! I could stand there all day long. But my friends managed to bring me down and I was the last one to get out of that place as sun started sinking down...

TO GET THERE:

Dedicated to Prof. Swaminathan & Co...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lakulisa Temple (Vadodara - Gujarat)

Remember I told that Somnathpur is Hoysala in a nutshell? Well, Lakulisa is Gujarat in a nutshell. It has a sanctum sanctorum, ardha mandapa and maha mandapa. This was built in 10-11 C CE. Nothing more except sharing the exquisite sculptural marvel of the place!!!


The cute little temple!


Portions of pillars still existing... Heavily sculpted!






The panels and sculptures all around.

That's Lord Lakulisa on whom the temple was built!



TO GET THERE:

Dedicated to Prof. Swaminaithan & Co...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Modhera Sun Temple - Part 4 (Vadodara - Gujarat)

Finally here's the last part of the Modhera Sun temple series. I was there for just a couple of hours. In that time, I hardly saw anything. There were tons of sculptures I did not see properly. And with that, I came up with this 4 part series about it. The temple needs atleast a day or two dedicated to it totally, to see all the sculptures properly.
Anyways, in the exteriors of the sanctum sanctorum, where those sculptures of Aditya, Lokpala and Gauri are seen, just below them are those several panels. One of them has little humans in them. Here's some close-ups of that panel.
Beginning with the elephant panel. 
Notice the little humans doing acrobatics holding the trumpet of the elephants?!!


A war scene! Soldiers with spears and shields.

A musical procession! Women playing musical instruments!!

A prayer scene! Performing abhisheka of Siva Lingam!


More processions!

Not very unusual, but the erotic sculptures here are pretty many!!!






Life's a circle, right? Along with the erotic expressions, here a very detailed, Child Birth scene!!!

That wraps up Modhera, but more of Gujarat is yet to come. Stay tuned!!!

TO GET THERE:
Refer to my prev. post

Dedicated to Prof. Swaminathan & Co...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Modhera Sun Temple - Part 3 (Vadodara - Gujarat)

After the Suraj Kund, and Nrutya Mandap, over to Guda Mandap or the Sanctum Sanctorum now. Very similar to the Nrutya Mandapa, every pillar of the sanctum sanctorum was an intricate piece of art by itself as well. 

The outer structure is basically a rectangle, but actually a multi faceted star shaped structure.

Each facet has a major sculpture. Either an Ashta dik Balaka or Aditya or Devi. An Aditya is identified as the straight standing sculpture. There are 12 of those.

An Ashta dik Balaka aka Lokpalaka is identified as a tribanga (tri-fold) posture. Technically there should be only 8 of those. But here quite unusally there are 10!

Then there are the female figures called Gauri-s or Devi-s. 
These are just the major sculptures, in the facets. Then there are several panels above and below them - one dedicated to other gods & scenes from epics, one dedicated to humans, one for elephants, one for lion face etc.... 
There was this one sculpture of a woman, turned around, and twisting to show her face in the front. She has also folded a leg to her back and holding it with her hand. I loved that sculpture and tried to pose just like that in front of that. Spot that sculpture atop me???
They are so astonishing that they too require a separate post. Coming back soon.

TO GET THERE:
Refer to my prev. post.

Dedicated to Prof. Swaminathan & Co...
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