Thursday

Nayaka and Maratha Art in Thanjai Periya Koil (Brihadisvara Temple)

Though the Thanjai Priya Koil (Brihadisvara Temple) was built by the Cholas in the 10th Century CE, artistic additions were made by the Nayaka and Maratha rulers in the 16th and 17th Century CEs.

Nandhi (bull), the vahana of Brihadisvara (Lord Siva) in front of the sanctum sanctorum was built by the Nayaka rulers in the early 16th century CE.

Nandhi - the vahana (transport) of Lord Shiva - SOOC

The sheer size of the Nandhi itself is impressive. Again, the mandapam (hall) is filled with artistic sculptures, including the Nayaka king himself!

Nayaka ruler, who built the Nadhi Mandapam - Shadow Shot Sunday 2 and Sky Watch

Story telling sculptures in different colored granite stones! These sculptures either reflect day-to-day life in those days or scenes from Hindu puranaas (epic).

Here is the story of the above sculptures

1 - Hanumaan carrying Sanjeevi hills as per Hindu Epic Ramayana
2 - Siva devotee
3 - Night watchman - note the stone carved cloak covered from his head and the stick
4 - Dancing girl - holding a creeper

Maratha rulers invaded Thanjai during 17th/18th Century CE. They further adorned the temple with bright paintings, including the ceiling of Nandhi mandapam!

Maratha painting

More art work in the pragaaras (buildings/halls around sanctum sanctorum)...

Gaja Lakshmi

Goddess Gaja Lakshmi is one of the 8 forms of Lakshmi, and represents prosperity and good luck. You can see that this deity sits in Padmasana, one of the best yoga postures!

Kaali

Goddess Kaali is an incarnation of Parvathi or Sakthi, Consort of Lord Shiva. Kaali is associated with destroying evil and She is believed to be the redeemer of life.
It is amazing to see these time tested art and architecture. Every time I visit this temple, I guess I will have more pictures and stories to tell!

14 comments:

LadyFi said...

Such lovely frescoes and detail!

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Beautiful details.

Regards and best wishes

Laura said...

beautiful...thank you for taking us to such a lovely place.

Indrani said...

Beautiful captures.

Rajesh said...

Beautiful shots. This place is photographers delight.

Theanne said...

lovely photos!

Kim, USA said...

These are beautiful!

SWF

CameraCruise said...

Beautiful!
Thanks for sharing from this wonderful place.

Catherine said...

beautiful sculptures and architecture...

chubskulit said...

Beautifully captured. Thank you for your beautiful contribution to Shadow Shot Sunday 2.

Finding Beauty in a shadow. Have a blessed Sunday.

Rose

Kelly said...

These are all beautiful. I really like the blues in the Maratha painting.

NatureFootstep said...

all amazing artwork!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

These sculptures have made a lot of shadows in their lifetimes!

Cactus Shadows

Dimple said...

Interesting, a completely foreign culture to me. The bull is very big!

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