Monday, July 18, 2011

Arjuna's Penance, Mahabalipuram

As described in Hindu epic, the Pandavas are fighting their battle against the evil forces. To win their battle Arjuna wants to gain a powerful weapon from Lord Shiva. These scene has been beautifully carved in the 7th century relief known as Arjuna's Penance at Mahabalipuram. Here, we will take a closer look at what we have seen in an earlier post.

The upper left of the relief has an setting of mountain with grazing animals, lions, humans, and celestial's. This part also has a pair of bird-like creature with human bodies. Lord Shiva attended by his ganas can be seen at the far rightmost side.

Arjuna is performing a extremely difficult yoga posture of standing one-legged with arms above his head to please the Lord. This posture held unmoved for months together. The protruding rib-cage is an indication of how long he stood in such a position without bothering about self-starvation.To the left of Arjuna is four-armed Lord Shiva. From the looks on his face he is pleased and his left hand extended to grant the blessings. In the other left hand is the weapon that probably Arjuna is seeking.

The other important features of the scene are at lower left, an antelope bounds from ledge to ledge, flying celestial's, and a pair of birds near Arjuna's left elbow.

48 comments:

kavita said...

Arjun's ribs are so distinctly visible .Great carvings .Never get tired of listening to the tales of Mahabharata .Loved the post.Have a nice week Rajesh.

George said...

Thanks for explaining the story behind this epic story. The carvings are amazing.

Kirigalpoththa said...

Super mural

nishaslifestyle.blogspot.com said...

wow wow iam getting so many details...thz s interesting...stunned abt the people behind the scene...

Ash said...

Marvellous!

joo said...

Awesome reliefs!

Bikramjit said...

Long time ago i had been to mahabalipuran , in one of my school trips ..

lovely pictures and you have described them nicely ..

Bikram's

Spiderdama said...

Just lovely art and great details form this world!
Happy week to you:-)

Gary said...

Great post and grat explanation. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Sylvia K said...

Fascinating history and such beautiful sculptures! Your photos are always superb, Rajesh! Have a great week!

Sylvia

Al said...

That relief is amazing. It seems to survive with its detail remarkably well intact.

Pramukh said...

Just an awesome place , good share http://travel-funda.blogspot.com/

Carver said...

It's amazing to me the detail they can achieve in works like this.

Arija said...

Superb high reliefs, you have photographed them so well too.

Indrani said...

Cool description.

SandyCarlson said...

What an incredible place. The human story is rich and deep and wide and wonderful. Your blog always makes that clear.

magiceye said...

exquisite work

sandeep said...

exquisite carvings ... isnt it?

Babli said...

You have taken superb shots. Mahabalipuram is a place to take all the lovely pictures of the sculptures and never feel to miss any of them.

Life Ramblings said...

beautiful carvings and a wonderful history.

Reader Wil said...

Thanks for the interesting post. For me it seems very complicated to know all those Hindu gods, but it inspires to create great masterpieces.

Francisca said...

Oh boy... I was going to ask what was so difficult about that yoga position until I read that he held it for months! Yikes!

ladyfi said...

Such wonderful and intricate workmanship.

alicesg said...

Wow very interesting to see the different pictures on the stones. Interesting to learn that Yoga was invented centuries ago.

Gwendolyn L said...

I like your photo. You captured the depth of each very nicely. Also the story. THanks for sharing.

Roger Owen Green said...

Yes, good v evil an eternal struggle.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Sylvia K said...

Marvelous, interesting post for the A Day as always, Rajesh! Hope your week is going well!

Sylvia

photowannabe said...

I am constantly amazed by the intricate detail and stories that are on your temples.
Thank you for sharing.

Wanda said...

Boy this was very intriging. You captures such detail and texture. Nice way to begin our Round 9

Trotter said...

Hi RRajesh! It’s not what it seems: I’ve just been too busy... No holidays... ;)

It's fabulous!!

Blogtrotter Two is posting on Corsica this summer... Enjoy and have a wonderful week!!

chubskulit said...

Beautiful artworks!

Please come and see someArt Expression at my page, thanks.

Shooting Parrots said...

Thank you, that is a fascinating story. I'd like to see the carving one day.

Barb said...

Hi Rajesh - I have trouble standing in "tree pose" for 2 minutes let alone months! Again you've shown such wonderful intricate carvings. I enjoy your explanations of them.

Pranavam Ravikumar a.k.a. Kochuravi said...

Great place.. Well explained everything.

Hazel said...

A for antelope too :) Arjuna's Penance - the name intrigues me.

R Sudhir Kumar said...

Well explained Rajesh, yet to see Mahabalipuram

Lawstude said...

Beautiful photography. Love to be there.

Jacob said...

Fantastic sculptures. And so old. I also really appreciate your commentary which helps us understand what the sculptures are all about...

shooting star said...

always wanted to visit mahabalipuram....some nice shots and good narration!!!

Gattina said...

Very interesting ! and nice photos to illustrate !
Gattina
ABC team

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Incredible art amazing treasures!!

Jeevan said...

Great detailed description about Arjuna's penance. I had spent many times around this place but wasn't interested observing in detail. Excellent flash!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Such incredible detail; it boggles my mind~ I found each of the scenes you describe and more besides; wonderful.

Rajesh said...

Thank you all for appreciating this beautiful craftsmanship.

Pietro said...

Astonishing reliefs!

Eden said...

A great place to visit! Thank you for sharing information about it. Beautiful photos.

Geeta Singh said...

liked d description nd pics r just mindblowing ...

chk mine:) Hair Hair Hair

Rajesh said...

Thank you all for appreciating this beautiful craftsmanship.