Sculptures in temples in Kumbakonam [Photo gallery]

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Kumbakonam is considered as one of the holiest places in Tamil Nadu. It is situated in the Tanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. It is bounded by two rivers – River Kaveri (Kāverī) on the North and River Arisolar on the South. Kumbakonam is known for its temples and Mathas (monasteries which were centres of Brahmanical learning). There are around 188 Hindu temples within the municipal limits of Kumbakonam. Apart from these, there are several thousand temples around the town thereby giving the town the name “Temple Town” and “City of temples”.

These photographs are embedded in the dissertation called “A study of sculptures in Vaishnavite, Shaivite and Devi temples in Kumbakonam in relation to dance” by Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth (source). This involves a vast in-depth study of the conditions prevailing at the time of construction of these temples, dance prevailing during those times, the dancing girls and their status, why dance was immortalized in the sculptures in the temples, the connection between Natya Shastra and related texts and iconography and the analysis of these sculptures to identify the dynamic movements in them as Karaṇas (if at all there are any).

The temples studied are Sharngapani (Śārṅgapāṇi), Cakrapani (Cakrapāṇi), Ramasvami (Rāmasvāmi), Adi-Kumbeshvarar (Ādi Kumbeśvarar), Nagaeshvarar (Nāgeśvarar), Someshvarar (Someśvarar), and Pattishvaram Durgai Amman temples (Paṭṭīśvaram). A study of the sculptures in these temples and their importance to a dancer has been the main purpose of the research.

Gallery: 640 images

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