Triveni Journal

1927 | 11,233,916 words

Triveni is a journal dedicated to ancient Indian culture, history, philosophy, art, spirituality, music and all sorts of literature. Triveni was founded at Madras in 1927 and since that time various authors have donated their creativity in the form of articles, covering many aspects of public life....

South Indian Portraits: III, IV

By T. G. Aravamuthan

South Indian Portraits



THE general oblivion which has come over the history of south India from the decline of the Pallavas to the rise of the Cholas of the Vijayalaya line (about the close of the 9th century A. D.) envelops also the history of this branch of sculpture in that period. The revival of the Cholas under the kings of the dynasty founded by Vijayalaya leads also to a renaissance of art and from this period we have sculptural material enough to base reliable conclusions upon.

A fine 'seated figure, about 3 feet high, with a bared head' [Fig. 9], in the temple at Nandi,1 the finest and the most ornate of the Dravidian temples in the province, is probably the earliest known example or post-Pallava portraiture. The statue which is 'decorated with ornaments and is in the posture of meditation' is said by tradition to represent a Chola king2. Whatever view we may hold of the possibility of its being a portrait of a Chola king there can be no doubt but that it is a fine specimen of the sculptor's art. It is now found in the oldest portion of the temple,—a portion attributable to the close of the eighth century A. D. 3. Were it not that it is a moveable figure and that additions were made to the temple in the 11th century and later, we could have little doubt about the date of the sculpture.

Perhaps to this same period we have to attribute the sculptures in a rock-cut shrine at the foot of the hill at Kunnakudi4 among which are found figures of the king and queen who had the caves constructed. 5

In a niche of a rock-cut cave in the Siva temple at Tirumalai6 is 'a standing figure in relief of a king (?) about 6 feet in height flanked on either side by an attendant. The one on his left stands with folded arms while the other—a dwarf-holds a huge umbrella over his master's head. Below this group is an ornamental flower vase with a goat on its right and a peacock on the left.'7 The figure in the centre of the group is perhaps Skanda, and not a king; the person who stands at one side with arms folded across the breast is, more probably, a king who was a devotee of Skanda. His attitude recalls that of the Pallava at Kunnandarkoyil. The figures are cut out of the rock but show a coat of lime appropriately painted over. If we may judge from the present appearance of the figures, the sculptures must be attributed to a period somewhat later than those at Kunnakkudi mentioned above.

At Vallimalai8—a place which is in the heart of the country once ruled over by the Banas,—we have an image carved in relief on a rock not far from a Jaina basti which was constructed by the Western Ganga king Rajamalla (c. 870 A. D.) on his wresting the country round about from a Bana king. An inscription below the relief states that it is an image of Devasena, the pupil of the Bana king's Jain preceptor, Bhavanandin, and that it was set up by another Jain guru, Aryanandin.9 If Another early example is a figure, about a foot in height, carved in relief on the south wall of the central shrine of the Siva, temple at Tiruvaduturai.10 Beside the figure is engraved a name showing that the figure represents Tiruk-karralip-Pichchar, 11 a contemporary of the Chola king, Parantaka I (c. 907-945 A. D. ). 12 The figure holds the hands Joined in the usual attitude of salutation.

How popular the practice of carving the figure of a devotee or a temple-builder was may be seen in this temple. On one wall is executed the relief of a standing figure worshipping a linga, and it is identified, in an inscription beside it, as that of one Daman Amalan. 13 Beside a similar relief on another wall runs an inscription which says that the figure is that of a devotee, Ambalavan Tiruvisaluran TiruNavukku-Araiyan.14 Beside a standing figure, in a worshipping attitude with palms raised above the head, on the same wall, is found a similar inscription which says that it represents a devotee named Ilaiya15 Tiru-Navukku-Araiyar,16 who was perhaps a younger brother or a son or a grand-son of the person mentioned above. On this same wall is the relief of Karrali-Pichchar which has been already noticed. On another wall a relief shows two figures, one standing behind the other in front of a linga, and beside them runs an inscription to say that the first person is Eluvan Sandaradittan who constructed a tier of the temple and that the other is Nakkan Vannattadigal, a maid servant of the palace.17 We do not know how the man and the woman were related to each other but they seem to have both contributed to the building of the tier. Thus, on the various walls of one temple are found carved five separate relievos of devotees and it is very doubtful if more than two of them were in any way related to each other.

Below an image on the wall of a mandapa in the Siva temple at Tirukkurugavur18 is inscribed the name of an ascetic, Venayil-udaiyan Ilatangilai Aruran19. In the Siva temple at Kadambarkoyil20 is a bas-relief below which is engraved, in characters of about the 10th century A. D., an inscription which says that that stone temple was built by one Arulperra-devar.21


Another example of the same century is to be found in the Siva temple at Kuhur22 where an inscription records that that temple, also of stone, was built by one Madam-udaiyar Varaguna-tondar, and his likeness is sculptured above the inscription.23

In the Siva temple at Konerirajapuram,24 there is a group of figures carved in rather low relief and below it runs an inscription to the effect that the temple was raised in the reign of Uttama-Chola (c. 969-985A. D.) by his mother Sembiyan-ma-deviyar, in the name of her husband, Gandar-Aditya. The inscription proceeds: 'This is (the image of) the glorious Gandar-Aditya-deva which was (caused to be) made in this sacred stone-temple in the posture of worshipping the sacred feet of the lord.'25 In the group, Gandar-Aditya sits squatting before a linga, his hands joined in salutation, and behind him are his attendants, the first of them holding a sword in one hand and a fly-whisk in the other and the second bearing an umbrella, —all which are emblems of sovereignty. 26

A bronze statue found in this temple [Fig. 10] is attributable to this period. Though we are not able to decide whom it represents, it has all the individuality of a portrait.

Another relief in the same temple has appended to it an inscription to say that the relief represents one Sattan Guna-battan who built a shrine in that temple at the instance of Udaiya.Pirattiyar, alias Sembiyan-ma-deviyar, the mother of Uttama-Chola. 27 In this instance, we have a portrait of the agent of the person who caused the temple to be built and not of the principal.

A shrine was raised to Chandesvara in this temple in 1085 A. D. by a private individual who had his own figure and that of Chandesvara cut on the west wall of the shrine.28 It is curious that it should have been thought necessary to figure the god on the outside of the wall of his own shrine.

At this place, Konerirajapuram, we find, therefore, that a, practice has obtained, from the time when the temple was begun, about 975 A. D., of placing in it likenesses representing the person in whose name the temple was built, the person who built it and the person who had the actual conduct of the work of construction.

On a wall of the Siva temple at Tiruvisalur29 is carved in low relief the figure of a worshipper [Fig. 11] and close by runs an inscription30 recording the construction of the mandapa by one Ananta-Sivan; perhaps we may take the relief and the inscription together and infer that the relief is a representation of Ananta-Sivan, the builder of the mandapa. The worshipper is shown not with hands joined in anjali but stretched out soliciting boons.

We have already seen how the memory of Gandar-Aditya was perpetuated by Sembiyan-ma-devi, his queen. Her memory in turn seems to have been perpetuated in a statue set up to her in a temple to Siva which she had herself built at, Sembiyan-ma-devi, a village31 which she re-named after herself and made a gift of to the temple. Grants of land too seem to have been by made the assembly of the village for the offering of food to her image. 32

Gandar-Aditya's brother, Arimjaya, reigned for sometime and died at Arrur and, years afterwards, his grand-son, Rajaraja I (of whom we shall presently have to say more) erected a temple in his honour as a palli-padai at Melpadi and named it Arimjiga-Isvara. 33

When Arimjaya's son, Sundara-Chola, or Parantaka II, died after a distinguished reign his queen put an end to herself by committing Sati. Kundavai, the daughter of this couple, had such regard for her parents that when her brother Rajaraja I built the great temple at Tanjore, she installed in it images of her father and mother,—that is of Parantaka II34 and his queen, 35—and made ample provision for worship being offered to each of them. 36

In the last days of Rajaraja I (985-1013 A. D.), the great Chola king who built the famous Brihad-Isvara temple at Tanjore, 37 the manager of the temple seems to have set up a solid image of Rajaraja along with a similar one of his queen, Loka-maha-devi, in the temple to the building of which that king devoted the treasures he acquired in his numerous conquests. An inscription in the temple does not seem to be susceptible of any other interpretation. 38 The measurements of the two images and the pedestals are given in the inscription: the image of the king was 'one mulam, four viral and a half in height from the feet to the hair,' and that of the queen was 'twenty-two viral and two torai in height.' Among the "jewels with which the statues were decked were 'sacred arm-rings' and 'sacred ear-rings.' It is also worth noting that a lamp was kept burning in the presence of the king's statue, just as if it were an image of the deity. 36 No image now in that temple is identifiable with that of the queen Loka-maha-devi: her statue seems to have disappeared. A king's statue [Fig. 12] is found among the images now in the temple, but it is exceedingly doubtful if it is the statue to which the above-mentioned inscription relates. All that we know of this statue has been summarised thus: 'In the Brihadisvara temple at Tanjore is a metallic image with the label, Rajarajendra-chola-raja of the big temple, engraved on the pedestal in the modern Tamil alphabet. The king is represented as standing with both his palms joined together in a worshipping pose. As a work of art, it is only a second-rate specimen, not to be compared favourably with the image of Krishna-raya at Tirumalai. It is said that this image receives all the honours in the temple and when the god is taken out in procession, this royal image escorts the deity. The name as given on the image evidently refers to the Chola king Rajaraja I, for it was he who was intimately connected with the construction and the upkeep of this temple. It should be a later work done to perpetuate the memory of the founder of the great temple. The tradition locally current about this image also corroborates this view.'37 Onelook at this bronze is enough to show that compared with the many icons in the same temple which were set up in the days of Rajaraja I it is of far inferior quality, especially in regard to the moulding of the figure. The fine idealism and the vigorous freedom of those icons do not animate this figure" which is very wooden and unspeakably rigid. Further, the height of the statue of Rajaraja I which was set up in his times is known to us from the inscription in the temple; this height does not tally with the height of the image which now passes for Rajaraja's.38 The characters on the pedestal are attributable to the, seventeenth century: at any rate, they do not belong to Rajaraja's times. From all that we know of Rajaraja we cannot but hold it extremely probable that the manager of the temple acted on Rajaraja's wishes in setting up the two; statues and providing that the king's image should accompany the utsava-vigraha of the god in the processions of the great festivals. Perhaps we have to suppose that the, original statues were lost and that the present statue was substituted much later when the metal worker's art had degenerated greatly in this part of the country. Had the original bronzes survived they would have been of unique artistic value, for they are not merely the very earliest portrait statues of metal the date of which is indisputable,—though we have many specimens of icons of metal of much earlier date,—but they are also specimens of a period to which some of the very best south Indian bronzes belong.

An image of even the priest who officiated in the temple seems to have been set up in the time of Rajaraja I and another priest, 39 Isana-Siva-pandita, made provision for the burning of a lamp before that image. 40

At Kalahasti, 41 in the Siva temple stands a bronze about 2½ feet in height, [Fig.13] on the pedestal of which runs an inscription stating that it is a likeness of Sola-ma-deviyar and was cast under the orders of Rajendra-chola-deva.42 Evidently this Sola-ma-deviyar is one of the queens of the great Rajaraja I and her statue was set up under the orders of her step-son Rajarajendra I.

To about this time belongs a piece of sculpture in the Siva temple at Olagapuram43 showing a king worshipping a linga.



A devotee gave to the Siva temple at Annur,44 in 1031 A. D., some gold for a twilight lamp, assigned over some of his servants for service in the temple and also presented metallic statues of himself and his wife. We have here the first instance of a donor to a temple accompanying his gifts with statues of himself and of his wife. 45

In the Siva temple at Srimushnam46 the reciter of the Tirup-padiyam or 'the Sacred Decad' (a hymn in ten stanzas to the god of that temple) was, for long, one Tambiran-tolan Manakkanjaran, and on his death an image of him was set up in one of the gopuras of the temple47.

In the Siva temple at Kalahasti stands a pair of bronze figures, each with hands joined in the attitude of worship. One of the figures is a male and the other is a female [Fig. 14]. At one end of the pedestal of each statue is a projection from which springs a post the top of which, where it reaches almost the height of the joined hands, is shaped into a cup-like lamp. As an inscription on a wall of the same temple, dated in 1119 A. D., says that a lady made a gift of 96 sheep to the temple out of the yield of which was to be burnt a perpetual light in a lamp-stand cast after the form of her deceased brother, Kettan-Adittan, a servant of a Chola captain,48 we may conclude that the male figure represents Kettan-Adittan and that it was set up after his death by a relation of his. The other statue, which represents a woman, resembles the former so closely in the features that the suggestion may be ventured that it represents the sister and. that it was set up by either herself for her own merit or after her death by her relations as a memorial. The two bronzes would seem, therefore, to be statues of a brother and sister. They are very fine specimens of the metal-worker's art and have all the marks of individualised portraits. Statues holding lamps in their hands are common, but these bronzes are unique in that a special support is provided for each lamp and the hands are left unencumbered so that they might be fully Joined in salutation. These statues present a combination of the two common motifs,—a devotee standing in the attitude of salutation with hands joined in anjali, and his holding in his hands a lamp for a light kept perpetually burning for his merit.

In a niche of the famous Kesava temple at Belur49 stand two figures whom tradition identifies as Vishnu- vardhana,50 the great Hoysala king, (1104-1141 A. D.) and his queen Santale [Fig. I5]. This Vishnuvardhana is famous in south Indian history as the great king who was converted to Vaishnivism by Ramanuja and as the builder of magnificent temples. The figures are carefully sculptured and were doubtless good likenesses.

Among the metallic images in this temple is one of the same king, Vishnuvardhana. 'The image is about a foot and a half in height standing on a pedestal [Fig. 16]. The hair is wound into a knot behind the head. (Not visible in the photo). This is a Vaishnavite custom. It is not however positively known whether Vishnu-vardhana kept his hair in such a style. The figure is highly adorned with ear-rings, necklace and ornaments. A sheathed sword is suspended from the girdle on the left side and a dagger on the right side. On the image, discus, conch and certain lines and circles are drawn on the palm of the hand, fingers and legs indicating great fortune. These are not visible in the photo.'51



A Brahaman made in 1128 A. D., 'a gift of 20 kalanju of gold of 9½ fineness for burning daily a twilight lamp, with ghee and camphor both morning and evening, in the Vishnu temple at Tirukkannapuram.'52 The inscription recording this gift goes on to state that he 'presented for the purpose a bronze lamp-stand made after his own image,' and assures us that 'the gift was accepted by the Sri Vaishnavas of the village and those versed in the sacred lore.'53 This gives us an instance of lamps being held in temples not only by figures of females in the form of dipa-lakshmis but also by figures of men.

A relief in the Sathakopa mandapa of the famous temple of Srirangam54 is popularly said to represent the great Tamil poet, Kamban (12th century), who, according to tradition, recited his version of the Ramayana in that hall and obtained the approval of the learned Vaishnavas of the place.

Beside a sculpture on the wall of the Siva temple at Tiruvidaimarudur,55 picturing a linga, a worshipper, an attendant and a lamp-stand, is an inscription mentioning two names which perhaps were those of the worshipper and the attendant. 56

In the Siva temple at Tirumalai57 is placed a figure carved in stone [Fig. 17] which is probably to be assigned to this century. That it represents a chief seems to be indisputable, but we are unable to identify him.

Inside the Siva temple at Kurudumale, 58 'stand opposite to the linga, three statues which are said to represent the later Chola chief Ilavanji Vasudeva Raja and his consorts [Fig. 18] The chief, who belongs to the 13th century, is said to have built or renovated the temple.'59 He wears a beard and all the three figures hold their hands joined in salutation. As sculptures they are not satisfactory, though they are not wanting in expression.

A man is accompanied by his wife and by three attendants in a sculptured group in the mandapa of the Mallikarjuna temple at Kuruvatti.60 The sculpture is remarkable for its showing the man in a unique pose,-that of reading a palm-leaf book [Fig. 19]. Perhaps the conjecture may be hazarded that he was the king's preceptor, Lokabharana-deva (c. 1200 A. D.), who is known to have been connected with the village and the temple. 61

A bronze about two feet in height, recovered as, treasure-trove' at the village of Gandar-kottai, 62 seems to be a statue of a local chief [Fig. 20]. In hands folded in anjali he holds a rosary.

Two stone-figures at the entrance into the central shrine of the Lakshmi-Narasimha temple at Korukonda, 63 perhaps representing respectively Lakshmi-dasi, a courtezan, and Mummadi-Nayaka, a local chief, seem to have their story told in a long Sanskrit inscription in that temple. 64 'The temple on the hill carne into existence' during this chiefs reign, in 1363 A. D., 'under very peculiar circumstances. A Vaishnava teacher, Bhattari, of whom Mummadi was the devoted disciple, told the chief one day that he had reached the last of his human births and as soon as the mortal frame was given up, he would appear in the form of Lakshmi-Narasimha on the hill at Korukonda. Soon after this revelation the teacher died and all about his re-birth as God Narasimha was apparently forgotten. A dancing girl of that village saw the teacher in her dream and was told by him of his manifestation on the Parasara-saila. The king being informed of this was at once reminded of what the teacher had told him and permitted the dancing girl to build a temple. She wandered in rags begging for money, pledged her daughter, earned the amount required, built a temple and consecrated therein Parasara-Narasimha, presenting at the time of consecration two villages for the maintenance of worship, and offerings. Mummadi may have also substantially helped the dancing girl in building the temple.'65

Perhaps to about this period belongs a statue [Fig. 21} which is said to have stood on the principal sepulchre in the famous mutt at Kadri. 66 The statue is locally known as Gorakh-nath's. The Kadri mutt is, in all probability, an out-post of the famous Gorakh-nath sect of north India and the founder of the local mutt was himself, perhaps, called Gorakh-nath. To judge from its appearance and the technique, it belongs to about this century and was probably placed over the tomb of the founder of the mutt. The statue having been broken some years , 67 it has been replaced on the sepulchre by one newly carved. 68



From about the fifteenth century period we discern a change in sculptural methods and technique which seems to indicate the early beginnings of modern art.

'On a beam of the tower called Nayudu-mandapa in the middle' of the village of Karempudi,69 an inscription of 1445 A. D. 'records the erection of the tower by Jiva-raksha Timana, son of a Macherla Chennudu, at the spot where Chilama Nayudu planted his spear. These persons and some others of this family 'are all figured on the beam, some holding spears and others standing in a worshipping posture.'70 These sculptures are altogether devoid of artistic merit.

'On the wall of what is known as the Penugonda Gate' of the Siva temple at Devarayadurga71 is sculptured a figure holding a vina or lute in the right hand with a label in characters of about the 15th century stating that the figure represents the musician Virupanna.'72 This musician was perhaps attached to the temple.

Standing figures, each about a foot in height and wearing a cloak and leaning on a staff, are found in the mandapas of the Siva temple at Hoskote; 73 these are said to be statues of Tamme Gauda, who built that temple and built the fort of Hoskote about the close of the 15th century. 74 Similar figures are found in other temples such as those at Magadi, Rampura, Kempesagara75 and Vijayanagar (Hampi), and they are believed to represent generally the builders of the respective temples. 76



On one of the faces of a tall garuda-stambha in the Vishnu temple at Ummattur77 is carved 'a male figure, about 3 feet high, standing with folded arms and wearing a garland, a dagger and-large ear-rings, which probably represents some Ummattur chief who built or renovated the temple' during the period (about the 16th century) when they held sway over the neighbourhood. 78

'On the floor' of a portion of the temple at Nandi 'are a few prostrating figures with labels over them, one of them representing the Avati chief Bayirappa,' who belonged to the 16th century. 'Similar figures are also found on the navaranga floor of the north shrine.'79

A copper statue of the renowned Vijayanagara king, Krishna-deva-raya (1509-39 A. D.) is found in the famous temple of Tirumalai80 where it must have been placed by him in token of his great devotion to the deity of that place. His statue is one of a group of three figures; he stands in the centre and a queen, Chinna-devi, stands on one side of (him, and another queen, Tirumala-devi, stands on the other. [Fig.22]. The identity of each figure is placed beyond all doubt by the label incised prominently on a shoulder of each statue. All the three statues are made of copper and they are excellent examples of repousse-work. Each statue is made in two hollow sections, a frontal and a rear one, and the sections are put together so as to give the appearance of a solid statue and are kept in position by rivets. They are exceedingly well-proportioned without exception and are executed with considerable skill—the workmanship being very delicate in places. The king's statue is about four feet in height, but the statues of the queens have been made to a proportionately smaller scale, in deference, in all probability, to the Indian artistic tradition of figuring the minor members of a group to a smaller size than that of the principal figure.


With this copper-statue of Krishna-raya we may profitably compare a stone statue in a niche of the northern gopura of the famous Siva temple at Chidambaram81 which is popularly identified as Krishna-raya's [Fig. 23]. This gopura and some other portions of the temple seem to have been built by him about the year 1516 A. D. 82 The statue stands a little over a yard in height and appears to greater advantage in the illustration than in its native place.

A subordinate of Krishna-raya says in an inscription in the Siva temple of Srisailam, 83 dated in 1530 A. D., that he built a mandapa in front of the bed-room of the god and presented golden images and set up standing figures not only of himself and his father-in-law but also of his master Krishna-raya. 84

In 1538 A. D. one Ramabtar-Ayyan made a gift of 6,360 pon (gold) for a service instituted by him for the merit of his king, Achuta-deva-raya, of the Vijayanagar dynasty, in the temple of Kalahasti, and he made a gift of' two copper images, one of himself and the other of one Timmaya, so that they might hold lamps before the god. The inscription alone survives; 85 the images have disappeared.



A figure of Bhira-rauthu, son of Mukunda-rauthu, a servant of (Aliya) Rama-raya,86 with characteristic head-dress and a sword, is pictured in what may be called a line-drawing on a slab on the way to Upper Ahobilam87.

Statues of two successors of Krishna-raya, one of them standing by himself, and the other in the company of his consort, are also found in the Tirumalai temple along with the group of Krishna-raya and his queens. These successors of his were also great devotees of the god of Tirumalai and demonstrated their devotion by numerous and costly gifts. The group of a king and queen [Fig. 24] is carved in stone. No names are incised and tradition is silent about their identity, but 'they may represent . . . king Tirumala' (1569-72 A. D.) 'and his queen Vengalamba.'88 The single statue [Fig, 25] is about 4½ feet in height and is of repousse work in copper. A name, Venkatapathi-raya, being engraved on it, we may take it to be a statue of Venkata I (1586-1614 A. D.), the son of Tirumala. 89 This is undoubtedly a much better piece of work than the Krishnaraya group and has all the marks of individuality which mark a true portrait.

In the Pudu-Mandapam, in front of the famous Sundara temple at Madura,90 stand ten statues, each of which represents a king of the Nayaka line of Madura. The tradition is that these ten statues were set up at the instance of the king who stands last, Tirumala Nayaka (1623-52 A. D.) when he had this mandapa built; but we have no means of ascertaining if tradition speaks true. Each statue is of life-size and above it is an inscribed label bearing a name.

These ten statues must, strictly speaking, be termed ten groups, for none of these kings stands alone. Each king is only the principal figure of a group, of which the minor members are his queens or favourites, and occasionally, their issue as well. These minor personages being carved to a much smaller scale, the principal figure stands out so prominently as almost to absorb all one's attention.

The identity of each statue would stand indisputably established were it not that the inscribed labels, having suffered decay and mutilation, have not been quite adequately deciphered. The physiognomy of the statues is slightly obscured by the paint with which the faces have been daubed: indeed, the statues are painted all over. A few of the statues are painted yellow in the face, in a crude endeavour, perhaps, to indicate the complexion of the subjects. Tradition has it that the practice of painting the statues is as old as the statues themselves.

The statue of Visvanatha stands first [Fig. 26], for he was the real founder of this dynasty, and an inscription over his head indicates that he was the first to be 'installed.' The seventh statue [Fig. 32] which is the smallest of the ten, is that of Kasturi-Rangappa whose tenure of the throne seems to have been all too prematurely terminated by his death within eight days of his accession. Next stands the statue [Fig. 33] of Muttu-Krishnappa (1601-9): he leans so much to one side as to raise a doubt whether one of his legs was not shorter than the other. The ninth [Fig. 34] is that of his first son, Muttu-Virappa I (c.1609-23), and the tenth [Fig. 35] is that of the second son, the great Tirumala.

When we remember that this line of statues begins appropriately with the founder of the dynasty and that the statues from the seventh stand ranged in the order in which the respective kings succeeded to the throne, we have to assume that the statues must have been ranged in the order in which the kings they represent ascended the throne, though a few of the inscriptions and the statues seem to be now found wrongly put together. We may tentatively assume that the second statue [Fig. 27] is that of Krishnappa I (1564-72), the son of the founder of the line; the third [Fig 28.] and the fourth [Fig. 29] are those of his sons Viswanatha II and (Periya) Virappa (1572-95), and the latter's three sons are represented respectively in the fifth (Fig. 30] which is that of (Kumara) Krishnappa II alias Lingama(1595-1601), in the sixth [Fig. 31] which is that of Visvappa, and in the seventh, of which mention has already been made. The king of the eighth statute [Fig. 33], it may be pointed out, is the son of the king of the sixth.

A study of this group makes it clear that most, if not all, of the statues were set up in the order in which the kings succeeded each other, that all the statues were set up together and were intended to form a dynastic group, that each statue was itself the principal figure of a family group, that a statue could be set up in the life-time of the subject himself and even for those who had departed this life some three generations before, that the statues, though posed in conventional attitudes, are not yet wanting in the essential characteristics of portraits and that the statues were also painted over in an attempt to make them look life-like. 91 How realistic must have been the scene in the pudu-Mandapam in Tirumala's days when these statues, painted to the life, stood rooted in wrapt devotion a little above the common crowd as the images of Sundara and Minakshi, the deities of the temple, were brought in stately procession along the gorgeous aisle of the mandapa [Fig. 36] through the throng of the surging multitude!

A group of Tirumala and his queens is placed in the well-known Vishnu temple at Srivilliputtur92 [Fig. 37] and it deserves to be compared with that at Madura. Another statue in the same temple is said to be a representation of a brother of Tirumala [Fig. 38].

Statues of Tirumala are found also in the temples at Tirupparankunram and Alagarkoil93 and they too94 bear close resemblance to the statue in the Pudu-Mandapam at Madura.

Within the great temple of Madura itself there stands a very realistic statue in the usual worshipping attitude but we have no knowledge of its identity. It is not clear even that it represents a Nayaka [Fig. 39], but another figure in the corridor of one of the temple-tanks is obviously a member of the Nayaka line, though he has not cared to tell us who he is. Instances of unidentifiable statues in the temples at Madura need not be multiplied.

In the Pudu-Mandapam is a figure on horse-, carved in stone, which is popularly known as a statue of Arya-natha who helped the first two members of the dynasty of the Nayakas of Madura to establish themselves firmly in Madura.

A bronze statue of a Nayaka [Fig. 40] in the Brihad-Isvara temple at Tanjore affords some compensation for the artistic degeneracy of the statue of Rajaraja found in the same temple. Portions of this temple have undergone alterations since the days of Rajaraja I and attached to some of the pillars near the nandi-mandapa are figures of Nayakas [Figs. 41, 42]. So we may infer that the Nayakas of the bronze and the stone statues were perhaps responsible for some structural alterations in the temple and were installed in the temple in memory of them.

Govinda Dikshita, a well-known scholar and statesman of the last quarter of the sixteenth and the first quarter of the seventeenth centuries rebuilt some famous shrines among which are the Siva (Kumbhesvara) temple at Kumbhakonam, 95 and another temple close by,—that of Siva at Pattisvaram,96 a place of many historical memories.97 In the latter temple stand two stone images,—one of Govinda Dikshita and another of his wife [Fig. 43]. In the former temple, opposite the shrine of the goddess and just at the end of a row of the Canonised Saints of the Tamil Saiva Church, stand a short linga, about a foot in height, and the figure of a lady, a yard high,—her hands joined in reverent salutation to the goddess in front of whom she has stationed herself [Fig. 44]. On enquiry we are told that the linga is Govinda Dikshita and that the lady is his wife. Perhaps by the time that the renovation of this temple was completed Govinda Dikshita had passed away and he was appropriately figured in a linga in proof of his having become merged in the Eternal. His wife is represented not in the weeds of a widow but with all her ornaments on, including that jewel of jewels,—the mangalya-sutra, the badge which indicates that the husband is yet alive. The lady's statue is a fine product of the sculptor's chisel. She stands bold and happy,—assured that her husband has become one with the Eternal and convinced that the goddess of the shrine will, in the fullness of time, vouchsafe to her the grace that she stands suing for.

In a mandapa of the Siva temple at Pattisvaram, evidently repaired by Govinda Dikshita, we have a gallery of figures which are evidently portrait statues of members of the Tanjore Nayaka dynasty. [Fig. 45]

In the Ramaswami temple at Kumbhakonam, known to have been built by Govinda Dikshita, we have a group which is instinct with life [Fig. 46]. So free is the pose, so vigorous is the attitude, so calm is the expression and so majestic is the appearance that the figures would appear to be idealised pictures of men were it not for their intensely human expression which stamps them indisputably as portrait statues. In all probability, the group shows Raghunatha-Nayaka and his queens.

In the Siva temple on the hills of Sivaganga98 is a group of three statues, each of which is said to represent one of three brothers. One of them is 'a statue of the Yalahanka chief Kempe Gauda with a label on the pedestal' and it 'stands with folded hands in front of the linga cell [Fig. 47]. The figure is about four feet high and the label gives the date 1608 A. D. Another statuette, about 1½ ft. high, also with an inscription on the pedestal, standing to its left . . . represents Uligam Basavayya [Fig. 48], while a third, about 4½ feet high, standing to its right, without a label and holding a lamp in both the hands is said to represent Kempe Somanna. It is stated that Uligam Basavayya and Kempe Somanna were Kempe Gauda's brothers. Kempe Gauda is said to have enlarged and liberally endowed the temple.'99 The severity of the design of the statues of Kempe Gauda and Uligam Basavayya is quite note-worthy and contributes in no small measure to the artistic excellence of the statues. Fine and vigorous manhood cannot be more faithfully rendered in metal.

On one of the pillars of the Vishnu temple at Melkote100 is carved 'bas-relief about 1½ feet high, of the Mysore king Raja-Odayar I (1578-1617 A. D.), standing with folded hands, with the name inscribed on the base. Tradition makes him so great a devotee of the god that on the day of his death he was observed entering the sanctum and was seen no more afterwards.'101 Another statue of the same king stands about 2 feet high, in the Lakshminarayana temple at Mysore, and his connection with that temple is established by an inscription which attributes to him the building of one of its towers, and by a tradition which says that so firm was his faith in the god that when his life was sought by the machinations of his enemies the god was pleased to save him by turning into nectar the holy water in which, before serving it to the king as tirtha-prasada, the temple priest had, at the instigation of traitors, added poison. 102

In striking contrast to the severely simple statues of the Kempe Gauda group, is the over-tooled bronze [Fig. 49] of another Mysore king, Kanthirava-Narasa-Odeyar (1638-1659 A. D.), found in a temple which he built to Narasimha at Seringapatam. 103 It stands somewhat over a yard high and wears a robe extravagantly chased and a head-dress elaborately ornamented. None the less the statue seems to have 'a life-like majestic appearance.'104 But the face swells with pretention, the arms are thrust out ostentatiously, the hands are joined in salutation with frigid firmness and the posing of the figure is despicable. A good portrait the bronze may be, but it is certainly no work of art. Another statue of the same king is placed in the Trinesvara temple in the fort of Mysore along with a statue of his successor, Dodda-deva-Raja-Odeyar (1659-72 A. D.). 105

A group of statues in the central corridor of the famous temple of Ramesvaram106 represents chiefs of the Setupati , dynasty who have had the control of that temple, for some centuries past. One of the mostlife-like statues is that of Vijaya-Raghunatha [Fig. 50]. Indeed, these Setupatis have held themselves the special guardians of the temple which is one of the most sacred of the shrines associated with the hero of the Ramayana. This corridor is indeed a gallery of statues modelled on the yet more famous gallery at Madura,- the imitation being certainly due to the Setupatis having been the vassals of the Madura Nayaks. Some other statues ranged opposite those of the chiefs seem to be representations of their ministers or divans.107These statues do not depart in essentials from the normal type of figures standing with hands joined in salutation and all of them seem to show equal ability on the sculptor's part in evoking from the stone poses as vigorous as we find in the statues at Madura.

A group of portrait statues is found in the corridors of the Siva temple at, Tinnevelly,108 and they seem to represent chiefs who, under the title of Karthakkal or 'Agents,' ruled over that part of the country owing a light feudal allegiance to the Madura Nayakas and through them, to the Vijayanagara emperors. This corridor of statues is perhaps an imitation of the great gallery of Madura.

A similar group of ten statues is found in the garuda-mandapa of the great Ranganatha temple at Srirangam.109 [For examples, see Figs. 51 and 52]. They seem to be effigies of Nayakas of the Madura line, but, owing to the absence of inscriptions and even of reliable traditions and to the sculptures being disfigured with thick coats of white-wash we are not able to say positively whom they represent.

On a wall of the gopura of the Vishnu temple at Tirupati110 are found seven carvings below which is engraved an inscription of the seventeenth century A. D. to say that they are a 'family group' of a Maha-mandalesvara, Matla Ananta-rajayya, (son of a Tiruvengalanatha-rajayya, a Choda Maharaja), by whom the gopura was built111. In the same place are also found other images which, according to another inscription, seem to be likenesses of the Tiruvengala-nathayya above-mentioned and of his wife112.

1Chickballapur Tq., Kolar Dt., Mysore State.

2MysAS. AR.1914: 12: 20.

3Ib. 1914: 15: 23.

4Sivaganga Tq., Ramnad Dt.

5MER. 1924: 2: 5.

6Tiruppattur Tq., Ramnad Dt.

7ASI.S.AR. 1911: 51.

8Chittoor Tq. and Dt.

9MER. 1895: 3-4: 10, EI. iv. 140-2 and plate xi. 236-7. It has been thought that numerous other images at various other Jain centres are portraits (MER. 1909: 69 : 5, 1909: 70 : 8, 1910: 76-9: 1-4),but I have ascertained by an examination of the inscriptions themselves (nos. 61-74, 691-705 and 722-31 of 1905, 330-2 of 1908, 62-8 and 75 of 1910),- estampages of which were kindly shown to me by the Madras Epigraphist,- that they have no title to be called such, except perhaps the image below which the name Ajja-nandi is engraved (54 of 1910; see MER. 1910: 76: I).Perhaps it may be pointed out here that later sculptures are known which seem to represent some Jaina preceptors (see, for instance, MER. 1921: 8: 4 e and pl. 1(2), 1924: 5: 7, and MysAS. AR. 1925: 51: no. 44), but we have no justification for considering them portraits.

10 Mayavaram Tq., Tanjore Dt.

11Was he a brother or other relation of Adittan-Karralip-Piratti, a queen of Parantaka I? (See MER. 1919: 94 : 9).

12MER. 1925: 80-1, and lb. 1925: 132 of 1925.

13MER. 1925: 141 of 1925. Mr. G. V. Srinivasa Rao, Chief Assistant of the Madras Epigraphist, had the kindness to examine for their palaeography this and the three inscriptions referred to below.

14lb. 1925: 133 of 1925.

15That is, 'junior '.

16MER. 1925: 131 of 1925.

171b. 1925: 106 of 1925.

18Shiyali Tq., Tanjore Dt.

19Kumbhakonam Tq., Tanjore Dt.

20MER.. 1919: 44 of 1918

21MER. 1918: 298 of 1917

22Kulittalai Tq., Trichinopoly Dt.

23Kumbhakonam Tq., Tanjore Dt.

24MER. 1918: 37 of 1918

25SII. iii. no. 146.

26The editor of the inscription in SII. has gone completely astray in his identifications.

27SII. iii. no. 147.

28Kumbhakonam Tq., Tanjore Dt.

29MER. 1910: 81 : 24.

30MER. 1907: 50 of 1907.

31Negapatam Tq., Tanjore Dt.

32MER. 1926: 481 of 1295.

33SII. iii. p. 23. no. 15, line I; p.25, no. 16, line I; p. 26, no. 17 lines 10-11. ,

34Ib. ii. no. 6, paras I, 13-14.

35Ib. ii. no. 6, paras I, 3-5.

36Ib. iii. no. 6, paras 13-18 for the king, and lb., paras. 19-21 for the queen.

37Tanjore Tq. and Dt.

38SII. ii. no. 38, paras 14, 17,44.47; see also lb. ii. (40), 152.

36SII. ii. no. 41, para 2.

37MER. 1925: 81.

38I took the measurements in June 1925.

39I am not satisfied that' priest' is a correct rendering of the word in the text, Gumkkal.

40SII. ii. nO. 96, para 82.

41Kalahasti Tq., Chittoor Dt.

42MER. 1922: 168-b of 1922.

43Tindivanam Tq., South Arcot Dt.

44Avanasi Tq., Coimbatore Dt.

45MER. 1923: 594 of J922.

46Chidambaram Tq., South Arcot Dt.

47MER. 1916: 235 of 1916. Palaeographically assignable to the 11th century A. D.

48Ib. 1922: 95 of 1922.

49Belur Tq., Hassan Dt., Mysore State.

50R. A. Narasimhachariar, Mol1ogtaph on the Kesava Temple, Belur, 2.

51MysAS.AR. 1926: 7: 58. In a kind letter to me, dated July 13, 1927, Dr. R. Shama Sastri, Director of Archaeological Researches, Mysore, wrote thus: 'When Mr. Rama Rao, Assistant, Mysore Archaeological Department, visited the Kesava temple at Belur last year, the Archak named Mutubhatta informed him of the existence of a metallic image of Vishnuvardhana in the garbhagriha, unknown to outsiders. It was neither worshipped nor taken out in procession. Mr. Rama Rao prevailed upon the Archak to show the image and allow it to be photographed. When questioned as to the reasons for identifying it with Vishnuvardhana, the Archak referred to a register of the images and other article of the temple kept in the Taluk Office and said that the image was traditionally handed down from Archak to Archak as that of king Vishnuvardhana. Also he said that for the first time the image was taken out of the dark corner of the garbhagriha and shown to an outsider. On examination of the register in the Taluk office at Belur, an entry of a metallic image of Vishnuvardhana among other things was found.'

52Nannilam Tq., Tanjore Dt.

53MER. 1923: 509 of 1922.

54Trichinopoly Dt.

55Kumbhakonam Tq., Tanjore Dt.

56MER. 1908: 267 of 1907, referable palaeographically to the 12th century A. D.

57Sivaganga Tq., Ramnad Dt.

58Mulbagal Tq., Kolar Dt.,Mysore State

59MysAS. AR. 1914: 21: 31.

60Harapanahalle Tq.; Bellari Dt.

61MER. 1919: 220 of 1918.

62Cuddalore Tq., South Arcot Dt.

63Rajahlnundry Tq., Godavari Dt.

64MER. 1912: 44 of 1912.

65MER. 1912: 87: 68.

66South Canara Dt.

67It will be noticed that the staff which the figure leant on is now broken.

68Father H. Heras, S.J., Professor of Indian History at St. Xavier's College, Bombay, discovered the pieces and put them together and had the kindness to take a photograph for me

69Palnad Tq., Guntur Dt.

70MER. 1910: 555 of 1909; 1910: 109-10: 49.

71Tumkur Tq. and Dt., Mysore State.

72MysAS. AR. 1918: 3: II.

73Hoskote Tq., Bangalore Dt., Mysore State.

74MysAS. AR., 1919: 5: 17.

75All these places are in the Mysore State.

76MysAS.AR.I915: 2: 8,1915: 5: II and 1918:14.

77Chamrajnagar Tq., Mysore Dt., Mysore State.

78Mys.AS.AR. 1917: 13: 28.

79Ib. 1914 : 15: 23.

80Chandragiri Tq., Chittoor Dt.

81Chidambaram Tq., South Arcot Dt.

82Nandikotkur Tq.. Kurnool Dt.

83MER. 1914: 98: 30.

84MER. 1915: 14 of 1915.

85MER, 1924: 160 of 1924.

86He died at the battle of Talikota, 1565 A. D. Cousins, in his Bijapur and its Architectural Remains (AS/. Imperial Series, vol. 37) 9, fig. 4, illustrates a sculptural piece which he says is a likeness of the head of Rama-raya. Father H. Heras, in his Aravidu Dynasty of Vijayanagara, i., has accepted this identification. The very narrow forehead, the ugly grin and the vakra-danta, or crooked tooth, protruding from either corner of the mouth are enough to show that the head is merely a piece of sculptural grotesque.

87Sirvel Tq., Kumool Dt. ; MER. 1915: 85 of 1915.

88ASI.AR. 1912: 189 n. 3.

89Ib. 1904: 4: 9 ; ASI.AR. 1912: 189.

90Madura Tq. and Dt.

91A fine study of the statues is contained in the paper of Father H. Heras, S.J., in QIMS. xv. 209-18.

92Srivilliputtur Tq., Tinnevelly Dt.

93Madura.Tq. and Dt.

94It has not been possible to take photographs of these.

95Kumbhakonam Tq., Tan;ore Dt.

96Kumbhakonam Tq.., Tanjore Dt.

97See my book, The Kaveri, the Maukharis and the Sangam Age, 118-22.

98Nelamangala Tq., Bangalore Dt., Mysore State.

99MysAS.AR., 1915: 11-2: 18.

100Seringapatam Tq., Mysore Dt., Mysore State.

101MysAS.AR. 1917: 21: 44.

102Ib. 1920: 3: 10.

103Seringapatam Tq., Mysore Dt., Mysore State.

104MysAS.AR. 19I6: 28: 35.

105Ib. 1916: 27: 35.

106Ramnad Tq. and Dt.

107Fergusson and Burgess, History of Indian and Eastern Architecture, i. 384

108Tinnevelly Tq. and Dt.

109Tiruchengodu Tq., Salem Dt.

110Chandragiri Tq., Chittoor Dt. ,

111MER. 1917 : 764 of 1916, and EI. xvi. 245-6

112VER. 1917 : 763 of 1916.

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