Unpublished Temples of R?jasth?n - article ; n°2 ; vol.11, pg 53-72
21 pages

Découvre YouScribe en t'inscrivant gratuitement

Je m'inscris

Unpublished Temples of R?jasth?n - article ; n°2 ; vol.11, pg 53-72


Découvre YouScribe en t'inscrivant gratuitement

Je m'inscris
Obtenez un accès à la bibliothèque pour le consulter en ligne
En savoir plus
21 pages
Obtenez un accès à la bibliothèque pour le consulter en ligne
En savoir plus


Arts asiatiques - Année 1965 - Volume 11 - Numéro 2 - Pages 53-72
20 pages
Source : Persée ; Ministère de la jeunesse, de l’éducation nationale et de la recherche, Direction de l’enseignement supérieur, Sous-direction des bibliothèques et de la documentation.



Publié par
Publié le 01 janvier 1965
Nombre de lectures 6
Langue Français


R. C. Agrawala
Unpublished Temples of Rājasthān
In: Arts asiatiques. Tome 11 fascicule 2, 1965. pp. 53-72.
Citer ce document / Cite this document :
Agrawala R. C. Unpublished Temples of Rājasthān. In: Arts asiatiques. Tome 11 fascicule 2, 1965. pp. 53-72.
http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/arasi_0004-3958_1965_num_11_2_929UNPUBLISHED TEMPLES OF RÂJASTHÂN
Superintendent, by R. Udaipur C. Archaeology AGRAWALA, (India) & Museums,
During my exploratory tours in Râjasthân, I was able to discover a number of
religious edifices which have got an important bearing on the early art and architecture
of India. An important Temple of Ambikâ, datable to the Xth century A. D., has
already been discussed in detail, by me, in Arts Asiatiques (1). It is now proposed to
describe salient features of some unpublished mediaeval temples of this part of the
I. Mira Temple al Âhâr
The ancient mound of Ahâr (Âghâtapura) il situated at a distance of about
2 miles from the city of Udaipur and about 4 furlongs from Udaipur Railway Station.
The site, excavated by myself, has proved to be an important stronghold of Chalco-
lithic Culture, the beginning of which, in Udaipur region, can safely be traced back
to about 1700 B. C. On the basis of recent C — 14 analysis, Ahâr continued to flourish
as an important town during historic period and enjoyed the privilege of having been
the capital place of the Guliha rulers of Mewar-Râjasthân. A Xth century inscription
from this place (Vikrama 1001) refers to the existence of a temple of "Boar Incarna-
(1) Vol X, 1 (1964), pp. 43-63 and plates. Here, on page 49, I have wrongly noted the 6 arms of goddess
Mahi«amardinï. The number of arms is actually eight as also in all the niches on the exteriors of main temple
at Jagat. The number of hands of this goddess is of course four on the tiny niches on the exteriors of the
pranâlâ mandapa nearby (to the north), a fact which bears testimony to the popularity of cult of Mahisa-
mardini at Jagat in Xth century A. D. Not only this, the aforesaid 8 armed Devi, in the north exterior
niche at Jagat, fights with a demon who is actually shown in « human form » and not as human-faced
person. Here he holds a mace in his right hand and his left arm is pressed by the goddess.
M. K. V. Soundar-Rajan has recently discussed the Devi Cult Nucleus at Jagat « in the Visuesvarânanda
Indological Journal, Hoshiarpur- Punjab, 1(1), March 1963, pp. 130-140, This is an interesting article which
was publihsed after the despatch of my paper under reference. It may also be noted here that M. Soundar-
Rajan (op. cit., p. 139) has wrongly identified the seated image, appearing on the lintel of entrance porch and
just above the Ganeéa figure in the centre. He considers it as that of goddess « Màlangl playing on a lyre» whe
reas « it is a male image of Siva as Virabhadra i. e. playing on a vinâ » as also depicted on the lintel of the
sanctum of Ambikâ Temple at Jagat H self. Therefore « the depiction of Mâtangï at Jagat is far from correct
ness. I have examined it a number of times after the publication of illuminating paper by M. Soundar-Rajan.
4—1 54 R. C. AGRAWALA
tion of Visnu" wherein an image of Adi Varâha form was installed by a devotee
called Adivarâha (1). This refers to the popularity of the cult of cult of Adi-Varâha
Visnu at Ahâr during the Xth century A. D. Here also existed a contemporary Sun
Temple as is evident from an inscription now preserved in Udaipur Museum. The
Site Museum at Ahâr of course preserved a contemporary Surya image from the
above temple wherein we notice the seated deity riding a chariot driven by seven
horses as can also be seen in the early-mediaeval relief from Sun Temple at Chittor.
Another noteworthy mediaeval shrine is now situated behind the local police
post of village Ahâr itself (Fig. 1). It is popularly known as Mïrâ Temple, a Visnu
Temple with a small porch in front of the sanctum facing West. The porch and the
sikhara of this Vaisnava edifice remain completely restored but the exterior of
sanctum is covered with beautiful sculptures of X-XIth century (fig. 2). Some of
the reliefs here are pretty elegant specimens from iconographie point of view.
The so called Mïrâ Temple at Ahâr is built of well-dressed stones studded on the
basement measuring about 7 feet 6 inches high from the walking level ; above appear
carved reliefs on Jangha portion up to a height of 10 feet from the bottom and then
begins the sikhara portion (i. e. after 10 feet from walking level). The interior of
the sanctum measures about 8 feet X 8 feet; the temple faces West and the area
covered from North to South is 20 feet and 35 feet from East to West. Prominent
sculptures on the exterior middle portion here may be grouped as follows: —
(a) Main niches (E, N, S) 3
(b) Side niches (N, S) 2
(c) Dikpâlas or Guardians of quarters 6
(d) Sârdùla images 8
(e) Surasundarï Female figures 32
Total = 51
The principal back niche facing East, preserves a headless image of Laksmï-
Nârâyana lifted by Garuda. Below appears a beautiful image of Hying KIcaka (bracket
figure) playing upon a flute (fig. 3). In fact this has been wrongly interpreted as an
image of Lord Krsna and that is why people call it the temple of Mïrâ Bâï as having
been built by the ardent devotee of Lord Krsna and so famous in Indian folk lore.
In fact this is clearly a Vaisnava edifice having no association with Mïrâ Bâï at all.
More so, she lived at a very late stage and there is hardly any sense in associating
her with the existing earlier temple of Ahâr. The bracket figure, under reference,
presents an important architectural feature on the exterior of the temple and not
m association with the pillar as such. Below this relief may be seen a tiny rectangular
panel (12 inches X 5 inches) wherein appears a group of blacksmiths at work in
(1) R. C. Agrawala, Journal of Indian History, Trivendrum, 35(3), December 1957, pp. 355-58. TEMPLES OF RAJ AST H AN 55 UNPUBLISHED
a vivid manner (figs. 4 and 5). Here one of them is blowing the fire with the help of
a typical leather-blower so as to heat the iron-piece firmly held by a second person
(seated in front of the iron pedestal) for being beaten by a third person holding a
hammer in his hand. This technique of heating and beating metallic pieces persists
in this region even now-a-days. The ancient sculptor at Ahâr has come out quite
successful in decipting this secular theme ina an interesting manner. It reminds us
of a somewhat identical stone relief from Khajurâho wherein a mason is shown at
work and chiselles a stone block in order to give it the shape of a beautiful sculpture (1)
The other relief, on the exterior top of Mïrà Temple at Âhâr and facing East, is
equally interesting ; here we notice Krsna stealing butter from the pot and by
his side appears his foster mother Yasodà churning the curd in order to procure
butter in the traditional Indian style (fig. 6). The existing Krsna-Lïlà scene is
equally elegant. Here also appears a male person with a long beard; probably Nanda
(husband of Yasodâ), holding a pot in his raised up left hand and driving away the
cows and bulls with a wooden staff in his right hand. On the same exterior appears
a tiny scene depicting a grocer weighing some object with a weighing scale in his
hand (figs. 7, 8).
The principal niches, towards north and south, contain images of Siva-Pârvatî
and Brahmà-Sâvitrï. Besides this, two side niches depict goddess Chàmundà
seated over a human-corpse in lalilâsana pose ; the image in the opposite niche
(towards south) is of course missing. The elegant figures of surasundarïs (female
images) on the exterior present a vivid view of the contemporary dress and ornaments
of the Râjasthanï ladies (fig. 9). In this group can also be seen a few Dikpdlas i. e.
guardians of quarters (fig. 10) such as Agni, Yama, Varuna, Kubera with an elephant,
Vâyu with a prancing deer, etc., in the traditionnal mediaeval style. The elegance
of the basement of the Mïrà Temple at Ahàr is further enhanced by a row of klrlli-
mukhas (lion-faces) only running on the exterior, towards east, north and south
(Figs. 11-12). On the exteriors of JagatTemple, the row of Idrllimukhas is su
rmounted by a similar and independent row of elephants (2). The aforesaid sculptures
from Ahàr are really important additions to the Guhila art of Mewàr and pertaining
to the mediaeval period. It was from the ruins of the mediaeval temples of Ahâr
that I recovered two unique reliefs which depict independently Fish and Tortoise
Incarnations of Visnu in an unusual manner (3).
(1) C. Sivnruinainurli, Indian Sculptures, Delhi, 1961, plate I.
(2) R. C. Ajrrawala, Arts Asiatiques, X (i), 196 1, fl«rs 3, 7.
(3) R. C. A«rra\vala, Lalit Kald, n» 6, plate XX, figures 12-13. 56 R. C. AGRAWALA
II. Durgâ Temple al Onwâs

  • Univers Univers
  • Ebooks Ebooks
  • Livres audio Livres audio
  • Presse Presse
  • Podcasts Podcasts
  • BD BD
  • Documents Documents