Illusion Sculptures in Indian Monuments
Optical Illusion Sculptures in Indian Monuments
Here I am referring certain sculptures along with the site details for the kind perusal and study of my esteemed readers.The marvels of Indian art can be found in the relics of the temple . Ancient Indian sculptures are a mix of artistic talent and mental excellence.Older empires who have ruled this part of earth have left behind miraculous creations which not only amaze Indians but have left outsiders spellbound. The time during which these sculptures were built had limited scope of manpower and reference of ideas.
Carving from the wall of Veerabhadra temple in Lepakshi, Andhrapradesh, Bharat ( India), period: 16th century
The three heads depict here the different roles of a cow…i.e. Please see clockwise.
a) looking ahead
c) licking the calf with affection while it is feeding
One of the oldest optical illusions in the world is found in the Airavatesvara temple in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. In this image an elephant and a bull share the same head. This 900 years old sculpture is part of the Airavatesvara Hindu temple and is a shining example of Chola Architecture.
Bull and elephant hold immense religious significance in Hinduism. While elephant or the Airavat is revered as the vehicle of Indra, the Hindu god of Heaven, bull or nandi is worshiped as the vehicle of Lord Shiva, one among the trinity Hindu Gods.
In the image, which is said to belong to the 12th century Dravidian architecture, the bull and the elephant are merged together.
The horns of the bull serve as the tusk of the elephant; the ear of the bull is the mouth of the elephant when seen from different angles. The placement of the eyes is such that it doesn’t matter which animal is on which side of the image, the eyes are focused forward. The legs of both the creatures are distinct from each other.
However, people interpret it differently. While some people see the bull first, many others see the elephant first.Though what our ancestors intended while carving this sculpture is still unknown, conceiving the idea of carving a marvel of this repute 900 years ago is extraordinary. Now a days, the psychologists and the psychiatrists as well , using these optical illusions to come to the conclusion a person is more dependent on his/her left brain or right brain. If a person sees the bull first, he has got certain dominant characteristics and if a person sees an elephant first , he /she has got certain other dominant characteristics.
Composite bull and elephant stone sculpture at Vittala Temple, Hampi, India. Carved between 1300 – 1500 CE, this sculpture has a bull on the left and an elephant on the right with a single representation of the head.
This is an exceptional model portraying youngster Master Krishna in five different creeping stances. Each stance contrasts yet similar face and arms have been perfectly associated with various bodies. This is tracked down in the roof of Kapileshwar temple ( eleventh / twelfth century Chalukyan period temple) in Karnataka where lies a reproduction of the first figure originally found in Harihareshwar temple . This figure, an unobtrusive articulation of life. Every part of creation is distinct and definite yet consolidating as a feature of the same creation.
Looking at this sculpture of snake on the pillar from a distance, one may conclude it as a two dimensional art on the pillar. But it is really awe inspiring to know that this is a three dimensional engraving on one of the hardest known rock and it is to everyone’s surprise that it was made at least a thousand and five hundred years back on the temple wall of Jambukeshwar temple at Thiruvanaikal, which is a famous Shiva temple in Tiruchirapalli (Trichy) district, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It was built by early Cholas and presently located in the Srirangam island, which also accommodates the famous Ranganathaswamy temple.
There is a place called Keladi in the Shimoga district of Karnataka of India. It is located around 75 kms from the district headquarter of Shimoga . The above optical illusion of two different elephants having a single head is found there in the Rameshwaram temple of Keladi.
This illusion sculpture of three different stance is found in Gangaikonda cholapuram temple in Tamilnadu. Gangaikonda Cholapuram is a village located near to Jayankondam, Ariyalur district, Tamil Nadu, India.It was the capital of the Chola dynasty in c. 1025 , being ruled by Chola emperor Rajendra I, and served as the capital for around 250 years.
Here is a very uncommon sculpture of Bhagwan SriKrishna at Harihareshwar temple near Sangli of Maharashtra. One can see a solitary single face, 2 hands yet 5 bodies in various positions.!! Inconceivably when we take a gander at each body we feel that the face is of that specific body. This belongs to the Eleventh/Twelfth century A.D. Here I would like to interpret the numeral five in the following three different ways
# It appears to be a symbolic representation of Kama( sexlust), Krodh(anger), Lobha( greed), Moh(attachment), and Ahankara( ego) , which are considered as the five vices of human beings.However, his eyes are looking above – – towards the higher awareness – most importantly the vikaars.
# It might likewise address the One Head/Awareness accepting the five bodies/structures comprising the individual five components/Tattvas, specifically Ether, Fire, Air, Water, and Earth.
# Maybe it might address the five koshas’ or bodies that the One Head (Widespread God-head/Awareness) expects.
Additionally, this One Awareness has the five bodies or covers of the Annamaya Kosha (actual body), Pranamaya Kosha(energy body), Manomaya kosha (Psyche), Vijnanamaya kosha (acumen sheath), and the Anandamaya kosha (joy body).
This illusion of two different elephants having a single head is found in Chennakesava temple , likewise alluded to as Chennakeshava temple or simply Keshava Temple. This is primarily a Vaishnava Hindu temple on the banks of Stream Kaveri at Somanathapura, Karnataka, India. This is a 13th century monument of the Hoysala king Narasimha III. It is found 38 kilometers (24 mi) east of Mysuru city.
Here too one can spot the illusion sculpture found in the tenth century temple wall of Mukteshwar ( dedicated to God Shiva) at Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India.
There are many other instances of optical illusion sculptures found in different temple walls located in different nooks and corners of India. I just made a sincere attempt to compile a few of them . Please feel free to give your comment.