Saturday, May 14, 2011

¤ Splendid Carvings On Wells

¤ Splendid Carvings On Wells

Patan StepwellAlmost the entire horde of Hindu pantheon seems to have been chiseled on the walls of the well, besides the sculptured niches and the corridors that gradually diminishes as the well draws nearer at the depth of 285 feet.
Vaishnava affiliated sculptures depicting him in various forms can be seen. The most pictorial among them is depicted on the walls of the well that shows him reclining on the couch of Sheshnaga (Lord of snakes). Apsaras / devanganas / surroundings (female figures) are in abundance. Possibly they are the best symbolic representatives of reproductive powers of nature.
For instance, a scene depicts the Devanagari in a standing posture under a mango tree, holding her left breast, which suggests fertility and maturity just like the mango and the mango tree. often female forms have been visualized with a mirror, pitcher or child in hand or simply emulating dance forms. In decorating the Rani ki vav, the craftsmen appear to have been given a free will to play with their imagination. Some of the gestures can be interpreted as religious and they are often compared to sculptures in Modhera Sun temple, Buddhist Stupa in Sanchi, Vimala Vasahi temple of Mt. Abu and even Khajuraho. Few of the images are simply of way erotic conjunctions like the monkey pulling female attire or the damsels themselves undoing their lower garments with scorpions climbing their thighs. With so many sequences of love and passion, can war be far off? The artists rightly included combats, weapons and warriors with war like postures confronting opponents in shape of man or animal.

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