Wednesday, March 6, 2019

'Looking at Konark temple (13th century AD) from slightly different angles' - by K J S Chatrath

Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century CE sun temple at Konark about 35 kilometres northeast from Puri on the coastline of Odisha, India. The temple is said to have been got built by king Narasingha deva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty about 1250 CE. It is dedicated to Lord Surya (Sun). 

This temple, is often, along with the temples at Khajuraho, talked about for erotic sculptures. But there is so much more to see and understand in Konarak besides the eroticism- only if one has the time, inclination and patience.

I place herewith some photos of Konarak, which do not stress on eroticism.

Please take a look:


In this sculpture the drum or the 'dhol' is kept in place by tying a thick band around it and the forearm while the hand remains free and does the beating of the drum.

 Shailabhanjika. A salabhanjika is the sculpture of a woman, displaying stylized feminine features, standing near a tree and grasping a branch.The name of these figures comes from Sanskrit meaning 'breaking a branch of a sala tree.
There are not very many sculptures of children in Konark. Here is one of a mother and her little child. The seating pose of the lady is unusual with one foot on a low stool and the other on the ground. One can notice an elaborate hairstyle and ornaments in the ears and strings around the neck and a 'kangana' in her right wrist. Unfortunately salty winds of the Bay of Bengal have taken their toll on this beautiful and tender sculpture. 

Monday, March 4, 2019

'Khajuraho Dance Festival- 2019, Part-1' - by K J S Chatrath

I was lucky to see some of the performances at the Khajuraho Dance Festival 2019. The arrangements and compering were excellent and for this Madhya Pradesh Tourism authorities need to be complimented.
I may, however, point out four issues which I think need to be taken note of:

 (1) Firstly, while the performances were free for the public to come and witness on first come first served basis, the seats were arranged in a level ground. The result being that except those in the very first row, the other spectators could see only a part of the performances as the heads of those sitting in earlier rows blocked vision. As a layman I can think of two possible solutions for future (i) giving a slant to the ground, and/or (ii) making the stage higher by a foot or so.

 (2) The audio was kept quite a few notches higher than what it should have been, and

 (3) Without naming any artist, one may say that every dance artist has to retire some day giving way to younger talent. It was clear that some of the dance artists who performed, though excellent, were well past their prime and should think of retiring in favour of younger talented artists, and

(4) Christening it as 'International' Dance Festival is a misnomer as all the dance forms on display as well as the artists were Indian.