ONCE THE STONES BLOOMED IN KONARK

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

The art of rock carving and sculpturing reached great heights in second millennium BC in Egypt. The land of Egypt is basically an artist’s canvas or board on which the course of the Nile from South to North and that of the sun from east to west provide the coordinates of an ideal map which had already been existed before it was known to man.Creation is a river like phenomenon. Through the succeeding centuries, these creative skills slowly flowed north and east through Persia and reached the Indian subcontinent around the end of the third century.BC.

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

The caves of Ellora are the period of optimum expression.The timeless Konark horizon is spanned by the cyclical movement of the Sun and cut by the flowering Chandra Bhaga river, In this land, art is born of the ritual encounter of light and space revealing the very essence of aesthetics..

ANIMAL SCULPTURES ..THE STALLION

Moreover sculpture was the favoured medium of artistic expression on the Indian subcontinent. … The tradition of Indian sculpture extends from the Indus valley civilization of 2500 to 1800 bce, during which time small terra-cotta figurines were produced.

APSARAS OR CELESTIAL FIGURES

There is a magical quality about stone. Take a chisel and put a hammer to it and who knows what stories will emerge — stories that are cinematic, three-dimensional and teeming with a life of their own.

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

on which they had worked for many years without returning home ,..workforce of 1,200 artisans and architects invested their creative talent, energy and artistic commitment for 12 years.What can Konark mean to artists of other countries?

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

In Konark, there can be silence and stillness everything is ceaselessly implicated in change and transmutation weather , seasons , novisitation light length of days.The knowing eyes of the sculpturists grew heavy, the lids began to close. Leaving their skies the stars descended on the statues to become the fireflies in the eyes. Out of these infinities, a drizzle of mercy fell on their sleep and they went on creation.

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

The king had spent an amount equivalent to the state’s revenue receipts of over the 12 years, yet the completion of the construction remained impossibe to predict. The king issued a command to complete the work by a set date. The team of architects, headed by Bisu Maharana, lost hope of completion of the temple. Dharmapada, the 12 year old son of the chief architect Bisu Maharana, arrived as a visiting onlooker. He became aware of the dispair overwhelming the architects. Who fashion this shapes not the wind which carves un artistically forming shadows in the dark.

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

To shape is to make visible. The prime fashioner of shapes is the sun in the sun this fashioning is indeed a birth coming to light which is related to the process . For an artist outer world is something which illuminates and gives form to the inner world .where buy an idea comes to the mind of the artist twelve years of creation.A spiralling strange journey of artisans remaining stationary.. along the banks of The Chandra Bhaga river,. the constant sound of chisels punctuated the days and nights of Konark.

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

Though Dharmapada lacked experience in constructing temples, he thoroughly studied the theories of temple architecture. He offered to solve the confounding problem of fixing the last copping stone at the top of the temple. The riddle that haunted the sculpturist community. Surprising everyone by doing that Dharmapada startled the artisan community.. But soon after that achievement, workers found the body of that adolescent prodigy on the beach at the foot of the temple. Legend state that Dharmapada offered his life to save his community.

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

We walked day and night until he reached the ruins of the temple, formerly built by the idolaters he The walls, covered with magic signs, were still standing .

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

One hundred and Thirty immense columns, which was erected from rock lotus flowers, still supported the remaing heavy stone entablature. But, at one end of the temple, a decorated plinth area had shaken off its old burden, and stood roof less. It had for its capital on the western wall the full length statue of the sun god hands and other limbs cut off …..Amidst these chaotic situation of a woman which smiled, with long eyes and rounded.

APSARAS OR CELESTIAL FIGURES

An “”Apsaras ” a celestial figure carved in the solid rock. Sensing that it might still possess some magical properties, smiled at pronounced the name of Devi closing the ear shell. I immediately saw a golden sparrow fly out of her hair . I felt that I had been intoxicated by out the spirits of sculptures which had been frozen for centuries in the figure.If the creation is unique,the life would settle naturally upon it.Will they have used models to sculpt ? if so how would she have been then ?!!

APSARAS OR CELESTIAL FIGURES

On sixteen Kanyas,Gracefully poised ,they are variously engaged in adjusting their ornaments,wringing wet hair are displayd in a variety of alluring postures. its quite curious to see a damsel allowing her pet bird to drink the water beads falling from her wet hair.The life sized images of female musicians are also enchanting.these boldly vcarved dignified celestial singers with their pliable flexibility and dyanamic sweep create an unforgettable they create fantasy in the world Prospero’s musical island with unheard melodies..

APSARAS OR CELESTIAL FIGURES

The sculptures suggest the musical instruments used in that era.Dholak,Pakhawaj and a longish cylindrical drum,Karatala veena and melodious veena.The rhythmic actions of the limbs and delicately titlted heads of some these figures are unsurpassed in their beauty. The lower recessed walls there are infact, the expression of superhuman grief on the stone visage would have touched even the most unfeeling man..The material used is khondalite stone which is uniformly textured..evenly grained.

APSARAS OR CELESTIAL FIGURES

Rock usually hues in cream to pale pink in colour.The sculpturer achieved the desired shape by light chisel strokes or the gradual carving with a flat knife and naturally curves …….s rounded face..and elegant body form..the fingers of the artists who carved the damsels are both deft and precise.the sublime smile,expressive of ineffable peace which plays on the benign face is mesmerising.

APSARAS OR CELESTIAL FIGURES

On first seeing Odisha’s Konark Sun Temple, Rabindranath Tagore said, “The language of stone surpasses the language of man.” He was right. Temple art and stone carvings are the story of Indian art.

THE COLOSSI (The two lions rampant on crouching elephants)

It is a language unbroken for 5,000 years and expressed best by unknown artists, sculptors and architects as both a civilisation’s textbook and manual of life, and a celebratory commentary on the human connection with God.

THE WAR STALLION

It is a language that is non-evolutionary..secular sculptures, sculptures of birds beasts and mythological figures,motifs and mouldings and lastly purely decorative patterns woven out of floral and geometrical motifs.

THE COLOSSI (The two lions rampant on crouching elephants)

The common animal motiffs include elephants lions and horses. other animals portrayed are giraffe,camel,deer,tiger,boar,ram,monkey,and bullock.

THE COLOSSI (The two lions rampant on crouching elephants)

The colossi strikes the chord among animal motiffs.It is in the eastern side of the main entrance to the bhogamandapa .The two lions rampant on crouching elephants is really a master piece .

RAGED ELEPHANT AND CALM ELEPHANT

We can see on the north two incredibly caparisoned elephants and gorgeously decorated war stallions on the south. the dramatic vitality and exumberant vibe of the stallion is striking.

THE SUNGOD IMAGE ON THE NORTH

The themes for the sculptures may include deities like sun-god..musical nymphs of celestial figures.The image of The Sungod in the western niche is almost similar to that of the south of the temple.The surya on the west wears a richly embellished crown ion head and sports a tilaka on the forehead.

THE SUNGOD ON WEST

The sun god on the north gallops on a spirited horse as the subsidiary figures looking at the lord of the sky. Most of the subsidiary figures seem to be same as that of others .

The image of charioter Aruna is shown in the western upperside niche.He is draped in short dhoti and feet covered by long boots. the figure of the image is embellished with jewellery.Among them the necklace with five beaded strings held by central clasp , armlets,earings and a short crown is striking.In his hands are stalks of fully blossomed lotuses which is a charesteric attribute of Surya.We stand before ancient sculptures and addresses it.We are preoccupied with its depiction of pictures frozen in time. It is the “still unravish’d bride of quietness,” the “foster-child of silence and slow time.”

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

it is a marvellous “historian” that can tell a story. We wonder about the figures on the side of the wall and asks what legend they depict and from where they come. We look at a picture that seems to depict a group of men and women who is gathered around a charming woman and we wonder what their story could be?!!

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

We observe another sculpture on the wall , this time of a young woman playing a pipe, A mother woman playing a Mridangam like percussion instrument.. As Keats says that the piper’s “unheard” melodies are sweeter than mortal melodies because they are unaffected by time. We know the youth that, though he can never kiss his lover because he is frozen in time, he should not grieve, because her beauty will never fade.

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

We look at khondalite the trees surrounding the lovers and feel happy that they will never shed their leaves. We feel elevated for the piper because his songs will be “for ever new,” and happy that the love of the boy and the girl will last forever, unlike mortal love, which lapses into “breathing human passion” and eventually vanishes, leaving behind only a “burning forehead, and a parching tongue.”

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

we examine another set of images all the sculptures on the wall seem to have fully absorbed in the rhythm of the music. they dance in harmony with the the rhythmic measures.

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

We think that when our generation is long dead, the sculptures will remain, telling future generations its enigmatic lesson: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.” as Keats says that is the only thing the the konark sculptures know knows and the only thing they need to know.

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

” portrays his attempt to engage with the static immobility of sculpture. The konark sculptures, passed down through countless centuries to the time of the speaker’s viewing, exist outside of time in the human sense—they do not age, it does not die, and indeed it is alien to all such concepts.

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

Really this creates an intriguing paradox for the human figures carved into the side of the temple : They are free from time, but they are simultaneously frozen in time. They do not have to confront ageing and death (their love is “for ever young”), but neither can they have experience (the youth can never kiss the maiden; the figures in the the sculpures can never realise what they meant.

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

Warriors, dancers, musicians are coupled with scenes of a royal court, a teacher, and a pupil, a sculptor with his students and even funeral scenes along with the presence of mythical animals and even floral prints.temples are mainly seen involving in various kinds of sex scenes, natural as well as unnatural. Mithunas or sculpture of man and woman together in love can be observed mating to group sex to even scenes of unnatural sex

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

However, it is a common misconception that the sculptures show lovemaking between deities. In reality, they show passionate interactions between humans along with changes that occur after it in the human bodies. Also, there are numerous interpretations of erotic carvings that can heard from different sources.t.

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

the Naga and Naga kanyaka figures portrayed as half human half serpent.This functions primarily to beautify and emphasise supernatural and auspicious character of the temple. temple has sculptures depicting Devanganas, Mithunas in sexual positions, divinities and explicit erotic sculptures.L

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES


All these divine sculptures are a tribute to life itself, representing everything that is beautiful and natural.The material used is khondalite stone which is uniformly textured..evenly grained. Rock usually hues in cream to pale pink in colour.The sculpturer achieved the desired shape by light chisel strokes or the gradual carving with a flat knife and naturally curves …….s rounded face..and elegant body form..
There are numerous interpretations associated with the presence of the sculptures. In fact, this has made them worldwide popular. But the truth is that nobody is ever going to know the truth behind it. Perhaps, mysticism is its real charm as well as a treasure.

! The best known symbol of India is every bit true to its fame. Perfectly symmetrical structures that compose a geometric wonder have many a mathematician wondering as to how such precision could be achieved in those times.

KONARK TEMPLE ..WALL SCULPTURES

Having read up so many facts about it as a prelude to the visit, I too felt the same questions popping in my mind, as I traced the perfectly drawn images on the bhoga mandapa One of the rare attractions of this wonder is the awe it creates in both the poets that draw inspirations from it for their compositions, as well as architects that try to understand the flawless execution of the construction of this majestic edifice.

THE GREAT WHEEL

Formerly all the mountains had wings. They had the velocity of mind. They moved about here and there by the ethereal path along with the other mountains nearby. They glided and flew along and settled on cities and countries, villages and forests. If the sculpures had got life what would they do..?The selection of poor quality rock khondalite proved fatal to the movement..As Indra stopped the flight of mountains by cutting their wings,.the khondalite decay causes the quality of the sculpturists However they manifest the premordial impulse in a natural way.