Author of the Month

Nataraja: The Hindu Dance Lord
By Deepak Bhattacharya

Golakara [The Medallion]

On the vajramastaka (thunder head) of the mukhasala (front porch) of Parasurameswar deula (shrine) is a Nataraja murti (dance-lord icon) inscribed within a golakara ( medallion) fig 1. It is central to the entire art scheme on the mukhasala fig 2. In this medallion a male and female figure can be seen sitting atop separate tree foils and watching Siva performing nritya fig 3 & 4. The two figures are of Byaghrapada and Sivakama sundari respectively. Similarly a female&rsquos face having a vaishnavait tilak peeps from beside Umma&rsquos left in Ravana-anugraha murti this is Vishnu in Mohinee rupa fig 5. All around are sculptured representation of various divinities from the Hindu pantheon as in K P.

Figure 2
fig – 2
Figure 3
fig – 3
Figure 4
fig – 4
Figure 5
fig – 5
Ethano-Archaeology & Geography

250 mts, to the W of Parasuram monument is Uttareswar complex. Tradition holds Vairava to have performed a victory dance here after devastating the irreligious occupants (most likely Hinayana &ndashBuddhist) 26 the site is a ex Hinayana site. 450 mts. further to SW is the compound of ancient Manibhadreswar (8-10th A.D.) it is called Bagha badi (Tiger&rsquos place). 400 mts. to SW is a sakta (goddess) shrine called Mohinee (8-10th A.D.). 150 mts. along SW line was the shrine ofPataleswar (note – ii ). Affront the temple to W was a pond (now filled up & encroached). To the S E at about 100 mts. is a natural spring called Guan jhara (agallocha spring). Guan or E. Agallocha is a poisonous plant (sap causes irreversible retinal damage), that grows in moist soil conditions. All around Parasurameswar spire are natural springs. Water of Guan jhara yet contains trace amounts of toxin. Siva has been associated with the flower of the poisonous plant Durdura (stromnium), Naja Naja a poisonous reptile. Guan has been held as the sthala vriksha at Chidambaram 27. Guan has not been reported from Chidambaram (center of Universe ). Byaghrapada&rsquos swayambhu was located beneath banyan tree. All around Parasurameswar are banyan (ficus religiosa) grooves, including one being adjacent to its south boundary. The groove to its N W is a ethnic heritage site called Dhun devi khala. The only meandering river that still flows by near, is the river of yore called Gangua alias Gandhabati.

Taraka means falling star 28. In Indian lingua, Star is nomenclatured as Tara. Top vertical view of individual monument and location plan of all monuments around indicate a giant star laid on ground composed of numerous stars, each being a shrine. The muyalaka \ apasmara purusha could well be the avaidic followers of mimansa who as per K P were subdued by the Southern Nataraja 29. The narration in K P offers closer inter-relation with ethono-archaeology & geography of Bhubaneswar than with Chidambaram interestingly both these nouns can be used as synonyms. The narrations in KP & Tiruvachagam offer strong internal evidence to enable co-relationing.

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