Saptamatrika Sculptures of South India - Informative & researched article on Saptamatrika Sculptures of South India
 Indianetzone: Largest Free Encyclopedia of India with thousand of articlesIndian Sculpture


in  
 Art & Culture|Entertainment|Health|Reference|Sports|Society|Travel
Forum  | Free E-magazine  | RSS Feeds  
Indian Crafts|Indian Monuments|Indian Dances|Indian Festivals|Indian Paintings|Indian Photography|Indian Sculpture
Home > Art & Culture > Indian Sculpture > Indian Temple Sculptures > South Indian Temple Sculpture > Saptamatrika Sculptures of South India
Saptamatrika Sculptures of South India
Saptamatrika Sculptures of South India dates back to third century B.C. In most of the ancient temples of South India, the sculptures of the Saptamatrikas are found.
 
 Saptamatrika Sculptures of South IndiaSapta matrikas are said to be the energies or shaktis of the deities of the Hindu pantheon like Brahma, Mahesvara, Kumara, Vishnu, Varaha, Indra and Yama. The Saptamatrikas (seven mothers) was a very important religious group in India, especially in South India. Hence, they were called Brahmani, Maheshvari, Kaumari, Vasishnavi, Varahi, Indrani and Chamunda.

Some of the sculptures of Saptamatrikas can be seen adorned in the walls and some are seen in actual worship form. All these goddesses are sculpted according to the codes of the Agamas.

According to the ancient text of architecture and iconography, it is said that the Saptamatrikas should be surrounded by Virabhadra and Lord Ganesha on the left and right respectively. They are seen in this way in most of the temples of South India. The exact iconographic features of the Saptamatrikas can be found in several ancient texts. The temples follow the description of the sculptures found in one or the other of these texts faithfully.

The Kailasanatha temple in Kanchipuram of Tamil Nadu is considered as one of the oldest depictions of the Saptamatrikas. It was constructed during the Pallava age by Narasimha Varman II, better known as Rajasimha Pallava (691-728 A.D.). These Saptamatrika sculptures can be seen in most of the Chola temples in Tamil Nadu and other parts of South India also.

Development of Saptamatrika sculptures
The sequence of development in the sculptures of Saptamatrikas can be traced from Gupta period (3rd to 6th century A.D.), Gurjara Pratiharas (8th to 10th century A. D.), Chandellas (9th to 12th century A.D.), Chalukyas (11th to 13th century A.D.), Pallavas and Cholas (7th to 9th century A.D.). Sculptures of mother goddesses exhibit aesthetic maturity and divine charm. A sculpture of Gandhara period is found to represent Matrikas with Ganesha. During Gupta period, Matrikas were carved with stunning elegance. An example of Matrika Kaumari of this period is known to originate in Samalaji, Gujarat. A distinctive curly hair dress is a notable feature of this rhythmic sculpture. During the Gupta Period, the faces are more ovalish and matured. The modelling of the body was more slender and the draperies were more transparent. The upper eyelids that make the eyes look lotus shaped.

The evidence of Matrika sculptures is further pronounced in the Gurjara - Patiharas and Chandella period (8th to 12th century). Some of the finest sculptures of Matrikas, found in Mahadeva, Devi Jagadamba, Chitragupta Vamana Temples etc., belong to this period. The quality of sculpting them actually saw a decline. The depth and thoughtfulness was missing. The emphasis was more on attributes then on artistic sensibility.

During the rule of the Chalukyas all Matrikas continued to figure among the deity sculptures of this period. The matted hair dress, piled above the Head and elaborate ornamentation are some features of this period. The Matrikas were associated with Shiva. This is evident in Sapta Matrika flanked by Shiva and Ganesha at the Rameshwara cave, Ellora, a cave dedicated to Shiva.

The period of Pallavas, Cholas and Pandyas (7th to 13th century) influenced the Sapta Matrika sculptures. The form is slender and elongated with sharp facial impressions. The emphasis on attire was minimal. The tall mukuta adds to the height. The broad armlets are typical of the Chola period.

In some places the goddesses are each provided with a child each, which is placed either on the lap or is standing beside. The sculptures radiate reverence though the associated symbolism and attributes are retained. These sculptures were guided by their patrons. However Chamunda is always depicted as ferocious and Varahi has a boar`s face.

(Last Updated on : 06/04/2012)
More Articles in South Indian Temple Sculpture  (53)
Recently Updated Articles in Indian Sculpture
Sculpture of Mahabodhi Temple
An ancient brick structure which includes a beautifully sculptured railing and a huge gilded statue of Shakyamuni Buddha
Indian Religious Sculptures
Indian religious sculptures include an array of finely carved out specimens that reflect different faiths. Having their origin enrooted in different eras, these sculptures exhibit stark distinctions through different artistic elements.
Ancient Indian Sculpture
Ancient Indian sculptures date back to the days of the Indus Valley Civilization. It was relatively simple.
Pala School of Sculptural Art
Pala School of sculptural art has its origin in Gupta style of sculpture. Pala sculpture has witnessed several changes due to change in rulers.
Indian Rock Cut Sculpture
Indian rock cut sculpture is another unique specimen of Indian art. Basically these rock-cut structures were related to various religious communities.
E-mail this Article | Post a Comment
Forum
Forum on Indian Sculpture
Free E-magazine
Subscribe to Free E-Magazine on Art & Culture
 
 
Saptamatrika Sculptures of South India - Informative & researched article on Saptamatrika Sculptures of South India
Sitemap
Contact Us   |   RSS Feeds
Copyright © 2008 Jupiter Infomedia Ltd. All rights reserved including the right to reproduce the contents in whole or in part in any form or medium without the express written permission of
Jupiter Infomedia Ltd.