ARCHITECTURE OF TIIE RELIEFS

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ARCHITECTURE OF TIIE RELIEFS AND THE CAVES

Reliefe Sculptures

From the general lay out of the cuttings, it appears that instead of preparing the hill slope for Jain cave sancturaries, different types of representation of the dvinities v/ere tried 3s independent reliefs, reliefs in niches, reliefs with deeper cuttings and finally the caves, aS a result they are not uniform in their alignation. Sketch No. 1 shows three temples and five Tirthankaras standing in a row. Inside the caves below the superstructures some hollow space is shown, just to suggest them as temples- But they are not regular temples cut inside the rock space. The five standing Tirthankaras that are cut in relief can be shown as panchatirthika. In the front, a seated figure the image of Parsvanatha is seen, while smaller images of standing Tirthankaras are shown in a lower level.This is a special relief shown in Urwahi cave group. Although the relief cuttings in the sanctuaries were done in traditional style the structural features displayed on them, show a combination of early and advanced features. In this sketch of panchatirthika the relief exhibits both the features, the central domed structure above the Tirthankaras, in the lower lewel is an early form after the ‘age old stupa,’ while the pyramidal structure above it, possibly corresponds to the period when the relief was made. However, at least in some caves, there is a common projecting roof. This is effected by a deeper cutting in the rock space. Moreover, in some, this is made curving and sloppy at the edges, so as to form an overhanging cornice to drain off water. In architectural terms, this could be ientified as the kapota (pigions rest). This is clearly seen, between the domed and the pyramidal reliefs, shown in the centre, above thie Tirthankaras. In some images that show a hood like arch, the flatened band at the edge is intended to show some floral and creeper designs. Some reliefs are seen as shallow niches. They are carved out by drawing the linear ,orm of the Tirthankara and extracting unwanted rock surface, to bring out the images in a ^veiled up niche, at the back wall. After making the reliefs of images, the pedetals are also inicated. They contain both



2. The Architecture of the Cave Shrines

The bigger images are brought out by cutting the rock surface quite deep. However, the concept of reliefs is welt confirmed at the back wall. Although the body anatomy ,s welt X" out there are practical no comptete images in the round Sue> .mages are rarely seen in the Jain caves of Gopachal. Even in the images of Bavan Ga) Cave, they are not sculptures in the round. The only example of a sculpture in the round is the sarvatobhadrika sculpture in cave no. 22 in Ek-patthar-ki-Bavdi groups. Considering the form of the cave, in the groups of Ek-Patthar-ki-Bavdi, the main image is confined to the back wall of the cave. Excepting the waist portion, that is obstructed by the cave wail the entire body of the image from head to foot is made visible. Here, in carving out the cave, prominence is given to make the image visible. In the four regions of the cave of the fortress of Gwalior, many cave shrines are found only in Ek-Patthar-ki-Bavdi group. However, even there, as already seen 19 and 20 are not caves. They are shown as reliefs in niches. The cave shrines are generally deeper cuttings in the rock surface, so as to have one or more room serving as rock sancturaries for the main divinity and its associates. The architectural features found in such caves can be divided into (1) external, (2) internal set up. In both the cases, the cave is identified as the garbhagrha. In doing so, the concepts inprinting the temple parts, are well brought out. Generally the construction of a temple viewed externally, can be divided into three ixially aligned rooms identified as (i) the portico; or the front porch, (ii) the antarala, estibular space; and (iii) garbhagrha, the sanctum sanctorum. more than one image, but the main image is shown at the centre of the back wa . Sometimes, images are installed on all the four walls as found in Cave 3. Externally, the chamber of the garbhagrha is evidenced in (i) Shikhara, (ii) Entrance. (i) The Shikhara : This is the superstructure above the garbhagrha. Some of the shrines have prominent ribbed shikhara. They are curvilinear four sided structures. Their conical top ends with a ribbed stone, known as amalaka over which a pointed finial is placed. Sketch -2, shows the motif of three such shikharas found on the parapet of the Caves 2 and 3. They are identified as the rekhanagara prasadas. To show the sanctity of the shrines, elephants are carved with raised up trunks and poring auspicious waters with pots They are represented on either side of the finial, which forms the top most member of the superstructure. (ii) Entrance to the Cave shrines : Many of the entrances of these sanctuaries are squarish or rectangular and no care was taken to maintain uniformity. They are haphazard in execution. However, in case of Caves in 9,10,11, the entrances are made prominent. Sketch 3 shows the pillars jambs of an ornate dvara with a stepped projecting lintel, which is shown with lotuses and creepers. Such a doorway is seen in Cave No. 10. Sketch- 4 is another view of a decorated entrance. This is more ornate with creeper decorations in the door frame and the lintel. The Mulanayaka : In the cave shrines of Gopachal, the images are shown either seated or standing. In these visible images of Caves 4-10, the head of the image is seen fron outside upto neck. The shoulder portion is obstructed from vision because of the lintel the cross slab of the entrance. In Sketch 4, we see the image of mulanayaka as seen from the common verandah outside. On either side of the image in this, the door jambs of the entrance and the lintel are seen. Behind the head of the mulanayaka, there is the motif of padmaprabhavali, a lotus Guided as the ‘halo’ is sculptured. Further above, there are pedestals on which two elephants are shown with raised up trunks, pouring water over the divinity from a ka| at the centre. This feature can be identified as the gajakalasha motif. This is found in ce images of all the caves. In some images maladharis and chamaradharis are shown^^ Again, on either side of the head of the head of the mulanayaka, maladharis • miniature sizes are shown in separate pedestals holding garlands as if they are offerj them to the Tlrthankara. Coming down to the legs, another motif of chamaradharis is seen on ither side. (Piafe 46) Another peculiar feature of images of Gopachal is, that the palms of the hands are shown with a lotus.Sketch No. 5 is the palm of the hand shown with the lotus. Such lotus representations are seen, in hands and legs. The foot, pedestals of mulanayaka are divided into (i) Padapitha- foot stool, (ii) Vrttapitha- circular pedestal, (iii) Simhapitha- lion, pedestal Padapitha : This is the ‘foot rest’ of mulanayaka. It bears the decoration of a lotus flower. Hence, it can also be called as - padapitha. Sketch 6, is in padapitha shown with feet over it. Generally, it is circular below which, lies another circular pedestal. Chinhapitha : As stated above, this is circular, as shown below the padapitha. This bears the symbols of mulanayaka, which could be a lion/ conch/ bull etc. Vrttapitha : Its circular face is usually ornate with floral designs, the centre which contains the Chinhapitha of the Tirthankara. Sketch No. 7 shows a vrttapitha, above which there is figure of recumbent bull. From this, it can be made out that the mulanayaka is Adinath, the first Tirthankara. Sketch 8, is another similar vrttapitha. But it can also be called-chinhapitha, as it bears the sign of a 'conch* that identifies the Tirthankara as Neminatha. Simhapitha : This is a high pedestal. Its lowest member contains the profile of two lions placed back to back in a central niche. Generally, in most of the decorated pedestals of the mulanayakas, this is made prominent, as the lowest level member. The animal lion gives a royal touch, to the divinity. Sometimes, these are provided with additional niches. On either side the lions, space is alloted for the provision of the yakshas and yakshis, the associates of the mulanayaka- If the latter niches are made prominent, than the lions, the pedestal becomes a yaksapi • In sketch 10, all the pithas - (1) pada (2) vrttapitha or chinhapitha, (3) simhapitha all included. Since the yaksha and yakshi are not made prominent, the whole pe e can only be shown as simhapitha. (Sketch 9)