Krishna Mandapam, Mahabalipuram

Krishna Mandapam is one of the eight mandapams(Halls) of Mahabalipuram, a World Heritage Site in Tamil Nadu. The sculpted images all in good condition. The images carved on the surface of the wall depict the famous story of Krishna as a child saving the villagers from the wrath of Lord Indra. He is shown as holding the mountain on his little finger, and all the villagers and the animals taking shelter under the mountain, protecting themselves from incessant rains.

The story is like this:
“The shepherd community namely Gokulas thanked Lord Indra once a year for his showers of blessings. But Lord Krishna asked the people to stop their practicing such custom as it was the people’s hard work that brought the people the materialistic wealth and not Lord Indra. Due to this Lord Indra got angry and ordered the rain clouds to pour heavily to destroy all the animals. The people trembled in fear and went to Lord Krishna for help and Lord Krishna did this mighty act of protecting the people by lifting the huge mountain to protect the people and their cattle, the mighty effect was that he lifted the mountain with his single little finger. The downpour was for server continuous days. Lord Indra felt very embarrassed and with drew the clouds, considering the marvelous act of the small boy.”

The way the sculptor had sculpted the various emotions is amazing. I stood admiring the image of the cow licking her calf as she was being milked by a villager. The curve of her tongue and her half closed eye depicted the tender motherly feelings so well.

The shepherdess holding her child’s hand and pots on her head… did she have an anxious look or did I imagine it… a man carrying his child on his shoulder… human relationships sculpted on speechless stones yet speaking volumes.

I was wondering if this served as some kind of classroom centuries back where little children took their lessons, and these sculpted images served as visuals!

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23 Responses

  1. Titanium says:

    'Human relationships sculpted on speechless stones…'

    That is beautiful. Just beautiful.

  2. radha says:

    One has to really marvel at the sculptors' skills… especially with the primitive tools that he would have had.

  3. Bhavya.B says:

    I have been to Mahabalipuram once.But didn't know these stories.Thank you for the wonderful post .

  4. Wow… Reminds of my trip to Mahabalipuram. Its in my blog in 3 parts..!!! πŸ™‚

    Paris City – Part II
    My Little Black Dress

  5. Sierra says:

    I'm a huge fan of sculpture and reliefs – and love the idea of them being used as visuals for children long ago. Such a beautiful thought.

  6. Cecily R says:

    Oh how I have missed your world lessons for the past little while! You have such a beautiful way with words…you always make me itchy to travel.

  7. Hilary says:

    So amazing when you think of what went into this and how long ago. Just beautiful.

  8. Chris says:

    What an informative post, and so well written!

  9. Anu says:

    These stones certainly speak volumes.. its been ages since ive been there, and really would love to go again…. such a place never tires us….

  10. What talent these sculptors had!

  11. Anya says:

    Its really amazing,
    there are many different emotions in the stones !!
    Unique art work πŸ™‚

  12. If lessons are on the spot, they will never be forgotten. The depictions are painstaking. Great post!

  13. beautiful description with pictures..:)

  14. What beautiful depictions. Thank you for bringing this World Heritage Site in Tamil Nadu to some of us across the world. Wonderful photographs.

  15. Rajesh says:

    Your photos beautifully do tell the story.

  16. Pietro says:

    Indrani, these are fabulous sculptures, so interesting, I've enjoyed them a lot. Very beautiful the pictures.

  17. Onkar says:

    The post brought back to me the sweet memories of Mahabalipuram.

  18. Lakshmi says:

    there is a story behind every stone carving..bringing back memories of mahabalipuram πŸ™‚

  19. Babli says:

    Wonderful photos. What a marvellous sculpture. I have been to Mahabalipuram several times and I like the place very much.

  20. kallu says:

    I'd been there very recently, Indrani. You've captured the essence without putting up the usual photos:-)

  21. truly beautiful πŸ™‚

  22. flowergirl says:

    I have not seen the Krishna mandapam…I should rectify that now!

    I was recently on a tour of the Pandya country and saw some amazing sculptures there as well.

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