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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