South India’s Mouth Watering Treasure
Mamallapuram is known for its captivating stone carvings, and Arjuna’s Penance is one that is not to be missed. The giant relief carving depicts mythological deities and animals, including a nearly life-size family of traveling elephants . Two of the prominent figures in the 96 ft by 43 ft structure are theorized by myth-lovers to be the brave Arjuna and the revered god Siva. As the tale goes, Siva gifts Arjuna with a great and powerful weapon as a reward for his act of valor. There are other interpretations of the stories behind the carvings and arguments continue as to what the wall is truly suppose to depict — perfectly fine because making up your own story to go along with the carved images is much more fun anyway.
One thing is for certain, it is impossible to do justice to this ancient work of art through words or photographs alone. You just have to come and take a look. Come with us on our 2014 South Indian Spiritual Adventure. We promise you’ll be wowed.
And if you’re into art, wait until you read our next post where we explore South India’s version of NYC street graffiti. (Hint: Think edible rugs…)