Romance and history in stone
Looking at the mighty scale sculpture of Ananta Shahin Narayan at
Budhanilkantha, one might as well say that a pit of snakes is no less than a
bed of roses. Really, lying on the coiled body of the Ananta Sesa, or the
eleven hooded serpent, this stone carving of Lord Bishnu represents profound
serenity and utmost peace of mind as it seems to float amidst the natural
spring on the lap of the Shivapuri hill range.
Literally meaning "old man-blue neck", the epithet is given to Lord Bishnu
who volunteered to drink the venomous poison of the seas when filtrated by
the god and the "asuras" in the famous epic of "Samudra Manthan" for the
supreme elixir of "amrit" contested by both the two groups for eternal life.
Thus Bishnu saved all his allies; the god and goddesses form certain
Budhanilkantha is a gigantic sculpture carved on a five-meter-long boulder.
Indian Photographer Madanjeet Singh in his book, "The Himalayan Art," states
that the inscription in the temple mentions the statue to have been carved
by the Koli sect of people. The historically important settlement called
Koli Gram or the village of the Kolis existed in the present-Day heart of
omgeving Budhanilkantha tempel
Dedicated to the ruler Bhim Arjuna Deva and his regent Bishnu Gupta, this
statue is a masterpiece creation and is an excellent example of artistry and
perfection. It is belied that this sculpture is actually the grand scale
replica of the smaller Vishnu Vishwa starup located at the Changu Narayan
Temple in Bhaktapur. However, both works of Art are distinct in there own
sphere while they share the similarity of lying on a coiled snake bed.
It is more than probable that visitors get awestruck by the size and the
expression of this statue that distinctly holds shankha (conch), chakra
(disc), gada (club) and padma (lotus flower).
As per a geologist at the Department of Mines and Geology, Budhanilkantha is
carved ona black stone mainly found in the southern parts of Kathmandu.
"The Budhanilkantha area has a lot of granite but not black stone. So it's a
amazing as to how stone of this size was brought to the area," he expressed
in a conversation with the City Post.
Apart from this magnum opus in Budhanilkantha, the one in the Balaju Gardens
and the other inside the Narayanhiti Royal Palace also have similar
carvings. While the latter one in the palace is prohibited for general
public view, the foremost Ananta Shahin at Budhanilkantha is restricted to
be viewed by the royals, especially by the reigning monarch and the crown
prince as the heir, for various inauspicious religious notions.
According to one of the locals, the legend states that the statue was once
"It was rediscovered when a farmer accidentally hit the sculpture while he
ploughed his fields and the statue started bleeding," he says. "On further
mining, the statue was finally exposed for the second time," he maintains
Well, true or not, but all in all and above everything else, this statue
here is not as lifeless as a stone!
18 december 2004 - 29 januari 2005 -
Terug in Kathmandu / fietsen naar
Sundarijal / Balaju-park
24 november - 17 december 2004 -
Streetdance / Bungamati & Khokana / goede doel
Lubhoo in the Kathmandu Valley
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