GAURI TEMPLE

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» East India
» Orissa
Location : Bhubaneswar, Orissa
Presiding Deity : Parvati
Also Known As : Gaurichala


Gauri temple, facing the east, though a specimen of the 'Khakhara' Order (locally known as "Gaurichala"), has striking affinities with the 'Muktesvara' temple both in respect of decorative details and style of execution and, thus, cannot be far removed in date from it.

The Adornments
The 'Mastaka' has undergone restoration with the result that it's plastered and white - washed surface presents a dire contrast to the lavishly decorated purplish-red body of the temple. The 'Jagamohana' was erected some sixty years back to replace the dilapidated original one.

Built on a low 'Tri-Ratha' plinth supported by squattish dwarfs, the oblong 'Deul' is 'Pancha-Ratha' on plan. The ornamentation of the 'Bada' resembles that of the Muktesvara temple, though here 'Naga-or Nagi' pilasters only on the longer sides. The scheme of decoration, however, differs in the 'Gandi'. Nowhere is there any representation of "Amlas" or "Bhumi-Amlas".

Both the 'Kanika' and 'Anuratha-Pagas' are decorated with two superimposed 'Khakhara-Mundis' with a 'Kalasa' on the top, while the subjects of the decoration of the 'Raha' are 'Bho'-motifs as in the Muktesvara temple. A bold moulding relieved with lotus-petals marks off the 'Gandi' from the 'Mastaka'. The latter, now consisting of two 'Khakharas', with a recess in between, maintains the 'Paga'-divisions throughout and is crowned by a 'Kalasa'.

Like the Muktesvara temple, this temple is noted for the exuberance of ornamentation. The 'Nayikas' in various flexuous poses are mostly damaged, but the few intact figures, like the one, on the south face of the east 'Raha', leaning against a post on which is perched a bird, and the other, on the west 'Raha', taking off her anklets, are remarkable for their masterly treatment.



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