Narrative sculpture on the north side of the Amritesvara Temple at Amritpur, 1805. First panel of the Krishnalila frieze
Medium: Pen and ink on paper
Pen-and-ink drawing of the first narrative sequence of the Bhagavata Purana carved on the open hall of the Amriteshvara temple at Amritapura in Karnataka. This drawing is taken from an album of 156 drawings (185 folios) chiefly of architecture and sculpture in S. India, dated 1803-08. Some drawings are by MacKenzie himself, others by his assistant surveyors and draftsmen, including H. Hamilton and J. Newman.
The Amriteshvara Temple at Amritapura, located 110 km from Hassan, is a beautiful example of Hoysala architecture decorated with fine sculpture. An inscription records the building of the temple in 1196 AD. The Hoysalas were prolific temple builders and during their rule (circa 1006-1346) they built nearly 700 monuments in Karnataka. The Amriteshvara, which is dedicated to Shiva, consists of a sanctuary with its tower, a vestibule, a closed hall, and a large open hall. The open hall is approached through entrance porches in the four cardinal directions. It has half-open walls with slanting seat-back remarkably carved with narrative panels from the Hindu epics. On the north face of the railings of the open hall there are 24 narrative relief panels that illustrate episodes from the Bhagavata Purana (c. 10th century)which consists of stories from Krishna's life.
This drawing depicts the sequence of the panels 5-14. The scenes read from right to left and depict, starting from the top: the darbar of Kamsa; Devaki's labour; Vasudeva bows to a donkey, begging it not to reveal Krisha's birth; Durga escapes Kamsa's slaughter; baby Krishna is taken across the Yamuna; the gopis and gopas receive Krishna.