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Sculpture panel to left of Durga niche on north wall of sanctuary tower, Vaital Deul Temple, Bhubaneshwar

Sculpture panel to left of Durga niche on north wall of sanctuary tower, Vaital Deul Temple, Bhubaneshwar

Photographer: Cornish, William Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1892

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(313)

Item number: 1003313

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the sculptures on the sanctuary tower of Vaital Duel, Bhubaneshwar, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections, taken by William Henry Cornish in 1892. The Vaital Deul in Bubhaneswar (late 8th Century) is an unusual temple with a rectangular sanctuary covered by a barrel-vaulted roof. On the top of the tower are three miniature amalakas with small pot finials. The projection on the fa├žade houses a Shiva Nataraja and an image of the Sun god Surya. The sanctuary walls have carved niches with figures of deities, couples and graceful maidens framed by bands of scrollwork. The adjoining rectangular mandapa has miniature shrines and a roof of sloping slabs. The main deity of this temple is Chamunda (a form of Durga), with a garland of skulls, seated on a corpse, flanked by a jackal and owl. This along with various interior carvings like the skeletal head have given rise to the view that this temple was used for Tantric rituals.

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