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Friday 3 March 2023

Brahma Jinalaya - The Inner Closed Mantapa

Hope you enjoyed the tour of the outer mantapa. Thank you for joining me here.

So why dedicate an entire section to just the inner closed mantapa?  Though the only two prime figurines in the inner closed mantapa are of Padmavati and Chaturmukha Brahma, there are so many smaller aspects hidden everywhere, that it is impossible to ignore.

To talk about this mantapa in brief, it is ventilated by a single small window. Padmavati is on the right while Chaturmukha Brahma is on the left. The lathe turned pillars in the center of this mantapa still manage to glisten in the light. If  they look so good now, then it is impossible to even imagine how amazing they would have been a 1000 years ago. 

Standing the test of  time, the base of these pillars are adorned with various 'sundaris' or beautiful women. But rather than talk about it, I'll allow these images to speak for themselves. 

A view of the deity from the Inner Mantapa

The five framed doorway to the inner sanctum from the mantapa.
Notice the animals and the dancers in the frames.

A figurine of a Thirthankara above the lintel indicating it is a jain temple.
The topmost layer has elephants while just below that is a row of what
looks like a dodo bird.

The Chatumukha Brahma
stands tall
The south side face is of a 
young boy

The front/east side face is of a
young man
The north side face is of a middle
aged man.

The west side face was one from the older years. That face had a full beard and a mustache and looked more rugged. But it was too close to the wall for us to get a decent image.

Padmavati, the epitome of beauty
smiles demurely.
The perfectly proportioned face
also has nose ring holes

The base of all the columns had 'sundaris' or beautiful women engraved in them. While we were visiting another temple and were kneeling and crouching to try and get the best angles for these intriguing beauties, an elderly gentleman who was walking out of the temple kindly informed us that people used to hold babies with breathing problems against these figurines with the babies' back towards the figurines.

The various groves and ridges of the carvings acted as acupressure massaging points, opening up the pathways for breathing better.

I wondered if the same was applicable for adults too, if they sat on the floor with their back resting on these carvings.

Darpana Sundari or a beautiful
woman with mirror
Woman playing a sting instrument
in one of the panels

All the women were however
similarly framed
With kirthimukhas and Yalis on
two columns on either side

There was a kirthimukha on top of the pillar as well 
framing a man playing a drum

Visit the inner sanctum and let's take a walk around the temple in the next section.

Location map: