Gwalior Fort Pancagni Tapa Parvati

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan palaniappa at AOL.COM
Sun Apr 1 16:28:29 UTC 2012

Thank you very much!

I am translating a note in Tamil by Dr. Dayalan of Archaeological Survey of India. "There is a temple carved out of a monolith in the Gwalior fort. This temple is called Caturbhuja temple. In the four agni kuṇḍas in this temple two contain the sculptures of Pañcāgni Tapa Pārvatī. These four kuṇḍas along with the sun are together called pañcāgni. In the North Indian region in the temple art of the Mauryas and Pratihāras, this type of Pārvatī figure will be shown in sitting or standing postures. Near the Pañcāgni Tapa Pārvatī figure in Gwalior, a lion and a blackbuck are shown as her vehicles. It is noteworthy that this tradition is  shown in many places in Tamil Nadu especially in the Durgā sculptures in Mahabalipuram. Shown with the four hands with varada mudrā, rudrākṣa string, kamaṇḍalu, and darbha grass, this figure is related to the agni kuṇḍa." (Aruḷmiku Periyanāyaki Ammaṉ Eṉṟa Vayalnācciyammaṉ Tirukkōyil Tirukkuṭa Naṉṉīrāṭṭu Viḻā Ciṟappu Malar, 2009, p.97)

It is nice to see the lion and blackbuck clearly in the sculpture. I can see the kamaṇḍalu clearly too. Is her upper left hand holding the string of rudrākṣa beads? Is her lower right hand holding the darbha grass? Is her broken upper right hand supposed to show the varada mudrā?

This sculpture clearly parallels the Tamil Nadu figures showing lion and blackbuck and the date is shown on the picture to be 10th century AD. Since is Suhaniya in Morena District is some distance from Gwalior, I am assuming this sculpture is one that is similar to the Gwalior fort sculpture but not identical. This is indeed very valuable. I am still interested in the Gwalior fort sculpture and its date.

Thanks in advance.


-----Original Message-----
From: Manu Francis <manufrancis at>
To: palaniappa <palaniappa at>
Sent: Sun, Apr 1, 2012 5:30 am
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Gwalior Fort Pancagni Tapa Parvati

ṉṉThat's it, I guess.

This picture has been taken by Anne Casille and sent with her permission.

Best wishes.

Emmanuel Francis
Researcher, Centre for the Study of Manuscript Culture, Universität Hamburg
Associate member, Centre d'étude de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud

On Sun, Apr 1, 2012 at 2:09 AM, Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan
<palaniappa at> wrote:
> Dear Indologists,
> It has been reported that there is a Pancagni Tapa Paravati sculpture in
> Gwalior Fort temple in which Parvati is shown with a lion and blackbuck as
> in many Durgā sculptures in Tamil Nadu. I would appreciate very much if
> anybody with a picture of the same could send me a scan online or offline.
> Thanks in advance.
> Regards,
> Palaniappan



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