Belur Chennakeshava Temple: Madanike plucking a mango

Mango plucking madanike - A bracket figure mounterd on the exterior wall of the Belur Chennakeshava Temple in Karnataka, India

Madanike plucking a mango

Madanike plucking a mango
Standing with an elegant pose, this beautifully carved madanike (also known as shilābālike) is plucking a fruit – what appears to be a mango – with her right hand. Her stance suggests that she neither a dancer nor a singer, rather a beautiful lady collecting fruits. Notice that her left hand is missing, which she likely used to hold a basket to collect fruits. The marks of broken stones at the bottom suggest that two small figures existed on either side of the original sculpture, just like in many other bracket figures.

As you can see, this madanike is on a disc-like base mounted on a pedestal carved with three layers of lotus flower petals. Engraved into this base is an inscription, written in the Halegannada (Old Kannada), likely inscribed by the sculptor to describe himself and his work.

This madanike is one of the 38 sculptures, known as bracket figures, mounted on the exterior wall surrounding the navaranga (front portion of the temple). Each sculpture is attached to a bracket placed at an angle just below the eaves, with its base mounted a pillar just below the pillar’s capital.

Check the Navaraga Layout page for the locations of the bracket figures. In this layout, this madanike is figure number 16, i.e., mounted on a corner pillar at the junction of the 6th and 7th section of the navaranga exterior wall.

Read more about this and other bracket figures at Belur Chennakeshava Temple: Bracket Figures.

Other Shilābālikes – Female Bracket Figures
Darpana Sundari, Sukha Bhashini, Nātya Sundari, Gāna Sundari, Kesha Sundari, Tribhangi, Nagna Sundari, Kapāla Durga, Koravanji, Nātya Mohini, Betegārthi

Male Bracket Figures
Flute playing male musician
Narthaka – Davane playing male dancer
Davane playing male musician

Hoysala Temples:
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Bracket Figures
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Navaranga
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Garbhagriha Outer Wall
Kappe Chennigaraya Shrine
Somanathapura Keshava Temple
Badami Chalukya Temples:
Badami, Cave – 1, Cave – 2, Cave – 3, Cave – 4
Durga Temple at Aihole

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