Belur Chennakeshava Temple: Davane playing Narthaki (Dancer)

Belur Chennakeshava Temple -Sculpture of a davane playing dancer mounted on a pillar on the south side

Davane playing dancer

Davane playing Narthaki
As you can see from the image, this exquisitely carved shilābālike is dancing with a traditional Indian dance move while playing a small drum-like instrument, known as davane, hung from her left shoulder (part of the string is missing). Using a curved stick, she beats the drum-head with her right hand while holding the davane steady by inserting her left hand inside the net formed by the strings connecting the drum-heads.

Accompanying Narthaki are the two male musicians, each playing a dolu, also a two-sided drum-like instrument, but played with hands. All these sculptures are standing on a disc-like base mounted on a lotus pedestal. Engraved into this base is an inscription, written in Halegannada (Old Kannada), likely inscribed by the sculptor to describe himself and his work.

There are 38 small sculptures, known as bracket figures, mounted on the pillars attached to 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 eves, with its base mounted on a pedestal attached to a pillar slightly below its capital.

Check the Navaraga Layout page for the locations of the bracket figures. In this layout, Narthaki is figure number 10, i.e., mounted on the middle pillar attached to the fifth section (S5) of the south wall.

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

Other Shilābālikes
Darpana Sundari, Sukha Bhasini, 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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