Belur Chennakeshava Temple: Betegārthi (Huntress) – Madanike hunting a bird

Madanike hunting a bird - A bracket figure mounterd on the exterior wall of the Belur Chennakeshava Temple in Karnataka, India

Madanike hunting a bird

Betegārthi- Madanike hunting a bird
As you can see from the image, this madanike’s pose suggests that she just shot an arrow upwards, likely aimed at a bird or an animal on the tree. Notice that the arrow is missing.

This madanike is a Betegārthi, which means huntress in Kannada. The sculptor has captured her hunting pose perfectly. As you can see, Betegārthi’s well-proportioned body is slightly bent, with her left hand firmly holding the bow above her head and the right hand pulled back as though it just released an arrow. Notice her legs; Both are bent slightly, with the right leg on its toes. One of her necklaces is slightly up in the air. In summary, Betegārthi’s pose is a snapshot of her just after shooting an arrow.

Accompanying Betegārthi is an assistant at the bottom helping her in the hunt. Both the sculptures are standing on a disc-like base mounted on top of a lotus pedestal. Engraved into this base is an inscription, written in Helegannada (Old Kannada), inscribed likely by the sculptor to describe himself and his work.

Betegārthi is one of 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 is mounted on a pedestal attached to a pillar just below its capital.

Check the Navaraga Layout page for the locations of the bracket figures. Referring to the layout, this madanike is figure number 17, i.e., mounted on the middle pillar of the seventh section (S7).

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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