Tribhangi – A davane playing Nātya Sundari
This shilabalike, popularly known as Tribangi, is performing a complicated dance move, known as Tribhanga, while playing a davane, a two-sided drum-like percussion instrument played with a stick slightly curved at the end.
Tribhanga, a term described in the Nātya Shāstra (ancient Indian text on dance) and the Shilpa Shāstras (ancient Indian texts on crafts), refers to a pose with three bends in the body, typically the knee, waist, and neck. It is a dance move commonly performed in the contemporary Indian classical dances, such as the Odissi, Bharatanātyam, and Kathakali.
As you can see from the image, Tribhangi has elegantly curved her body by bending her knee, waist, and neck, to give her a beautiful S-like shape. The sculptor has perfectly captured this dance pose with amazing details.
Tribhangi is mounted on the middle pillar (number 8) located on the fourth section (S4) on the south-side exterior wall surrounding the navaraga (front portion of the temple) and is one of the 42 bracket figures (i.e., 38 on the outer wall and 4 inside) in the temple. Each bracket figure is attached to a bracket placed at an angle just below the eaves of the temple. As you can see from the image, the base of the sculpture is mounted on the side of the pillar just below its capital.
– Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Bracket Figures
– Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Navaranga
– Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Garbhagriha Outer Wall
– Somanathapura Keshava Temple – A Magnificent Temple Dedicated to Vishnu
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