Halebidu Hoysaleswara Temple: Abimanyu in Chakravyuha

A frieze depicting Abimanyu fighting inside the Chakravyuha carved into the outer wall of Halebidu Hoysaleswara Temple, Karnataka, India

Abimanyu fighting inside the Chakravyuha

Abimanyu fighting inside Chakravyuha
The image shows a part of the frieze carved into the outer wall of the Halebidu Hoysaleswara Temple in Karnataka, India.

This beautifully carved relief depicts a scene from a story narrated in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. On the right is the detailed carving of Chakravyuha, a circular-shaped military formation devised by Drona on the 13th day of the Mahabharata war to capture Yudhishtira, the eldest of the Pandavas.

Standing on the chariot in the middle and fighting the Pandavas is Drona. At the back of his chariot is a flagstaff with a round vessel-like structure at the top. Known as Kumbha, this vessel is Drona’s emblem.

On the extreme left is Bhima, one of the Pandavas, wielding his signature weapon, gadaa (mace).

Arjuna’s son Abimanyu is inside the Chakarvyuha fighting the Kauravas. Abimanyu was eventually killed inside the Chakarvyuha because he only learned how to enter the Chakarvyuha, but not to get out.

Mahabharata Stories in the Halebidu Temple
Abimanyu in Chakravyuha
Arjuna Vs. Karna Battle
Arjuna and Shiva hunting a wild boar
Bhima slaying Bhagadatta’s elephants
Use of advanced technology and weapons in the Battle of Kurukshetra

Related Images from Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia
Arjuna vs. Karna battle carved into pediment of a tower in the middle terrace
– The following are from the Battle of Kurukshetra bas-relief carved into the west gallery on the lower level.
Battle of Kurukshetra — Advancing Kaurava army and the death of Bhishma
Death of Bhishma
Battle of Kurukshetra — Melee of Kaurava and Pandava warriors

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