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Prambanan: Lion flanked by Kinnaras

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Lion flanked by Kinnaras
The image shows a carving on the outer wall of a temple in Prambanan located 11 miles northeast of Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

At the center is a niche with the statue of a lion, and on either side of the niche is a kinnara couple (male and female) standing under the Kalpavriksha (a.k.a Kalphataru), the divine tree that fulfills wishes. The significance of this unusual but beautiful carving is not well understood.

In Southeast Asian Hindu mythology, a kinnara is half-human and half-bird, whereas, in Indian Hindu mythology, a kinnara is a half-human and half-horse. Kinnaras are celestial musicians and live as a couple.

According to Mahabharata, a kinnara couple is a husband and wife forever, and their love is everlasting. No third person or creature can ever share their love. Because of this reason, they can never become parents, therefore, cannot have offspring.

Visit: Prambanan

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