4SittanavasalIntroduction:Although probably at one time the great temples of the Hindu Renaissance (revival) were many of them decorated with wall – paintings both on the interior and exterior of sacred place sanctuaries and mandaps, the actual remains of late painting India are fragmentary indeed.
5SittanavasalAmong the few remnants of post-Gupta wall-paintings are the decorations of Jain temple at Sittanavasal, in the Pudukottai district near Madras.This is also considered to be the earlier examples of Jain paintings in the south.The name Sittanavasal literally means the abode of the Siddhas (Jaina saints who have won their spiritual freedom).
6SittanavasalLotus pond:The composition represents a celestial region in the form of a pond in which apsaras, geese, elephants, etc. are sporting in a thicket of enormous lotus- blossoms and fronds.The style continues the Ajanta wall-paintings of the late Gupta and early Chalukya types both in drawing and coloring.
7SittanavasalAs even the line –drawing shows, the fanciful and complex setting is portrayed with the greatest clarity and a feeling for the decorative possibilities of the multiple lotus-flowers and buds set off against the enormous leaves.The direction of the lines in the composition certainly suggests a movement across the panel, as through a wind bending the heavenly blossoms (flower).
8His fish shaped eyes, however, have a rather softened look. SittanavasalThe figure of a Gandharva has a quite austere (strictly moral, having no pleasure) appearance.His fish shaped eyes, however, have a rather softened look.The face is in three- quarter profile.
9SittanavasalIn one hand he holds a lotus bud while the other hand assumes the Simhakarna mudra.The colors are subdued, the contours flowing, the curves sinuous (having many curves and twists) and the facial features elegant. All these characteristics echo the Ajanta masterpieces.
10SittanavasalThese lotus ponds are thought to be a part of the ‘Samavasarana’ or a resting place made by the gods for a Tirathankana after he had attained salvation.According to Jain mythology, it was circular in ground plan and was provided with twenty thousand steps on four sides, doors, roads and ponds before each gateway.
11SittanavasalAs mentioned in Jain literature, when the lord sets out for ‘Samavasarana’ the gods prepare nine golden lotuses of a thousand petals each and place them in order in front of the lord.The second lotus pond which has fish makara, geese, elephant, bulls and human figures, has been identified with the ‘Khatikabhumi’ of the ‘Samavasarana’ in which the bhavyas i.e. the faithful, gather lotus flowers.