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  • Thumbnail for Sundaresvara in Minaksi digvijaya
    Sundaresvara in Minaksi digvijaya

    Sundaresvara (boy and image) during Minaksi digvijaya; Minaksi temple, Chittrai, 1984; Keywords: sundaresvara, digvijaya

  • Thumbnail for Sundaresvara in palanquin
    Sundaresvara in palanquin

    Sundaresvara carried in palanquin, morning procession; Minaksi temple, Chittrai, 1982; procession on 4th morning; Keywords: deities, sundaresvara, decoration, palanquin

  • Thumbnail for Golden horse vahana
    Golden horse vahana

    Golden horse (kutirai) vahana; Minaksi temple, Chittrai, 2004; Used as vehicle during 5th day procession; Keywords: vehicles, vahana

  • Thumbnail for Fireworks
    Fireworks

    Fireworks during Minaksi digvijaya; Minaksi temple, Chittrai, 1984; Sundaresvara vimana in background; Keywords: fireworks, procession, digvijaya

  • Thumbnail for Sundaresvara
    Sundaresvara

    Sundaresvara, during Minaksi digvijaya; Minaksi temple, Chittrai, 1984; Keywords: sundaresvara, digvijaya

  • Thumbnail for Minaksi Wedding
    Minaksi Wedding

    Minaksi's Marriage (tirukalyana) sculpture, depicting Visnu, Minaksi, and Siva Sundaresvara, in Puthu-mandapa. Mid-seventeenth century.; Minaksi temple; Putu-mandapa; Keywords: deities, minaksi, mandapas

  • Thumbnail for Site-purification
    Site-purification

    Chief priest (nambiyar) and brahmin assistant perform pacification of the site, at entrance to Puthu Mandapa. The processional streets must be purified at the beginning of the festival.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Rite conducted at east entrance to Putu-mandapa, for pacification of Avani Mula Street; Keywords: priests, santi

  • Thumbnail for Priest-as-Siva on elephant
    Priest-as-Siva on elephant

    Priest-as-Siva on elephant, in procession. Ashta Shakti Mandapa gateway is in background.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; On Amman Sannathi Street, with part of Minaksi gateway in background; Keywords: priests, lilas, animals, processions

  • Thumbnail for Sundaresvara on Bhuta Vehicle
    Sundaresvara on Bhuta Vehicle

    Siva Sundaresvara on Bhuta Vehicle, decorated for 2nd evening procession.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; 2nd evening procession; at P. C. Muttu Chettiyar pavilion, just before procession; Keywords: sundaresvara, decoration, vehicles

  • Thumbnail for Ganesa and Skanda, on same cart, for procession
    Ganesa and Skanda, on same cart, for procession

    Decorated images of Ganesa (right) and Skanda (left) on cart, for evening procession.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; 1st evening procession; Keywords: ganesa, skanda, procession

  • Thumbnail for Sundaresvara on Nandikesvara
    Sundaresvara on Nandikesvara

    Siva Sundaresvara in 5th evening procession, on Nandikesvara vehicle.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; 5th evening procession, S. Avani Mula Street; Keywords: sundaresvara, vehicles, processions

  • Thumbnail for Minaksi on Kamadhenu vehicle
    Minaksi on Kamadhenu vehicle

    Minaksi on Kamadhenu vehicle, 3rd evening procession; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; 3rd evening procession; Keywords: minaksi, vehicles, processions

  • Thumbnail for Blessing of drum
    Blessing of drum

    Chief priest blesses drum, during site-pacification ceremony; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: priests, personnel, musicians

  • Thumbnail for Minaksi on Lion vehicle
    Minaksi on Lion vehicle

    Minaksi mounted on Lion vehicle, for 1st evening procession.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; 1st evening procession; Keywords: vehicles, minaksi

  • Thumbnail for Camels
    Camels

    Temple camels waiting for procession to begin.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; 1st evening procession; Keywords: animals, processions

  • Thumbnail for Priests afix Sundaresvara on Golden Horse vehicle
    Priests afix Sundaresvara on Golden Horse vehicle

    Priests place prabha (ornamental arch) over Siva Sundaresvara on Golden Horse vehicle, completing decorations for processio; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: sundaresvara, vehicles, priests, decoration

  • Thumbnail for Sundaresvara decorated for procession
    Sundaresvara decorated for procession

    Siva Sundaresvara decorated for 8th evening procession.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; in Kalyana-mandapa, waiting for procession to begin; Keywords: sundaresvara, decoration

  • Thumbnail for Devotional table near Pittuttoppu mandapa
    Devotional table near Pittuttoppu mandapa

    Devotional table (tirukkan) near Puttuttoppu mandapa, before procession; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: devotees

  • Thumbnail for Purchase of butter lamps, for worship
    Purchase of butter lamps, for worship

    Worshipers purchase butter lamps, for worship of Nine Planets; Minaksi temple; Keywords: deities, planets, devotees

  • Thumbnail for Standing Buddha in Stupa, Chaitya Hall, cave 19
    Standing Buddha in Stupa, Chaitya Hall, cave 19

    This standing Buddha figure within a stupa-like structure is placed within a large chaitya hall, a cave where monks gathered for teaching and community ritual practices. The straight, rigid form of this Buddha is reminiscent of figures of Jain tirthankaras, with whom early Buddhist monks shared many ideas and practices. The Buddha is depicted with the royal headdress of an aristocratic person but in the ascetic simplicity of an unclothed body.

  • Thumbnail for Ajanta Caves, panorama from the vantage of the first caves
    Ajanta Caves, panorama from the vantage of the first caves

    Standing near the first caves, one sees a series of caves carved out of the rocky hilllside. Some caves functioned as viharas or monasteries, while others were built as chaityas or prayer halls.

  • Thumbnail for Auspicious figures on cave doorway, amorous couple (detail)
    Auspicious figures on cave doorway, amorous couple (detail)

    Around the entranceways to the caves are figures of amorous couples symbolizing the good fortune of fertility and happiness. Sitting comfortably with the bodies touching, the woman leans against her partner's knee, while he reaches to stroke her face. Lotuses frame the scene.

  • Thumbnail for Painted Bodhisattva on pillar
    Painted Bodhisattva on pillar

    The pillars inside this cave display many figures of Buddhist monks as bodhisattvas and buddhas. These monks wear the traditional monastic robe covering one shoulder. The bodhisattva holds the lotus, symbol of enlightenment.

  • Thumbnail for Bibi ki Maqbara, marble carving detail
    Bibi ki Maqbara, marble carving detail

    Inside the tomb, typical Mughal designs such as this flower within a mehrab have been carved into the marble walls.

  • Thumbnail for Ajanta Caves, sedan chair
    Ajanta Caves, sedan chair

    A weary or infirm tourist or pilgrim can now sit in a sedan chair carried by two men hirerd to carry them up and down the walkway outside the caves.