The Dancing Shiva of Nohleshwar

It is Monday – Lord Shiva’s Day !

And so therefore, this remarkable sculpture of He, photographed by an associate of ours [N.G., to whom we are indebted for its appearance and permitted use].

The figure comes from the walls of the Nohleshwar Temple in Damoh, Madhya Pradesh. This is a Shaivite Temple, with the eponymous Nohleshwar (assumedly ‘Lord / Emperor (‘Isvara’) of Nohla’) embodied within the ShivLing in its Sanctum at its centre.

Much of both exterior and interior feature carvings of this nature – including several Forms of Mahadev in pride of place about the exterior (I have also sighted a rather formidable Chamunda depiction that we may post at another time).

Probably because of … various areas of operation we’ve been embroiled in this weekend, my first thought upon beholding this ‘Dancing Shiva’ was that His holding aloft the Trishula in one of His Right Hands, and what would appear to be a Khatvanga (‘Skull-topped Staff’) in one of His Left … looked rather like the Torch-bearing Hekate / Initiate iconography of that certain other ‘Far-Working’ haunter of Crossroads of formidable reputation and Wolf retinue.

In fact, upon closer inspection, quite an array of Shaivite iconography is visible – the ‘Jatta’ hair, for instance, stands out as particularly prominent (a difficult feature to render in stone).

The Temple itself is more than a millennium old – having been built in the 900s AD by the Kalachuri Queen, Nohla Devi (spouse of King Yuvaraja Deva). Which, we presume, produces the naming for the site – a Temple constructed to the Queen’s patron deity, Lord Shiva (Ishvara – God-Emperor), and therefore bearing her name alongside His regal title and function.

A prudent thing for a human queen (or king, for that matter) – to remember that there is a Divine Ruler also Above and Higher Still.

And to turn their efforts and resources toward His (and Her) Glory in enduring form and formation, upon this plane of ours.

ॐ नमः शिवाय

2 thoughts on “The Dancing Shiva of Nohleshwar

  1. Pingback: The Dancing Shiva of Nohleshwar – Glyn Hnutu-healh: History, Alchemy, and Me

  2. Pingback: The Dancing Shiva of Nohleshwar — arya-akasha | Vermont Folk Troth

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