Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 1:43 AM
The Kakatiyas of Warangal were originally feudatories of the Western Chalukya. Later they became independent rulers, but followed the art tradition of the late Western Chalukyas of Kalyani. Their great interest in art and their supreme devotion to Siva clearly explain the origin of their several temples dedicated to this deity all over their realm. The famous Kakatiya temples are from Warangal, Palampet, Anamkonda, Tripurantakam, Macherla and other places.
No less effective than Kakatiya sculpture is their painting. The entire surface of the mandapa and cell in the large temple on the hill at Tripurantakam is painted. This temple is among the most important Kakatiya monuments for a study of the painting of this period. Similarly, there are Kakatiya paintings in the temple at Pillalamarri.
A painting here represents the famous arnritamanthana scene, with the devas on one side and the asuras on the other, holding Vasuki, as a string wound round the mountain Mandara, that acted as the churristick, when the milky ocean was churned to obtain the elixir of life. This noble theme as an auspicious background for presenting the goddess of prosperity right on the door lintel appears as a favourite motif in the Gupta period at Udayagiri neat Bhilsa in the cave temple there.
This is continued by the Western Chalukyas, as there is a frequent repetition of aniritantanthana at Badami. It is exattly in the same manner as in the Chalukya monuments that this arnritamanthana scene is represented in the late Chalukya as well as in the Kakatiya monuments. At Macherla, a sculptural rendering of this theme occurs in the local Kakatiya temple. The special importance of painting at Pillalamarri is that it is one of the rare Kakatiya paintings preserved and is also a representation in colour of this theme.
The vast treasure-house of Kakatiya painting at Tripurantakam still awaits detailed study as also do the other temples of the period.
Writer – C. Sivaramamurti