"Adiyamankottai, Chenraya Perumal temple [17th Century]"

There are five galleries found in the hall (mandapa) that leads to the Sanctum Sanctorum. They have the paintings on its ceiling depicting the scenes of Mahabharata, Viswarupa Darshan of Lord Krishna, scenes from the Ramayana including the life of Lord Rama and various episodes from Mahabharata and Vedas.

The Adiyamankottai Chenraya Perumal temple of 9th century is a centrally protected monument of Hoysala architecture constructed by the Hoysala kings and followed by Krishna Devaraya. Most of these imaginative paintings appear to belong to the early 17th century. The original paintings belong to the Nayaka, Hoysala with additions of Krishna Devaraya period. The hall in front which leads to the Sanctum Sanctorum has the paintings on its ceiling. The mandapa is divided into five bays; the south two are the Mahabharata, the north two are the Ramayana and the central panel depicts the Visvarupa of Lord Krishna. There are inscriptions in Kannada both in the horizontal registers between painted registers, as well as in the pictorial field. The fresco paintings depict various scenes from the life of Lord Rama, various episodes from Mahabharata and Vedas. The remarkable is a superb rendering of Prince Rama’s Coronation in the end of the northern bay. The conflict between Rama and Ravana is depicted in great detail. Two interesting paintings depict Hanumana bringing Rama’s message to Sita in the Ashoka vatika, garden, in Ravana’s palace and Hanuman bringing the hill containing the life-saving Sanjeevani plant for the wounded Lakshmana. Finally, the chariots of Rama and Ravana confront each other, showering arrows on each other in a graphic representation of the theme. Unique paintings are much deteriorated of the paint layer and ground had occurred through seepage of waters, deposition of oil lamp soot and splashes of lime wash. Colours are mainly black, red and green and shades of a musty yellow. Total painted area is about 150 sq. metres. The features of these painting reveal the influence of the Deccan Schools. The Figures of ladies and deities are colourfully painted in Virupakshi style. The male figures, particularly those of soldiers are treated in the Deccan Muslim style. There are some wide cracks and some parting of the plaster from the rock surface. On some other areas bulging of the painted plaster has taken place. Patches of Humus marks on the paint layer through which water has seeped would pose a problem for their complete removal on account of any sensitivity of colours to reagents used for cleaning.

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