Kalinjar Fort

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Feb 14 2016

Tags: , ,

Category: Asia, India

2 Comments

Aperture:f/2.8
Focal Length:14.8mm
ISO:160
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:DSC-R1

Kalinjar means ‘the destroyer of time’ and thus refers to Shiva, who next to Brahma, the creator, and Vishnu, the preserver, takes care of this part in the eternal cycle of creation, preservation and destruction. However, apart from being the destroyer, Shiva is at the same time very much regarded as creator, which explains his prominent place in Hinduism.

In the Neelkanth temple inside the more than 1000 year old Kalinjar Fort, Shiva is portrayed, cut in the rock face, as Nataraj, the lord of dance. His cosmic dance can be violent and destructive, or gentle. In the last instance his dance is essentially creative: he stirs the world again into life with his rhythmic movements.

Shiva Nataraj (upper part), Neelkanth temple, Kalinjar Fort, Uttar Pradesh, India 2009

Shiva Nataraj (upper part), Neelkanth temple, Kalinjar Fort, Uttar Pradesh, India 2009

Shiva Nataraj (lower part), Neelkanth temple, Kalinjar Fort, Uttar Pradesh, India 2009

Shiva Nataraj (lower part), Neelkanth temple, Kalinjar Fort, Uttar Pradesh, India 2009

Sculptures of Shiva Nataraj, in bronze or stone, are plenty but only here and there we see him portrayed dancing with his phallus erect. His erect penis may have been cut off later on by shocked dissenters or followers of a different faith, as is the case here in Kalinjar and also on the island of Elephanta near Mumbai, but the outline of the empty spot in his pubic area clearly shows that at one time it was there. This ithyphallic representation of the dancing Shiva proposes him as the creator par excellence.

Photo of the week: Kalinjar Fort, Uttar Pradesh, India 2009

2 comments on “Kalinjar Fort”

  1. Beautiful narrative as beautiful as the pics


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