Indian Monuments

Indian Monuments

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A
Agra Fort
Ajanta Caves
Akbar Tomb
Akshardham Delhi
Akshardham Temple Gandhinagar
Amaravati Andhra Pradesh
Amber Fort
Arjunas Penance
Aurangabad Maharashtrat

B
Basilica of bom Jesus
Bekal Fort
Bolgatty Palace
Brihadeeswarar Temple
Buland Darwaza

C
Cellular Jail
Charminar
Chettinad Palace
Chittorgarh Fort
City Palace Jaipur
City Palace Udaipur

D
Dhamekstupat
Dilwara Temples
Dutch Palace

E
Elephanta Caves
Ellora Caves

F
Feroz Shash Kotla
Fort St George

G
Gurdwara Bangla Sahib
Gangaikonda Cholapuram
Gingee Fort
Golden Temple
Gol Gumbaz
Gomateshwara


Arjuna's Penance


Arjuna's Penance is the name of a massive open air bas-relief monolith dating from the 7th century CE located in the town of Mahabalipuram in Southern India. Measuring 96 feet long by 43 feet high, the bas-relief is also known as The Descent of Ganga. The bas-relief has two names, because there is not full agreement regarding which stories the mural depicts.
Two Interpretations : one interpretation, a figure in the bas-relief who is standing on one leg is said to be Arjuna performing an austerity Tapas to receive a boon from Shiva as an aid in fighting the Mahabharata war. (The boon which Arjuna is said to have received was called Pasupata, Shiva's most powerful weapon).

The bas relief is situated on a rock with a cleft. Above the cleft was a collecting pool, and at one time, water may have flowed along the cleft. Figures within the cleft are said to represent Ganga or the River Ganges and Shiva. This provides the basis for an alternative interpretation of the mural. Rather than Arjuna, the figure performing austerities is said to be Bhagiratha. Bhagiratha is said to have performed austerities so that Ganga might descend to earth and wash over the ashes of his relatives, releasing them from their sins. To break Ganga's fall from heaven to earth, she falls onto Shiva's hair, and is divided into many streams by his tresses.

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