Unakoti

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I had seen bas relief sculptures of Unakoti so was vvhappy when went there in December 2014. Unakoti means one less than a crore is an exaggeration of the representation of Shiva in various forms along with other Gods and Goddess. In centre is Shivji. Extreme left is Shri Ram with bow and arrow, next to him is brother Lakshman.

Board is self-explanatory. These rock-cut carvings can be attributed to 11-12th century. I reached Silchar in the evening, stayed at Hotel Kalpataru on Circuit House road. Outside hotel buses leave for Dharmanagar every morning starting 5.30 am. It took app 3 hours from Silchar. From Dharmanagar hire a taxi for Unakoti took 20 odd minutes, drive scenic n thru tea gardens. Taxi hire charges Rs 500/.

Key bas relief sculptures carved on vertical rock cliffs is what you see on left of pic. Very well maintained garden. Ganesha sculpture is right of pic, u walk up the hill to see more images.We show close ups of individual images in collection.

First image on right is of Shivji. This is Rock-cut Shiva head. Unakoti to Agartala is 178 kms, took me about 6.5 hours by local bus. Very good roads and scenic too. Last bus leaves at 1.30 pm. U can take train too but was told it is a passenger train moves slowly.

Image of Kali. According to tradition, when Shivji was going to Kashi with other gods and goddesses he made a night halt at this location. He asked all of them to wake up before sun rise to proceed to Kashi. It is said that except Shivji none woke up before sun rise. Shivji proceeded to Kashi cursing others to become stone images.

Image of Ganesha on right of pic. Top of hill you see image of Shivji and Kali. Gives you an idea of terrain. Area is dense forests. According to local tradition sculptor and potter KALLU KUMHAR carved these images. These images ascribed to 8-9th century.

Close to Ganesha sculpture is Chaaturmukhal Linga that you see. Small stone image in centre is Kalyanasundaramurty.

A full view of rock-cut images. Right is Ganesha, next are 2 standing images of elephant headed figure and last is Vishnu. During monsoons water falls from top as you can see. It must be a lovely sight and is like Ganeshji ka jal see abhishek ho raha hai.

Another view. Importantly see top of pic for eyes of Shiva, part of colossal sculpture of Shivji.

Close up of Ganesha. To read The Deeper Symbolic Meaning of Ganesha and meaning conveyed Click here

Ganesha is at a lower level compared to Shivji image, whilst walking up met this Sadhu sitting under a tree. Like most of us loves to be photographed.

Climb up the hill there are loose sculptures placed in a locked area some of which you see. They are identified as Vishnu, Hara-gauri, Hari-Hara, Narasingha etc. To see pics of Hari Hara in Aihole Temples of Karnataka pic no 17 Click here

Top view of rock-cut reliefs. Puja was in progress when I visited. Right of pic is Shivji head (more than 6m high). Extreme left is Shri Ram with bow and arrow, next to him is brother Lakshman.

Right is pic of Nandi Bull and left is Brigdi. Right of pic hand that you see is Shivji holding trishul.

Close up of Shivji himself. The Central Shiva head that you see is called ''Unakotiswara Kal Bhairava'' is about 30 feet high and includes a embroidered head-dress that you see which itself is 10 feet high. Shivji has typical tribal features. Shivji is worshipped by tribals and is called SUBRAI RAJA in kok borok dialect of Tripuri tribal groups.

Close up of Shivji eyes with head-dress. On each side of head-dress are two female images one of whom is Ma Durga standing on a lion other not sure.

Close up of female sculpture I think this is Ma Durga. Please correct if am wrong.

Close up of carvings on vertical rock cliff. There is head-dress of Shivji, two females on either side and Shri Ram/Lakshman on the left of pic.

Close up, left with bow is Shri Ram, right is Lakshman. To know more visit Tripura Tourism site Click here

Puja in progress. About 3 hours drive from Dharmanagar are Jampui Hills. Did not do - told it is similar to hills near Shillong. Since had already visited Shillong did not go.

Stone image of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh worshipped by local devotees.

Image of Vishnu. Every year a big fair known as Ashokastami Mela is held in April which attracts thousands of devotees.

Image of Brahma.

Image of Shivji. Note the number of bananas in banana leaf.

Stone sculpture of tortoise ie one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu. Also found at temple in Trissur Kerala where Trissur Pooram festival is held. See pic no 4 Click here

Enroute drive from Dharmanagar to Agartala saw so much of muli on road, never seen so much at one go and that too arranged so neatly. To read about The Great Night of Shiva and Parvati http://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chapters/The-Great-Night-of-Shiva-and-Parvati-1.aspx Enroute drive from Dharmanagar to Agartala saw so much of muli on road, never seen so much at one go and that too arranged so neatly. To read about The Great Night of Shiva and Parvati Click here

A typical home on the same route. To read a super travelogue on visit to Agartala and Unakoti Click here

Rock-cut Shivji ke head close. Just loved it - become part of me. To see pics of Shiv Temples Click here

Close up of Nandi. To see pics of Shiv Khori Cave is app 110 kms from Jammu Click here

Enroute drive to Agartala, saw lots of vendors selling oranges and pineapples. To see pics of Monasteries of Ladakh Click here