40. Brahmin Priest and Nandi, Pattadakal, Karnataka, India


Pattadakal, also called Raktapura ( city of red derived from the redness of the iron rich soil), is a complex of 7th and 8th century CE Hindu and Jain temples in northern Karnataka (India) and referred to by Ptolemy as “Petirgal” in his Geography. This UNESCO World Heritage site was the coronation city of kings of the powerful Chalukya empire that ruled large parts of Southern and Central India between the 6th and the 12th CE.

Brahmins were regarded from Vedic literature as one of the Varnas or castes of India, a term that has lost relevance in modern day India. Brahmins were trained as scholars, as priests and held responsible positions in the social and political hierarchy at the time when kings of the warrior class, the Kshatriyas ruled in India. Although today a Brahmin can practise any profession in modern India, priests in Hindu temples are almost always Brahmins. I met this Brahmin priest reading Sanskrit poetry sitting near the Nandi Bull in Pattadakal. He was a retired High Court Judge who had retired to a quiet life in Pattadakal. He served as a locum priest when the regular ones could not on occasions

The Nandi or the Bull is represented as a companion and vehicle of Shiva, one of the Trinity of main gods of Hinduism. Similar to the sacred bull in Egyptian, Assyrian and Greek civilisations and culture, the Nandi bull has a special significance. In India, to this day, it is believed that whispering your wish into Nandi’s ear will be successfully transmitted to Shiva and more likely to be granted. During exam times, it is common to see rows of students lining up before a Nandi in any Shiva temple!


Original:  Oil on canvas ; 12 x 12″  (305 x 305 mm) ;framed

Limited Edition Print : Available as Giclee print on finest quality paper or  canvas. International shipment

Sizes available: 8 x 12″(203 x 305 mm); 12 x 16″(305 x 410mm); 18 x 24″(457 x 610 mm); 24 x 32″ (610 x 813mm)

For list of prices, details of paper or canvas and pigments used,  please get in touch via contact form

Will post rolled up  in  a tube with Certificate of Authenticity, number of the print and artist’s signature.