Ganas’ Antics, Badami Rock Temple, Karnataka, India


Sivas ganas are those chubby celestial beings represented in Hindu iconography.

The architectural elements and every aspect of the plan of a  Hindu temple is built exactly along the scientific rules and mathematical formulae of the ancient 3500 year old  treatise of the art and science of temple architecture called Shilpashastra.

Ganas are represented as naughty hobgoblins, either indulging in amusing antics or playing musical instruments . They are also shown as caryatids bearing the weight of the enormous temple on their chubby shoulders and arms . Ganas  are known to be closest to the main Hindu God Shiva who tolerates their various antics due to their total faithfulness.

Ganas   most devoted to Him, have who won the right to be perpetually close to Shiva in Hindu temple iconography. The ganas are the imagery representations of air, which is one among the five essential elements that make a human body (panchamahabhutas- air, water, earth, fire, and ether )  Shown as potbellied to make them appear full of air, the little fat airbags or ganas rush around lending a shoulder to a heavy structure, such as a pillar or the shikhara; or playing musical instruments; and sometime blowing into the conch-shell. Airy, full of life, yet in reality body- less Ganas are often designed to make the devotee smile at their impishness.


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