Bas reliefs of Unakoti

The Bas Reliefs of Unakoti

Author: TG Contributor
Date: 2020-06-02

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Unakoti is one of the well-known places in the region of Northeast India and it is in the state of Tripura. The place is situated almost 178 kilometers away from Agartala the capital city of Tripura and Unakoti is reputed for its 7th century stone and rock-cut images found deep in the forested expanses of the Kailashahar Subdivision. The name Unakoti means one less than a crore. Unakoti has a number of rock-cut sculptures of many Hindu God and goddesses. Among the rock-cut sculptures is a 33-ft-high bust of Lord Shiva and it is locally called Unakotiswara Kalabhairava and the bust is the central figure in the complex. This site has suffered centuries of neglect causing degradation and loss of considerable scale of the art. As per the locals and the legands it is believed that once Lord Shiva along with many other Hindu God and Goddess they were on the way to Khasi, the present-day Banaras or Vanarasi and Unakoti is the place they halted for a night. But Lord Shiva gave a strict instruction that next morning before a sunrise they have to wake up and start forward journey but next morning when Lord Shiva woke up he found everyone sleeping so he cursed all the God and Goddess and turned them into stones sculptures and that was the Bas Reliefs of Unakoti depicts. It is regarded as the largest bas-relief, the figurines carved on the face of a hill in India. On either side of the bust of Lord Shiva there are two figures and it is believed that one figure is of Goddess Durga seated on a lion while the other one is believed to be that of Ganga astride a Capricorn. And at a distance there is another three-eyed figure and it is believed to be of Surya or Lord Vishnu. The other rock-cut and stone images are of Vishnu, Nandi, Narasimha, Ravana, Hanuman, and several unidentified deities. Unakoti is one of the most visit places of tourist attractions and every year during the month of April a big fair Ashokastami Mela is held and thousands of devotees and visitors visit this place and another smaller festival also takes place in the month of January.


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