Still Life in Stone at Bhubaneswar Rajarani temple
This beautifully carved, 11th-century Hindu temple located in Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha, depicts love in the unself-conscious way of ancient India. Originally believed to be known as Indreswara, it is locally known as "love temple" thanks to its erotic carvings. The name Rajarani possibly came about later, as it was constructed of lovely, dull red and turbid yellow sandstone, a material known locally as “rajarani”.
Historians date it to around the same period as the Jagannath Temple at Puri. The temple walls are ordained with carvings and the vimana depicts elegant and lively scenes of marriage of Shiva, Nataraja, Parvati, and nayikas depicted in various roles and moods; such as fondling her child, attending to her toilet, looking into mirror, taking off her anklet, caressing her pet bird or playing an instrument.
The tower is spectacularly ornate and is famous for the aesthetic concept of miniature temple spires clustered around the main tower. On the lower register of the tower are the famous 'Guardians of the Eight Directions'—chief of the Vedic deities Indra, fire god Agni, god of death Yama, deity related to suffering Nirriti, ocean deity Varuna, wind god Vayu, lord of wealth Kubera and a form of Shiva, named Ishana.