Ganas are part of Siva’s retinue. Ganesha, one of Siva and Parvati’s son, is Ganas head and hence he is also called Ganapati.
Normally relief sculptures of Ganas adorn the outer walls of the main temple. Short and plump, Ganas are always shown joyful dancing, playing, indulging in music and doing acrobatic activities.
Some of their activities are shown in the picture on the side. The picture is reproduced from the book Darasuram Epigraphical Study by Francoise L’Hernault.
The subject of this blog, also from Darasuram, is the photo below.
It shows two playful (I think!) Ganas, with one Gana pulling the other Gana by his hair towards her. The Gana on the right is desperately trying to escape, lessening the pain by holding on the hand that is pulling his hair and hollering at the same time. The Ganas gender adds an interesting angle to the sculpture.
What is remarkable is, though this is a relief sculpture the artist has made the Gana’s mouth ‘in the round’. One can insert a finger in his open mouth. The discolouration is the result of just that. An obvious favourite with the tourists.
The yelling is so visual one can hear him even now, after nearly one thousand years. Do you?