Hey guys, I am at the Darasuram temple in India which is 850 years old and here we can see the smallest carvings in the world. Let’s take a look at this bull carved on one of the pillars. This is about 2 inches wide, but it also shows all the features of a bull. You can see the hump, the horns, ears and eyes, there is even an extended tail, but look carefully, and you can see the Hoofs, and even the nostril, which is just 1 millimeter wide, carved on it. Now, compare this with the carving of the largest bull in the world, this is also situated in India, in a place called Lepakshi, which is about 300 miles away. This bull is nearly 15 feet tall and 27 feet long. The smallest carving of the bull is so small, that you can place 10 of them inside the toenail, or the dewclaw of the largest bull.
But this 2 inch bull is not really the smallest carving in the temple, some of the carvings are even smaller. This carving is less than 2 inches tall and shows Lord Shiva and we can even identify the weapons and objects he is holding in his multiple hands. Here is a lion which is just one and a half inch long, it is a shame that the temple has gone through many centuries of corrosion, many of these carvings have deteriorated. Here is the dancing elephant god, which is even smaller, he is just one inch long. You can see his crown, pot belly and his arms and legs in a dancing posture. Of course, we have to wonder how ancient builders were able to create 1 inch carvings, 850 years ago. Remember I showed you the skulls in Hoysaleswara temple, these are also one inch wide. They are completely hollow and you can pass a twig through one of the ears and can pull it out through the eyes. Were these amazing carvings created using advanced machines or with primitive tools?
But there are carvings even smaller than this at the Darasuram Temple, here is a carving less than 1 inch wide and actually consists of two figures, Lord Shiva and his wife in a sitting posture. This means that each figure is less than half an inch in size. Even today, you can see that people smear saffron powder on this carving as a ritual, this ritual has corroded this carving to a considerable extent, but even after eight centuries, we are able to identify these half inch gods because of their features.
But all this is nothing, because we are only looking at the full carvings, we have to examine the details on the carvings to really appreciate ancient technology. Here is Lord Shiva in the form of a beggar, and look carefully and you will see a begging bowl in his hand. This bowl is carved to the size of black pepper or pepper corn, which is just 4 millimeters wide. Here is the wife of Shiva and you can see the religious dot on her forehead, this less than 2 millimeters. You can even see the smile on her face, Some of the details are so small even to capture with my camera, but if you visit this temple, please do examine these pillars. But be very careful, because – see these designs, which look like Egyptian pyramids, the tips of these pyramids are less than 1 millimeter wide and they will prick you like needles. And this is after eight hundred and fifty years of corrosion, so imagine how sharp they must have been, when they were first created.
But the question is, how can anyone create needle sharp carvings on solid rocks with primitive tools like chisels and hammers? I mean, less than 1 millimeter wide? How did ancient builders accomplish this? Showing emotions if the figures are smiling or frowning on one inch carvings? Half inch deities, recognizable after 850 years of corrosion? A bowl the size of black pepper, just 4 millimeters wide? Sharp points with less than 1 millimeter that can still prick like needles? Were these created with primitive tools or were ancient builders using advanced technology?
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section.