The Ardhnari temple at Mandi is, compara-
tively, a modern temple. The right half of the stone image in the temple represents the
Siva and the left half his consort Paivati. Siva has his typical knotted hair and wearing
a garland of skulls, an entwined serpent, a musical instrument in one hand and a Damru
(drum) in the other. The divine consort Parvati is shown wearing a diadem, a pair of
earrings and a ring on the nose. The icon is well executed from all standards.
There is a slab joined to the image on
which the vehicles (Vahan) of the deities- the bull and the lion, are artistically carved.
The images of Bhairon and Hanuman are also there. The temple consists of a cella, porch
and a mandap. The carvings of the temple are of a high order. Ardhnari icons are rather
rare in Northern India and the presence of this icon here is rather strange.
Author - P.C.Roy Choudhury