Optical Illusions of Ancient India - II - Darasuram Temple

The ancient Airavatesvara Temple in India is known for its wonderful sculptures. On one of the walls, you can see this strange animal  sculpted at least 850 years ago. As you can see it has 8 legs and a very unique face! Now quick, What do you see? Do you see an elephant or do you see a bull?

 If you see both right away, congratulations - you have a sharp mind. This is called a 2 in 1 or an optical illusion sculpture. If I cover the left side, you can see the elephant. You can see the body, and the head. Here is the eye and the curved trunk. Now if I move to the right side and cover the other half, you can see the bull. You can see the mouth, nostrils and the eyes. You can also see 2 horns and the hump. It is easy to see the rest of the body.

Looking at the whole picture, you can see how the body parts of 2 animals are skillfully overlapped. For example, the trunk of the elephant is also the hump of the bull. The horns and ears of the bull have become the mouth or snout of the elephant.  Also, notice that this carving is not made of a single stone. On the right, you can see that part of the elephants body has been carved on a different stone. 

About a year ago, I saw with a similar carving but is a little bit more complicated. This carving is found in Mahabalipuram, and you should be able to see a baby elephant and a calf as well. 

If you don't see the optical illusion above, click here. These sculptures stand as proof that Ancient Tamils possessed remarkable insight. This is especially true of Chola dynasty, their bronze sculptures are considered the best in the country. Today, these types of illusions are used by psychologists to see if you are right brained or left brained.  So, look again and tell me what you see. The bull or the elephant? Do leave a comment.

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