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Folk-Lore/Volume 31/Prentice Pillars: the Architect and his Pupil

Prentice Pillars: the Architect and his Pupil.

(Folk-Lore, xxix. 219.)

The following tale is interesting in connection with those of the Architect and his Pupil:

“Tradition relates that the career of Jakanāchāri, the famous architect and sculptor, began when Nripa Rāya was ruling in Kridāpura. He then left his native place and, entering the service of various courts, produced the works by which his fame is to this day upheld. After his departure a son, Dandakāchāri, was born to him, who when grown up set out in search of his father, neither having ever seen the other. At Belur the young man found the temple of Chenna Kesava in course of erection and—as the story goes—remarked that one of the images had a blemish. As this would be fatal to its claim as an object of worship, the architect, who was no other than Jakanāchāri himself, hastily vowed to cut off his right hand if any defect could be found in an image he had carved. To test the matter the image was covered with sandal paste, which dried on every part save round the navel. In this on examination was found a cavity the son had detected, containing a frog and some sand and water. Mortified at this result, Jakanāchāri cut off his right hand, and enquiries as to who his critic was led to the unexpected discovery of their mutual relationship. Subsequently Jakanāchāri was directed in a vision to dedicate a temple to the god Kesava at Kridāpura, his native place. Thither he accordingly returned, and no sooner was the temple completed than his right hand was restored.” B. L. Rice, Mysore Gazetteer, 2nd ed. 1897, vol. ii. p. 185 et seq.