Horizontal Meenakshi Kalyanam Multicoloured Panel
Also called Vaivahika-murti, it represents Siva as the bridegroom, with Parvati as his bride. 'Parvati' is described in this representation as 'svayamvara' in Shilpa-ratna. The legent related in the Puranas, in Ramayanam and in well known epic poem Kumara-sambhava of Kalidasa provides the occasion this iconographic representation. Afterthe wife of Siva,Daksayani,humilated by her father Daksha,immolated herself in the sacrificial fire, she took birth as Parvati daughter of mount Himalaya and consort Mena. Parvati,as a young girl, resolved to marry Siva and none else, and performed severe penances for the purpose in the vicinity of Shiva's hermitage on the Himalayan foot hills. Siva had become an ascetic following the loss of his wife (Daksayani), and his indifference to the worldly cares had emboldened the wicked asura, Taraka (who had obtained a boon from Brahma that he would no be killed by any god or human being that was in existence), to terrorize the three worlds.
The Gods conferred and resolved that Siva's austerity must be interrupted so as to make him marry again and beget a child who would vanquish the asura Taraka. The god of love , Kama,was urged to proceed to Shiva's hermitage and attempt to make Siva lovelorn.
When Kama went to Siva's hermitage and found an opportune moment in the presence of the lovely Parvati (who had come there to help siva with his austerities), he struck siva with his amorous arrow. Siva saw parvati with longing eyes, but immediately recovered his composure and burnt down kama with the fire of his third eye. But, Kama's mission had succeeded, and Siva discovering how fervent and single - minded Parvati's devotion to himself was, consented to marry her.
The Marriage was celebrated with the creator Brahma as the officiating priest, with Visnu (Parvati's brother) as the 'giver away' of the bride, and in the presence of all the denizens of the celestial realms.
While it is usual to represent Vishnu and Lakshmi in the role of bestowing Parvati on Siva, some texts prescribe that Himavan (the personified mount) and his consort Menaka must shown to assume this role as parents of the bride. Siva and Parvati occupy the focus of attention, when the sculpture is in the narrative relief style (as in is in the Elephata and Ellora) depicting the largely attended festive scene of wedding.
Text prescribe that the iconographical representation of Kalyanasundara must be surrounded by the guardians of directions (dikpalas),gods(devas) with their consorts (saktis). and demi-gods like siddhas, yaksas,nagas and kinnaras, sageslike Naradha and seven mother-goddesses (matekas). All of them are shown as happily marvelling at the unique occasion and joining their hands in supplication. Sculptural treatment of the wedding secne is calculated to inspire awe and delight.