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Panthera Pardus, the leopard

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Chapter Summary

The leopard or panther is a medium-sized cat with a length between1.85-2.15 m. It has short hairs and lacks the mane and the fringes of hair of the lion. Leopard sculptures appear to fall into two classes, one representing the leopard as the victim of a stabbing scene and one representing only the skin of the leopard. A leopard being stabbed by armed men is a common theme at piers of the pillared halls of the temple complexes of the Aravidu and Nayaka dynasties of Tamil Nadu. Depictions of a leopard skin in reliefs are very rare. A stele from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, might show the Hindu god Shiva and his wife Parvati sitting on a leopard or panther skin; another possibility is that the skin belonged to a tiger instead.

Keywords: leopard; Panthera Pardus; stone sculptures; Tamil Nadu; Uttar Pradesh

10.1163/ej.9789004168190.i-462.149
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