Thursday, March 8, 2012

Statue of Lord Shiva from Kingdom of Vijaynagar (16th Century)

After a short sabbatical I am returning with my popular series of Black and White Thursdays, thanks to positive reactions from my readers. Black and White Thursdays are a series which is not only meant to highlight the beauty of the human civilization but also to provoke thought amongst readers.. The thought being 'WHY' is this place or monument so magnificent ? How much work might have gone into creating it ? What has that place or monument gone through in all this time ? It is somewhere in questions like these that we find the true reasons which make these destinations wonderful. As I say all the time, 'Every destination, every monument, every artifact, every stone has got a story to tell'. Whether we listen to it or not makes the difference. 

This Black and White Thursday I am presenting a unique and skillful work of craftsmanship from the erstwhile Kingdom of Vijayanagar (1336-1636 AD) which was located in South India. The Kingdom of Vijayanagar was one of the most powerful and wealthy in Indian History. Their rulers were known to promote arts and craftsmanship like no other rulers of their times. I am presenting a statue of Shiva (in his angry avatar) which was sculpted by an unknown sculptor more than 500 years ago in the 16th century.

Lord Shiva in his form of terror (Rudra roop)

Observe the arch over the deity's head, the crown on his head, The sword in his hand and the ornaments which the Lord is wearing. Also do observe the carving of a worshiper with palms joined in fear (the face of whom has been defaced). What is valuable about this statue is not only the expert craftsmanship and vision of the sculptor which went into creating this marvel but also the fact that it survived numerous invasions and attempts to be vandalized. The city of Vijaynagar was razed to the ground by Deccan sultans in 1565 after the battle of Talikota, but this statue stands witness to the grandeur and splendour of those days.

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I have one good photo of Lord Shiva on my handphone. But I lost it. I took the picture at a museum in Jakarta.