The art and iconography of the Hoysala period has stood the test of time. To this day in the inner recesses of the state of Karnataka, one may find remnants of an enduring aesthetic. It is awe-inspiring, found in the form of ancient temple architecture and the iconography prevailing therein. The Lord Shiva sculpture that you see on this page draws from that long-standing tradition of the aesthetics of the Hoysalas. It is a depiction of His Pashupatinatha form and includes His wife, Devi Parvati, and His faithful companion, Nandi.
An epithet of Rudra or Shiva, Pashupatinatha translates to lord (‘natha’) and master (‘pati’) over all of fauna (‘pashu’). Note the shape of the typical quadruped animal in His left posterior hand. The origins of Lord Pashuatinatha lie in the Vaidikayuga (Vedic age). A chaturbhujadhari (the one possessed of four arms) deity, He is seated in lalitasana, the widely popular stance in Indian iconography, on the back of His trusty vahana (mount). The calm and beauteous Devi Parvati is seated on the lap of her husband. They both raise a hand in blessing over their devotees.
Sculpted from pure bronze, this murti is a fine example of Southern workmanship. The medium itself is a heritage of the region’s great sculptural tradition. Some other hallmarks of the same are the dense proportions of shringar on Pashupatinath, Parvati, and Nandi; and the neatly and handsomely etched features on each of the three faces.
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