South Indian art is known for celebrating the beauty of the female body through intricately
crafted artistic expressions of divine love. This fine sculpture of Andal Devi with Parrot,
stands out as a great case in point. It’s a beautiful example of an age-old artistic tradition.
Andal Devi, also revered as Goda Devi, holds her own among the best-loved poet-saints of
the Tamil tradition.
This incredibly lifelike statue of Andal Devi, portrays her standing in an Abhyanga posture.
The pedestal, on which she is standing, is beautifully decorated with fine floral engravings.
She has a traditional South Indian sari draped about her. Her right hand is held in Lolahasta's
posture, a pose resembling the tail of a horse. She wears necklaces and an elaborate
waistband. Her face, a thing of ethereal beauty, projects a look of calm contentment. A parrot
is perched upon the lotus Andal Devi holds in her hand. Her parrot is believed to be a
harbinger of good luck.
Andal Devi was a follower of Vaishnavism Bhakti and the only female saint among the
Twelve Alvars of South India. An ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu, Andal Devi is often
compared to Mirabai, the famous devotee saint of North India, who sacrificed her life of
material comforts to lose herself in the divine love for Krishna. Andal Devi lived in the 9thcentury, well over a thousand years ago, but even today, her unique iconography finds its
own niche in various forms of Indian art, especially sculpture.
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