historian Partha Mitter, when writing his oft-cited masterpiece ‘Much Maligned
Monsters,’ explained that European and Victorian sensibilities wrongly assumed
the significance of Indian art – when they came across depictions of four or
eight-armed gods and goddesses, often in striking and fierce moments
vanquishing demons, Westerners thought that we had an underdeveloped sense of
reality, and that our ‘savage’ livelihood needed to be civilised according to
their tastes and aesthetics. Imagine their fright then if they would have come
across this imaginative visualisation from the ’sthapati’ from Swamimalai!
However, we can realise his artistic and religious genius in presenting to us what is perhaps the most unique iteration of Ganesha one would come across. Ganesha, as our beloved lord of auspicious starts and the remover of obstacles, is usually visualised in thirty-two forms as listed in the Ganesha-centric scripture Mudgala Purana. These forms are always individually realised, as is the case with the various sculptural representations present at the temples of Nanjangud and Chamarajanagar. Moreover, Ganesha is also associated with 108 names; a number which is deeply auspicious for Hindu religion. The artisan, therefore, has provided us with a hugely impressive and massive fifty-four-inch Ganesha – embodying all his 108 names and characteristics in a single figure.
The totality of this sculptural masterpiece is a triad of three figures standing
proud on an elaborately raised pedestal. The two flanking pot-bellied figures
carry a basket of twenty-one ‘modak,’ a sweet famously favoured by Ganesha as
‘Modarpriya,’ and a large mango. The mango alludes to the instance when Sage
Narada mischievously offered a single mango between Ganesha and Kartikeya and
challenged that whoever would circle the world three times and come first would
get to enjoy the fruit. While Kartikeya quickly hopped on his ‘vahana,’ the
peacock, Ganesha respectfully took three rounds of Shiva and Parvati,
proclaiming them to be his world, and ultimately won the fruit.
figure of the divine zoo-anthropomorphic, elephant-headed god exquisitely
staggers belief and minutely presents every single attribute associated to
Ganesha. Standing on a double-lotus pedestal, he adorns an elaborate,
multi-tiered ‘mukuta’ along with distinct jewellery and tassels spread over his
shoulders, belly, and feet. A large ‘prabhamandala’ is attached to the back of
the ‘mukuta,’ symbolising his divine halo. A diaphanous ‘dhoti’ covers his
thighs. Ganesha’s iconic trunk is curled around a jar of ‘amrita’ or elixir,
the sweet nectar of the gods that was procured during the ‘samudra manthan’ –
the great churning of the ocean. Moreover, the fact that Ganesha’s trunk is
curled to the left is also symbolic, for that represents the blissful and
peaceful qualities of the Moon and signifies material gains and prosperity.
Another element of the trunk is the absence of one of his tooth/tusks – an
episode from when he purposely broke it to use as a writing instrument for
completing the manuscript of the Mahabharata that sage Vyasa was narrating (the
‘Ekdanta’ aspect of Ganesha has various legends associated with it).
two prominent forehands are in the two gestures of ‘abhaya’ and ‘varada’ – the
right hand dispels fear from the hearts of the devout and the left-hand grants
boons to the righteous. Two distinct groups of hands can be ascertained behind
Ganesha. The inside circle of hands does not carry any attribute, but their
gesture of being in the ‘kartarimukha’ – that which holds an attribute between
the index and the middle figure – acknowledges their symbolic idea. The outer
rim of hands carries his attributes, and these include the goad, mace, trident,
lotus, noose, flag, sword, musical drum, war discus, conch, bow and arrow,
ABOUT HINDU GOD GANESHA
There is much to Lord Ganesha that charm the senses and the soul. Exotic India's lifelike Ganesha sculptures bring it out to perfection. The Hindu boy-god is widely adored for His innocence and His generosity with divine blessings. His childlike appeal lies primarily in His love of laddoos, a quintessential Indian sweetmeat, without which His iconography remains incomplete. He is usually portrayed as Chaturbhuja Ganesha (Sanskrit for 'four-armed'). In one hand He holds a miniature goad or a noose, a weapon He wields over the adharmi; in another His only tusk, with which He wrote the Mahabharata; in another He holds a pot of laddoos; while the palm of His final hand is turned erect and outward in the gesture of blessing.
Exotic India has a vast collection of not just the four-armed Ganesha, but also the sixteen-armed and the dancing Ganesha. There are many sides to His personality, each to bring out a different facet of the devotee's spiritual makeup. The son of Ma Durga, Ganeshaji is a ferocious warrior and boasts of invincible skill that conquers the adharmi. With Shiv ji His father, He breaks into a divine dance routine that becomes His child's limbs and demeanour. An important aspect of Ganesha ji is the trident mark on His forehead, indicative of His father in Whose iconography the trident is indispensable. In some portrayals, He sits with His plump form hunched up over the Mahabharata, the very picture of singular focus.
From exquisite, richly inlaid brass pieces to endemic South Indian bronzes, our Ganesha murtis come in diverse forms and sizes. Whether you need a resplendent murti for your altar or a small work of art for your website, Exotic India's painstakingly sourced collection will not disappoint you.
WHAT IS PANCHALOHA BRONZE AND HOW TO TAKE CARE OF IT ?
Bronze is a metal alloy that has the primary composition of Copper and Tin. There is also an addition of other metals such as Manganese, Aluminium, Nickel, and some non-metals such as Phosphorus. This composition of several metals and non-metals makes Bronze an extremely durable and strong metal alloy. It is for this reason that Bronze is extensively used for casting sculptures and statues. Since Bronze has a low melting point, it usually tends to fill in the finest details of a mould and when it cools down, it shrinks a little that makes it easier to separate from the mould.
" If you happen to have a bronze statue, simply use a cotton cloth with some coconut oil or any other natural oil to clean the statue. "
A village named Swamimalai in South India is especially known for exceptionally well-crafted Bronze icons of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The skilled artisans of this place use Panchaloha Bronze for casting the icons. Panchaloha Bronze is made of five metals; Copper, Zinc, Lead, and small quantities of Gold and Silver. Zinc gives a golden hue to the finished figure and Lead makes the alloy softer for the easy application of a chisel and hammer. The common technique for producing these statues and sculptures is the “Lost-wax” method. Because of the high durability of bronze sculptures and statues, less maintenance is required, and can still last up to many decades.
Exotic India takes great pride in its collection of hand-picked Panchaloha Statues. You will find the murtis of Gods (Krishna, Hanuman, Narasimha, Ganesha, Nataraja, and Kartikeya) and Goddesses (Saraswati, Lakshmi, Durga, and Parvati), and Buddha statues. You can also buy Ritual paraphernalia (Wicks lamp, Puja Kalash, Cymbals, and Puja Flag) on the website. All these statues and items have been made with a lot of care and attention, giving them a flawless finish. Their fine carving detail represents the rich tradition of India.
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