The word ‘Mahabalipuram’ translates to a vivid picture in the Indian psyche. The stone temples and monuments of the region of Mahabalipuram, a short distance from the city of Chennai, are a fine example of the Indian aesthetic imagination that stands strong even today. The murti of mooshaka-seated Ganesha that you see on this page is proof of the same.
‘Mooshaka’ is the Sanskrt word for a tiny rat. However, the vahana or divine mount of Lord Ganesha is by no means tiny. It supports the plump deity on its back, the stance of its legs and neck and tail as powerful and lifelike as any other (creature and/or vahana). Poised upon a flat-topped engraved plinth, it is a visually integral part of the composition. The chaturbhujadhari Lord gazes straight ahead with a chubby hand raised in generous blessing. Gigantic elephant ears are flapping on either side of His wise and innocent head and the end of His trunk curls in a lifelike manner around the amrta-kalasha.
This Ganesha murti has been sculpted from granite, a medium known for its stubbornness and unsubmissive texture. A lot of skill as well as shraddha has gone into this flawless composition. The sheer proportion of details - in terms of shringar and engraving - that the artisan has introduced with the help of the bitone colour distinction, makes this a collectible.
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