No other image so powerfully conveys the essence of Indian culture. The silhouette is striking - a towering crown of a five-hooded snake, flaming locks that resemble snakes as they motion, and the statement mudra of the limbs. He is clad in a mere loincloth, while live snakes adorn His body. For the five senses, He bears the third eye (of deep consciousness), the naad-emanating damru, dhatura's aroma, the ash-smeared skin, and the poison of the Nilkantha. This Nataraja composition of flawless in terms of both iconography and aesthetics, and would be a great investment to make to your space. From the complex flame-laced aureole to the figure of ignorance at Nataraja's feet, and the gorgeous double-lotus pedestal, each aspect of this murti has been sculpted with great skill.
The lifelike beauty of her icon is unmistakable. The chaturbhuja (four-armed) deity is in the same asana as His devotee, etched against a characteristically carved wood panel. He has the pot belly and the dhoti, ornaments, and crown usual to His iconography. His vahana, the mouse, sits next to its master with its forepaws in the namaskaram mudra. More laddoes, their colour a rich tempting gold, have been placed at His feet by the devotee together with some bel leaves. Bel leaves also adorn the crown of the puja panel. The tree next to which she performs the puja is so laden with pristine blooms and soft, green buds that its branches lean and almost touch the icon. The most unusual aspect of this watercolour is how the deft brushstrokes of the skies give way to the loamy Indian earth.
A graceful tilak marks His temple, reaching all the way down to the base of His long curvaceous trunk. The adornment along the tapering length of His trunk is characterised by brief, rangoli-esque cruves. The eyes on either side of the trunk have all the vigour and innocence of a divine child. The features are given a natural gold-coloured finish that look amazing against the base tan of His complexion. The undulations of His gigantic ears are also coloured the same gold, making it look marvellously lifelike. Note the broken tusk on the left of His face, leading to the very telling name of Ekdanta (meaning 'single-toothed' in Sanskrit).
This Ganesha murti has a long torso, replete with the signature baby fat of His iconography. A long angavastram is draped over His shoulders, which cascades symmetrically down on either side of Him all the way down to His folded legs. The dhoti is tied way below the navel in order to make room for His pot belly, its silken folds as realistic as brass could get. The hands and feet of the deity are a matching gold tone, their delicate shape a fine example of endemic Indian workmanship. Do not miss the sumptuous laddoo on the palm of His left hand.
The Rishi Chyavana has been exalted in the Brahmanas, where the first mention of this sage is found. His stories abound in the Bhagavata Purana, the Padma Purana, and the Mahabharata. Apart from his severe austerities, he is known most widely for how his wife, Sukanya, wrested for him the boon of restored youth. In this watercolour he is shown sitting amidst the wilderness on verge of dusk, engaged in his worship of Devi Lakshmi's tatnric roopa. From each of the trees and foliage that populate the forest, to the moors and the clouds in the background, each aspect of this complex painting has been finished with great skill and attention to detail.
The endemic Bengali drawloom is the only one in the subcontinent to have the requisite mechanism for the multi-weft and multi-warp weave characteristic of figured silks, which explains the price and exquisteness of these sarees. Having traditionally been worn by the regional brides during their all-important wedding rituals and on the gorgeous autumnal Durgapuja festival, this relatively simple number stands out from the rest of the Balucharies in our collection. It is because of the prominence of the foundation green, what with the zariwork spaced out across the field. Teamed with your statement gold hand-me-downs, this is the perfect saree to wear on those post-wedding trips to the in-laws'.
Indeed, no other deity of the Hindu pantheon could have made a better scribe for the greatest epic known to humankind. While His appearance is not on par with the characteristic handsomeness of Indian deities, it is His adorably boyish form that devotees love. His pot belly gives away His undying love of laddoos (He is holding one at the tip of His trunk). His chubby limbs are every ready to break into dance or to be raised in blessing. The innocent elephant-head stands for all the gentleness and wisdom associated with the mortal animal. This one-of-a-kind wood-cut sculpture of the Lord depicts Him in the midst of a walk along divine pathways, with a kamandalu in one anterior hand and an ornate parasol in the other. Lotuses about to bloom are in His posterior hands. His befitting silks and shringar are matched by the glamour of the Kirtimukha aureole that frames the composition and the grandeur of the pedestal on which the same is placed.
The Devi is flanked by dharm and adharm. To Her right are Indradeva and young siddha. While Indra is a heavenly being in His vibrant red silk and pearly shringar, and the thousand eyes that grace His body; the siddha is the perfect mortal and dressed like one. To the left of Bhadrakali is an asura, whose tribe is at perpetual war with the devas. He is big and boorish; and while His adornments are no match for Indra, He is as much of the immortal realm as He is. All three stand before Bhadrakali with their palms joined in namaskaram, supplicating to Her because She is all-powerful and lords over the dharmic cycle itself. Note how the shades of Her halo blend with the moors painted in the background of the painting.
This saree is the colour of dense marigold petals, which shimmers from the pure silk it is made from. It is a solid colour, but for the long, tapering templetop motifs of the border jutting into the field. From everyday Tamil sarees to the one-of-a-kind Paithani numbers, the templetop-bordered saree is a traditional motif that never goes out of fashion in India, which means you cannot go wrong with this purchase. Teamed with some statement hand-me-down jewellery, this saree would look as good at poojas and havans as it would on weddings and parties.
She sits draped in thick garlands on a solid gold throne, over which lies the train of Her red silk saree. It is studded with pearls and emeralds like the ones on the chunky gold pieces adorning Her lobes and torso and limbs. From beneath the generously inlaid crown emerge the black ringlets of Her much-sung-about mane. In Her four hands are the symbols of life and plenty. Colourful flowers are strewn on the floors beneath Her throne. A plethora of pooja samagri has been strategically placed on the foreground: a basket of fresh fruits, a tall curvaceous diya, and a kalash.
The artist's skill could be deduced from the richly coloured background of the painting. Steady brushstrokes, layered one after the other, convey the powerful glow of Her gigantic halo. The red core emanating a circle of yellow light that gradually emerges into a dusky blue, gives the viewer an impression of the setting sun.
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