Anjaneya (Terracotta)

Anjaneya or Hanuman, an ardent devotee of Rama, is shown here in the act of delivering Dronagiri mountain to Sri Lanka. The scene is from Ramayana. It is a well represented and popular theme.

The story: “Rama, Lakshmana and the army of monkeys that included Anjaneya get into a war with Ravana, King of Sri Lanka, in their effort to rescue Sita.

In the war, Lakshmana was injured by an arrow from Ravana’s son Meghnad. Lakshman was unconscious. The local medicines and/or the physician could not help. Hanuman was then asked to get Sanjeevani (restorer of life) plant available in the Dronagiri mountains.

Hanuman was not able to identify the medicinal plant and brings back the entire mountain. And that is the scene above. Lakshmana was revived with the medicinal plant . Rama, Lakshmana and the rest of the army then go on to win the war.”.

Anjaneya is wearing a full set of ornaments, the same as one we see for all the deities. His long necklace and the vanamala are among note-worthy features and so is the paduka (footwear). Anjaneya is carrying the mace (Gada) in his right hand and on the left hand is the mountain Dronagiri.

The terracotta plaque is 15.5 cm in height. Anjaneya is a Pan-Indian deity and there is nothing in the style to attribute this to any specific region.

It came in a lot with a group of Buddhist Tsa-Tsas and it is tempting to assign it to Nepal. Probably dates to the second half of the twentieth century. It is in good shape. It is meant for hanging as it is moulded with a notch at the back.

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