Annapurna (Seated)

Annapurna

Delightful miniature bronze of a goddess sitting with a ladle in her right hand and a bowl/container in her left hand. She sitting in Padmasana.

She is supported by a rectangular Bhadrapeetha. There are holes in front and back of pedestal’s verticals. Not sure as to the purpose. In larger processional bronzes, such holes are provided to tie the bronze to the chariot or to open palanquin.annapurna-back

It is quite likely this is Annapurna. The more common iconography of Annapurna is her sitting holding ladle across her body, running from right hand to left hand. See other examples on this site, Annapurna and Standing Annapurna.

The back view shows her wearing Yajnopavitha, the sacred thread. There is a circular halo behind her head. An unusual feature.

This bronze is about 5 cm in height. It shows significant ritual wear and may date to the 19th century or a bit earlier than that. It is quite likely it is from Tamil Nadu, going by the high copper content of the bronze and styling.

H K Sastri in his book on South Indian Images of Gods and Goddesses, page 220, describes Tulaja Bhavani ‘who like Annapurna holds in one hand a vessel of delicious food and in another a spoon for distributing the same’. So far I have not come across any such bronzes or pictures of bronzes identified as Tulaja Bhavani.

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