Ganesha (From Himachal?)

This Ganesha is sitting on an inverted lotus pedestal which in turn is supported by a multi-level pedestal of triratha (three faces) variety. Ganesha’s vahana, Mousika, is on the pedestal, near his left leg .

Two parallel pilasters are supporting the arch of the prabhavali. The outer pilasters have Gaja Yali motif. The inner pilasters are devoid of any decoration. There is a horizontal beam on top of the pilasters, a stylistic feature normally associated with bronzes from Himachal Pradesh. The arch is topped by a Kalasa, auspicious water pot.

Ganesha is sitting raja lalitasana. Ganesha is holding attributes in all his four arms and the attributes are not discernible due to wear. Even his trunk is worn and shortened.

Despite the rich design features, the open framework and composition makes sure nothing stands between the deity and the devotee. Battered, broken and worn but carries its aura and presence. A very warm Vigraha.

Ganesha is a pan Indian deity and often it is difficult to assign geographic region to them, as it is in this case. Here it was a toss-up between Chalukya period (open design, pillars) and Himachal Pradesh (absence of Kirtimukha). Based on an example from the book Antiquities of Himachal by M Postel, A Neven and K Mankodi, see the picture included, suggesting the Ganesha is from Himachal. The Ganesha is about 12.5 cm in height.

No matter where it came from, my guess is this may date to thirteenth century or earlier.

A survivour for sure and may be that is what we need for the time ahead of us.

Wishing you all good health.


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