Lakshmi Narayana (Folk)


Lakshmi Narayana HP

This is Vishnu standing next to Lakshmi. Vishnu is holding conch, lotus, mace and discuss/wheel, starting from lower right hand clockwise. Lotus and mace have long stem/handle. Conch and discuss are held with thumb and index fingers than with hands. Vishnu is wearing Vanamala (a term borrowed from South Indian iconography) going down to his ankle. He is wearing a full length lower garment. Ornaments visible include crown, earrings, necklaces, wristbands and armbands.Lakshmi Narayana HP back

The goddess is also crowned, hence goddess rather than a devotee. Her hands appear to be in Anjali mudra. Other ornaments include earrings, armbands, necklaces and waistband. The fact that she is standing in an ‘equal’ position to Visnu leads us to identify her as goddesses and Lakshmi.

Vishnu and Lakshmi are attached to the prabhavali with studs. The top of prabhavali has Kalasa and also to be noted are little side protrusions along prabhavali’s rim. The second picture shows hollowed back. Also to be noted is the off-centre positioning of the deities.  All the above features indicate that this bronze may be from Himachal Pradesh. The book Antiquities of Himachal by M Postel, A.Naveen and K.Mankodi has examples of Himachal bronzes with these features.

One other standing Lakshmi Narayana, of different style/size/nature, is in Norton Simon Museum. That is from Himachal Pradesh.

This bronze is about 9.5 cm in height and there is significant ritual wear. In terms of age, I think it dates prior to 18th century.

Below is a picture of Lakshmi Narayana stone sculpture I saw in Somanathapura, Karnataka. It is not a part of the temple and was being cleaned/preserved.

Lakshmi Narayana Somanathapura


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