Mahishasuramardhini

Madhini (Deccan)

This is Mahishasuramardhini, the slayer (Mardhini) of the demon (asura) Mahisha, who has taken the form of a buffalo.  Mardhini for short.Mardhini (Deccan) back

You can see Mahisha being pulled out of the buffalo’s body. Mardhini’s Trishul is about to be plunged into Mahisha’s chest. The severed head of buffalo is lying between him (buffalo’s body) and Mardhini’s vahana, a lion. The serenity on Mardhini’s face belies the drama of the scene. One author referred to this scene as ‘sublimated conflict’.

For details of Mardhini’s attributes and how she got them please see another blog, Mahishasuramardhini, on this site.

An interesting aspect of the bronze is the miscast Mahisha, the demon. See below.  Note his left side is miscast. Defects in casting may be not uncommon. It is rare to see such miscast bronzes survive for this long. Miscast bronzes are deemed unfit for worship and normally melted immediately.

This bronze is most likely from Karnataka or South Deccan. Realistic depiction of the torso, the prabhavali sporting Makara, Cobra and Kiritimukha and the presence of spurning lead to that regional assignment.

This bronze, including the Prabhavali,  is about 23 cm in height. This may date to the nineteenth century.Disfigured mahisha

 

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