Mardhini (Nepal)

Standing on her Lion vahana and on the severed body a Buffalo, a shape the demon Mahisha took, the Goddess Mardhini is graceful, nonchalant and serene.

Mardhini’s pose gives no indication of the event that took place earlier, the decapitation of the buffalo’s head now lying between the lion and Mahisha.  Or the drama that is taking place, her plunging Trishul into Mahisha’s chest. The act is captured by the aggression of her vahana, her raised the right upper hand with a drawn sword, her plunging the Trishul, her lower left hand yanking Mahisha and Mahisha getting ready to pull his sword/dagger. It is all action.

Mardhini is shown with ten hands and each hand with different attributes. The attributes are not discernible. Her ornamentation is complete.

Worshipping of  Mardhini in this form is popular in Nepal and I have seen several examples including wooden and stone sculptures. This site has another example from Nepal and that one is with eighteen arms.

The ‘bronze’ (repousse) is about 6.5 cm in height. The remnants of gilding are visible. This may have been part of a Torana and may date to the eighteenth century or earlier.


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