Prabhavali (Chandraprabha)

Normally the Prabhavalis for bronze Vigrahas have patterns, floral decorations, flames…and not human figures. Here is an exception.

The circular prabhavali features two ladies pouring water over the central figure (now missing). The circular prabhavali is supported by two prongs.

Some of the Vigrahas from Telugu speaking areas have figures on the prabhavali. An example is pending to be published.

There are Vigrahas from Kerala where the central deity is being purified by the ladies pouring water. See one such example below. It is from the book Art of the Indian subcontinent from Los Angeles collections 1968 by J Leroy Davidson. Page 63 and figure 85.

When it comes to stone sculptures, it is not uncommon to see the surrounds of the central figures have other figures. Kinaras and Kinanaris with garlands is probably one of the common themes. Found an example of a stone sculpture where such Abhishek is being performed. The deity is Karthikeya and the sculpture is attributed to Uttar Pradesh. It is dated to the eighth-ninth century.

From the book Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum Volume I (Art from the Indian Subcontinent), 2003 By Dr Pratapaditya Pal.

The prabhavali, the subject of this blog, is about 13 cm in height. It is most likely from North India. It may be dated prior to the nineteenth century.


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