Rama, Lakshmana and Sita

This is Lakshman, Rama and Sita, from our left to right. The identification is based on the grouping and the posture of Lakshman and Rama. The height differences identify Rama and Lakshman.

This is one of the examples where the Goddess identification is by association. The normal means of identification Lakshan (attributes), Vahana (vehicle), Bhanga (posture) and Mudra (gesture) does not give a unique result. Bhu Devi and Parvati’s iconographies are similar to that of Sita.

This grouping became popular after the Vijayanagar period and is popularly known as Ram Durbar. Normally Hanuman is also part of this set. Somewhere they got separated.

Notice Lakshman is carrying two quivers. Normally you see him carrying two sets of bows and quivers, when Rama is sitting in Durbar, for obvious reasons. Given that here Rama is standing and is ‘holding’ a bow and an arrow, that iconographic detail looks misplaced. For an example of Lakhman holding two bows and two quivers see Lakshman Ganga Jamuna.

Rama is about 17 cm in height. All three figures are quite worn and the noses are almost flat. The group merits attention for the quality of work.

This set of Vigrahas is most likely from North Deccan, Karnataka. This may be dated to the beginning of the nineteenth century.


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