This shrine is a portable altar, meant to be taken with the traveller.
The two compartments house Ganesha (our left) and Hanuman (right). Ganesha is accompanied by his vahana a mouse, near his right knee. There is a Linga (aniconic form of Shiva) and a bull, Shiva’s vahana, near Ganesha’s left knee. It is Ganesha worshipping Shiva. On the right, Hanuman is trampling a human figure. Hanuman is shown in the Veera Anjaneya pose and is carrying, possibly, Dronagiri mountain on his left hand. There is a human figure to his left.
The inside of the doors shows two human figures in what appears to be Yoga position. Or they may be offering to the deities. There are two lions on the legs of the case.
The door on our left side is a replacement. The outside of the other door has some etching. Not deciphered yet.
The closed position shows loops on either side. This case may be meant to be worn around one’s neck. It is quite heavy though.
Normally you see such travelling shrines made of wood. This is the first metal one that I have come across.
When fully open this measures 22 cm end-to-end. It is about 9 cm in height. It is, most likely, from Western India. This definitely shows age and use. This may date to the eighteenth century.
Lovely patina. Great subject. A delightful folk piece. One of my favourites. Well, one of my many favourites.