Vaishnavi (Kerala)


This is Vaishnavi, the female energy of Vishnu, from the Kerala region. Vaishnavi is also one of the Saptamatrikas (seven mothers). Her upper hands are holding chakra (wheel) and shankha (conch shell). Typical attributes of Vishnu. Note the Chakra’s shape.Vaishnavi back

Vaishnavi’s lower hands are in Abhaya (protection) and Varada (boon bestowing) mudra. She is seated in padmasana on a circular base which in turn is supported by a thin rectangular platform. The prabhavali is broken,

The rich ornamentation and the layering of ornaments are also typical of Kerala bronzes.

H K Sastri in his book on South Indian Images of Gods and Goddesses, page 191, identifies this Devi as Durga.  Some refer to her as Vishnu Durga because of the attributes.  The identification as Vaishnavi is as per traditions in Kerala.

The bronze is about 6 cm in height and may date to the eighteenth century or a bit earlier.



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