Veerabhadra shrine

 

Veerabhadra shrine

This is Veerabhadra, Daksha and Sati. The shield in Veerabhadra’s left-hand blocks Sati. See the side view below.  Siva created Veerabhadra to punish Daksha. Sati is Siva’s consort. For more details, see another blog on Veerabhadra.Veerabhadra left

Here Veerabhadra is standing in tribhanga, a graceful pose for an Ugra Murthy (a ferocious aspect of Siva). He is holding sword, arrow, bow (part of it is broken) and shield. Clockwise, starting the lower right hand. He is also wearing an ankle length skull garland. He is wearing a full length lower garment with side flares. Quite typical of Western Deccan/North Karnataka.

He is wearing Paduka, platformed footwear. One of few South Indian deities to wear footwear. The other one is Palani Andavar (Murugan). The patterns on the footwear, multilayers and incision, shows the importance attached to this bronze.

The prabhavali is firmly attached to the base. Daksha and Sati (in Deccan referred to as Mahakali) are attached to the base of the veerabhadra-shrine-backprabhavali. Their hands are in Anjali mudra. They are much smaller in size compared to Veerabhadra. Untypical of South Indian bronzes, as normally consorts are about shoulder height of the main deity.

This bronze shows ritual wear. Notice the way the way the broken notch in his right footwear is worn smooth. This may not date earlier than the eighteenth century.Veerabhadra shrine right

The bronze is about 13 cm in height and it is from North Karnataka.

Though the myth of Virabhadra/Daksha/Sati is North Indian in origin (Daksha is a king from North West region of India), I am yet to come across bronzes of Veerabhadra from that North India. I have come across Siva/Sati bronze and more about it later. See below note added on 27 Nov 2017.

Other aspects worth noting are the way shield is held (relaxed and realistic), support for the shield (it does not touch the ground), multiple ridges and pattern on the prabhavali and pinched rectangular base, Bhadrapeetham.

27 Nov 2017: The Art of Eastern India, 300-800 by Frederick M Asher has a picture of Daksha, plate 208. That stone sculpture is in Patna Museum. Acc. No. 10822.

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