Vira Anjaneya

Veera Anjaneya

This is Vira Anjaneya, a form of Hanuman. The earliest known images of Vira Anjaneya are linked to the Vijayanagar Kingdom.

Here Hanuman is seen striding within a circular frame and his ornamentation is profuse (Tiara, necklaces, armband, wristbands, anklets, waistband…) and elaborate.

Among the features not be missed are the Vaisnavite symbols Chakra (Discuss) just below his upraised right palm and Shanka (Conch) at about his left elbow level, the dagger attached to his waist on his right, his trampling of demon Aksha Kumara, son of Ravana. (Thanks to Twitterati @Madhvahistory for the information about Aksha Kumara).

His right hand is in Abhaya mudra (protective gesture) and the left hand is carrying a tree branch.  The Vanamala, garland of flowers,  stretching below his knees is normally a feature of Vishnu especially in bronzes from North India.

One of the special features of this bronze is the ring on Hanuman’s right thumb. This may signify the ring Rama gave to be shown to Sita as the identity. The ring along with Aksha Kumara suggest this bronze depicts a scene from Ramayana, Hanuman destroying Ashoka Vatika where Sita was imprisoned by Ravana.

Some of the literature mention this form was used as a pendant around the neck.  Given the size (12cm across and 15 cm top-to-bottom) such use does not seem likely.

This is a cast bronze but the back side is hollow, giving the appearance of a repousse. Not that different to Veerabhadhara plaque on this site.

This bronze is fairly recent and well made. This may not date prior to the twentieth century. It could be from anywhere in South India, Karnataka being the most likely place.





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