Cast brass figures of Virabhadra (a fierce form of Siva), Daksha, the goat-headed figure who is on Virabhadra’s right and Sati, Siva’s wife and a daughter of Daksha, stands on the other side.
Virabhadra came into being after Daksha insulted his son-in-law Shiva, by not inviting him for Yagna (sacrificial worship). Shiva’s wife, Sati, subsequently committed suicide. Shiva createdVirabadra ass a form of himself and gave him an army to take revenge on Daksha. Virabhadra cut off Daksha’s head in a battle. The other gods persuaded Shiva to bring Daksha back to life. But Daksha’s head could not be found and so it was substituted with the head of a goat.
The central four-armed crowned figure of Virabhadra holds sword, arrow, bow and rectangular shield, clockwise starting from bottom right hand. Daksha is in Anjali mudra (offering oneself in devotion).
In Karnataka, Virabhadhra’s consort is identified as Mahakali instead of Sati. In this case, due to the legend about Virabhadra and the presence of Daksha, I have retained the reference to Sati.
It is five pieces freestanding cast brass shrine with three figures, a base and arch. (See the photo on the side and below).The figures fit into separate slots on a typical engraved, tiered South Indian base. The Prabhavali, arch, topped by a Kiritimukha and a five-headed naga canopy fits behind the figures. The figures fit rather loosely but the five pieces are part of the group.
Such freestanding shrines are far less common than cast or beaten Virabhadra plaques. There is significant worship related wear.
Comes from Karnataka and maybe as early as 18th century. Cast brass is typical of Western Deccan. The absence of Makara also indicates the Western Deccan origin.
Total height is about 19.7cm
A similar figure is in Victoria Albert Museum (Reference: A G Mitchell, Hindu Gods and Goddesses, 1982)