Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya

(Formerly Prince of Wales Museum of Western India)

Shiva

Shiva

Basalt
Parel, Mumbai
Maharashtra
Mid 6th Century A.D.
Gift of Smt. Kesharbai Sadanand Paralkar
96 x 41 x 18 cms. (Acc. No. 81.6/1)
Object of the month - February 2015

This image of Shiva was in active worship until very recently in the Baijanath Mahadeva temple at Parel, about 12 kilometres north of the museum. Stylistically, it is similar to the sculptures at Elephanta and belongs to the same period i.e. 5th- 6th Century A.D.

The image is carved in conformity with the then prevalent Western Indian style sculpture, which was a continuation of the Gupta idiom.

We have here, a well-proportioned body standing erect in a position of perfect balance. It is lightly decorated with a string of beads around his neck and twisted hair on his head. His eyes are in a meditating state and the third eye, a distinctive iconographic feature of Shiva images is also present. His right hand holds a trident and the left is akimbo. His dhoti, tightly curled into a rope at the waist forming a central loop in front, connects this image to the family of sculptures from Shamalaji in Gujarat. The face of the tiger on the vyaghracharma (tiger skin) draped around his waist is distinctly carved on the right thigh.