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Antique Indian Chola Bronze Statue
Garuda and Hanuman

Origin: India. Circa: early 1900S'
H 12.6 in.(32cm.), W 6 in.(16cm.), D 5in.(13cm.)
Condition: excellent!

This rare Hoysala style bronze statue of Vishnu is fused with subtle Chola influences. Both empires were co-existent from the 10th to 14th centuries in Southern India and were equally a source for what is considered by many to be the epitome of Indian artistic acumen.

Private Collection

Vishnu is is known as the Preserver, the All-Pervading essence that exists outside of and within time. Here Vishnu holds a conch shell in upper left hand, which represents creativity. The Panchajanya is the originator of the five elements or Panchabhoota - water, fire, air, earth and sky or space. The sound that evolves from blowing this conch is the primeval sound of creation. The chakra, a sharp-spinning discus-like weapon, named "Sudarshana", is held by the upper right hand. The charka as a weapon thus indicates the necessity of destroying one's ego and illusory self-existence and developing the vision to identify the eternal truth. The discus has six spokes and symbolizes a lotus with six petals, thus representing the power that controls all six seasons. A mace or Gada, named "Kaumodaki", is held by the lower left hand. The mace symbolizes the primeval force from which all mental and physical strength is derived. A lotus flower or Padma is held by the lower right hand, which represents liberation or dispersion. The lotus symbolizes the power from which the universe emerges. On the pedestal on either side of Vishnu is Hanuman who is half man and half simian and Garuda who is half eagle and half man. Both are allies of Vishnu: Hanuman is the beloved ally of Rama, an avatar of Vishnu. Garuda, when gifted a boon by Vishnu becomes his mount through the heavens. During the Hoysala and Chola Dynasty, statues such as this one would have been kept deep within the precincts of the temple cared for by priests and then brought out on holy days. The rich patina of this bronze radiates the magnificence of the deity and is in excellent condition.

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