28-ft Nataraja sculpture

Context:  Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Why in NEWS

A 28-foot Nataraja statue, meant to be placed at the venue of the G-20 Leaders’ Summit to be held next month in New Delhi, was sent by road on Friday from Swamimalai, a small town in Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur district, known for its bronze sculptures.

The statue

Weighing 19 tonnes, and made of eight metals: gold, silver, lead, copper, tin, mercury, iron and zinc (Ashtadhatu), is believed to be the world’s tallest Nataraja sculpture.

The Nataraja sculpture is a depiction of the Hindu god Shiva as the cosmic dancer. It is one of the most important and iconic images in Hinduism, and it is found in temples and other religious places all over India.

The Nataraja sculpture

The sculpture typically shows Shiva dancing in a ring of flames, with his four arms in different mudras (symbolic gestures). His right front hand holds a damaru, a small drum that represents the sound of creation. His left front hand is in the abhaya mudra, which is a gesture of protection and fearlessness. His right back hand holds a fire torch, which represents destruction. His left back hand points down to a dwarf, which represents ignorance.

The Nataraja sculpture is a complex and multi-layered symbol. It represents the cyclical nature of the universe, with Shiva as the force that creates, destroys, and renews. It also represents the power of dance and music to transform the world.

The Nataraja sculpture is a masterpiece of Hindu art and sculpture. It is a powerful and evocative image that has inspired artists and thinkers for centuries.

Here are some of the key symbolisms of the Nataraja sculpture:

  • The ring of flames represents the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.
  • The damaru represents the sound of creation.
  • The abhaya mudra represents protection and fearlessness.
  • The fire torch represents destruction.
  • The dwarf represents ignorance.
  • The dance itself represents the cosmic dance of Shiva, which is said to sustain and destroy the universe.

The Nataraja sculpture is a profound and complex symbol that has been interpreted in many different ways. It is a reminder of the interconnectedness of all things, the power of transformation, and the importance of dance and music in the human experience.

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