Visitors to Government Museum on Sunday can see Lord Shiva in his many forms and postures.
As part of World Heritage Day celebrations, the Museum has put together an impressive collection of Chola bronze idols of the Hindu deity.
On display at the two-day exhibition, inaugurated on Saturday, is an idol of Chandrasekara, who stands erect with four hands which hold the usual attributes — axe (‘parasu’) and an antelope (‘mrga’) — and the crescent moon conspicuous in his ‘jatamakuta’ (matted hair made up in the form of a headdress).
According to a curator of the bronze section of the museum, the deity’s usual ornaments are necklaces, armlets, anklets and a girdle. In the north, the trident is common.
In some of the idols, Shiva is seen with his consort Parvati as Pradoshamurthi, Umamaheswara, Umasahita (where he is seated in the padmasana along with Parvati). In another display, he is represented as Kalyanasundara in which he is seen holding the right hand of Parvati.
All the idols, with the exception of the Veenadhari Dakshinamurthi, belong to the 12 and 13 centuries and are likely to be from Tanjore and Nagapattinam areas, the curator said. The idol of Dakshinamurthi, the teacher and inspirer of the mystic truth belongs to the Chola–Pallava transition period.
The exhibition was inaugurated by R. Kannan, principal secretary, tourism, culture, HR and CE and museum departments.