The majestic Lord Ganesha is seated on an upturned-lotus throne. This chaturbhujadhari (the one possessed of four arms) figure seated in lalitasana is a widely loved and worshipped roopa (form) of the deity. What makes this a unique work of art is the medium in which it is fashioned and the finesse with which it has been executed. It is a panchaloha sculpture handpicked from the finest studios of Swamimalai, home of contemporary traditional-style bronze sculptures.
To begin with, panchaloha is the name given to the unique alloy medium. It is made up of five (‘pancha’) different kinds of alloys of iron (‘loha’), which accounts for the characteristic colour finish. It is not only the medium but also the iconography that has distinguished Southern handiwork for centuries: from the Lord’s shringar to the peacock brackets and the temple-style prabhavali (aureole).
Zoom in on each aspect of this murti to appreciate the finesse of the work, achieved through the lost-wax process (expounded in the Agamas as ‘madhuchista vidhana’). The realistic curve of Ganesha’s long trunk, the lifelike stance of His chubby child’s limbs and pot belly. The little mouse, His vahana (divine mount), is at His feet and holds up a laddo as offering.
WHAT IS PANCHALOHA BRONZE AND HOW TO TAKE CARE OF IT ?
Bronze is a metal alloy that has the primary composition of Copper and Tin. There is also an addition of other metals such as Manganese, Aluminium, Nickel, and some non-metals such as Phosphorus. This composition of several metals and non-metals makes Bronze an extremely durable and strong metal alloy. It is for this reason that Bronze is extensively used for casting sculptures and statues. Since Bronze has a low melting point, it usually tends to fill in the finest details of a mould and when it cools down, it shrinks a little that makes it easier to separate from the mould.
" If you happen to have a bronze statue, simply use a cotton cloth with some coconut oil or any other natural oil to clean the statue. "
A village named Swamimalai in South India is especially known for exceptionally well-crafted Bronze icons of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The skilled artisans of this place use Panchaloha Bronze for casting the icons. Panchaloha Bronze is made of five metals; Copper, Zinc, Lead, and small quantities of Gold and Silver. Zinc gives a golden hue to the finished figure and Lead makes the alloy softer for the easy application of a chisel and hammer. The common technique for producing these statues and sculptures is the “Lost-wax” method. Because of the high durability of bronze sculptures and statues, less maintenance is required, and can still last up to many decades.
Exotic India takes great pride in its collection of hand-picked Panchaloha Statues. You will find the murtis of Gods (Krishna, Hanuman, Narasimha, Ganesha, Nataraja, and Kartikeya) and Goddesses (Saraswati, Lakshmi, Durga, and Parvati), and Buddha statues. You can also buy Ritual paraphernalia (Wicks lamp, Puja Kalash, Cymbals, and Puja Flag) on the website. All these statues and items have been made with a lot of care and attention, giving them a flawless finish. Their fine carving detail represents the rich tradition of India.
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