The name Rshabha, pronounced and widely spelt as Rishabha, translates to bull. While it could be an epithet for Shiva, Rishabha Devar is considered by many to be the first tirthankara of Jainism, Lord Mahavira, or an avatara of Lord Shiva Himself. Understandably, the iconography of Rishabha Devar is quite dated.
The standing murti of Rishabha Devar that you see on this page is made from panchaloha bronze. Panchaloha is a blend of five (‘pancha’) different alloys of iron (‘loha’) and takes a great deal of skill to work with. The lost-wax process, expounded in the texts as madhuchista vidhana, is what lends such proportions of detail to the composition, which is otherwise a simple standing murti.
Note the lifelike musculature of the loincloth-clad Rishabha Devar. The stance of His right hand is as if resting on the back of His companion, Nandi. Minimal adornment. The feet crossed upon the pistil of the traditional upturned-lotus pedestal. Sharp features, set off by the characteristic turban on the head. The earth-coloured finish with undertones of coppery blue makes for a superb aesthetic.
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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