“Perumal”- the great Lord in Hindu tradition is the Tamil epithet for Sri Vishnu, the preserver god in Hinduism, who undertakes the herculean task of sustaining life on earth and maintaining an unwavering and eternal balance. Sri Vishnu is the supreme father- “Pita” on whom rests the responsibility for every life form. True to his nature, this humongous Perumal Vishnu Panchaloha bronze icon presents the preserver god in a firm posture, standing like a divine pillar that supports the Srishti (Universe). An ornate aureole with Makara (composite mythical animal, a symbol of divinity and royalty) curving on the pillars and Kirtimukha (face of glory) with Makara flanking it on the top, halos this stunning Sri Vishnu bronze, an artistic manifestation of Lord Perumal’s prowess in South Indian Vaishnava tradition.
Sri Vishnu Perumal in this Panchaloha
statue is standing on an inverted lotus in the “Sampada-sthanaka” posture, which magnificently brings out the balance and oceanic stillness embodied by Bhagwan
Vishnu. An elongated Kiritamukuta (Vaishnava crown) with delicate chains frames
the angelic visage of Lord Perumal, which is adorned by a U-shaped tilak
(auspicious mark), elegantly curving eyebrows, lotus eyes, sharp nose, and full
lips. Vishnu’s distinctive Makarakrita (Makara-shaped) Kundala (earrings),
intricately sculpted Ratna-mala (jeweled necklace), Skandha-aabhushana
(shoulder ornament), Baajubanda (arm bands), bracelets, Udarabandha (belly
belt), anklet and Makara-studded girdle (waist belt) fitting the stature of the
Lord of Universe Vishnu are attributes that further beautify this arresting
Perumal bronze. Highlighting Vishnu’s impressive physique is a three-stranded
Yajnopavita (sacred thread) that flows on his torso as three rivers meandering
across an unending (Ananta) landscape, and the Srivatsa, a triangular motif on the
right side of Vishnu’s chest that represents Sri Lakshmi.
Veiling the regal Yali (horse and lion
composite) on the aureole pillars of this Panchaloha Vishnu icon are Sri
Hanuman and Garuda, ornamented with fine jewelry, standing with their hands
folded in a devotional mood. Lord Hanuman, the famed devotee of Bhagawan Rama
is connected to all the incarnations of the preserver Lord on Earth, as his
divine aid in fulfilling the duties of protecting Srishti. The king of birds,
Garuda, on the other hand, is associated with the heavenly realm of Vishnu-
Vaikuntha, serving as its guardian and Bhagwan Vishnu’s mount.
On the pedestal of this bronze, the Perumal
murti are the miniature idols of Dashavatara- the ten incarnations of Sri Vishnu,
taken by the preserver Lord when his children were troubled by the forces of
evil and faced the danger of eradication. The first row depicts- Kurma
(tortoise) avatar, Narasimha (the man-lion form), Matsya avatar (fish
incarnation), and Varaha (wild boar-faced) incarnation. The second row on the
base of the pedestal presents the incarnations in separate arched brackets,
housing- Vamana (dwarf form), Parashurama, Rama, Balarama (Krishna’s elder
brother), Sri Krishna and Hayagriva (horse-faced) incarnation. Accompanied by
his 10 incarnations, guardians, and devotees- Hanuman and Garuda, and Sri Lakshmi
residing on his chest, this four-armed, Chaturbhuja roopa of Perumal Sri Vishnu
in pure Panchaloha bronze is an absolute and aesthetic representation of Chola
bronze iconography, that entrancingly assures the heart of the expansiveness
and powers of Lord Perumal.
Eternal Brilliance Unveiled: The Mystique of Panchaloha Bronze and Artful Maintenance Rituals
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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