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Size: 5 x 6.75 x 8.75 inches
Material: Brass
Origin: Tamil Nadu


This is an elephant vahana from Tamil Nadu in lost-wax cast brass. The elephant is God Indra’s mount, named Airavata. “It is also called 'abhra-Matanga', meaning "elephant of the clouds"; 'Naga-malla', meaning "the fighting elephant"; and 'Arkasodara', meaning "brother of the sun". According to the Ramayana, the elephant's mother was Iravati. According to the Matangalila, Airavata was born when Brahma sang sacred hymns over the halves of the eggshell from which Garuda hatched, followed by seven more male and eight female elephants. Prithu made Airavata king of all elephants.”
Airavata stands on a rectangular brass pedestal, which is decorated with engraved flowers and crosshatching designs at the front. At the sides, the flower designs repeat. Airavata wears a large engraved necklace and blanket with crosshatch designs across his back. The elephant’s trunk interestingly seems to “disappear” down into the plinth and then just the end of the trunk remerges out again - a wonderful playful touch by the sculptor!