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Hindu Goddess Sculpture Found
Posted In: Other Exciting News  9/4/09
By: Yona Williams

Kashmir is the location where a recently uncovered sculpture of the Hindu goddess Gajalakshmi was found. Seated on a lotus throne between two lions, archeologists state that the style and design is that of Gandhara, which has connections to ancient Buddhist traditions. In this article, you will learn more about this discovery, as well as the goddess.

Archeologists located the ancient sculpture depicting the goddess of wealth in the Nagbal Lesser village situated in Jammu and Kashmir. It serves as a significant find because it dates back to the 6th or 7th century. From its color to the quality of craftsmanship, the sculpture is a fine specimen. Comprised of brownish limestone, it now resides at the office of Archives Archaeology and Museum in Srinagar so that additional examination can take place. In the future, the sculpture will be put on display at the Sri Pratap Singh Museum.

Measuring nine inches tall and five inches wide, the statue seats on a lotus throne between two lions, while the main sculpture is found inside a stone frame. Detailing showcases the shape of elephant motifs pointing towards the head of the deity. In her right hand, the goddess holds a lotus. In her left hand, there is a cornucopia. Additionally, drapery covering the lower part of the sculpture is not placed behind the shoulder but is instead wrapped around in pleats below the chest of the goddess.

The sculpture sheds light on the skill of ancient Kashmiri artisans, as seen in the carving and costumes of the pieces. The details and style of the artwork most likely belongs to the Gandhara School of Art – founded in the 1st century BC. It is believed that the Gandhara artists, who had a profound effect on the artists in Kashmir, enhanced the theme. A historian remarked that the type of costume displayed on the sculpture illustrates influences from Greek and Indian culture.

To date, this is the only sculpture that has come from the Lesser Kokernag region. The Lesser village did show the presence of pottery connected to ancient settlements. Who knows what else archeologists will come across next.

Who Is Gajalakshmi?

Gajalakshmi represents one of the most important aspects of the goddess Lakshmi, who is known by many different names. The 'Gaja' part of Gajalakshmi refers to the goddess when she is seated on a lotus with elephant situated by her side. Usually, the elephants are seen pouring water over the goddess using their trunks. This act is meant to signify good fortune, prosperity, and abundance. Throughout the Hindu and Buddhist culture, Gajalakshmi is a common icon. One of the earliest depictions of the goddess have been traced back to a coin from the 3rd century.


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