VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Surya
Acc. No. 50.178
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This is one of the finest sculpture from famous Sun temple of Konark of 13th century. It was the creation of the Eastern Ganga rulers. It forms a completely different regional style depicting sharp facial features, movement in otherwise static posture, and graceful modelling of the body.

History of the Object
This is one of the finest sculptures from the Sun temple of Konark and may have once been installed for workship in the sanctum. Surya is depicted standing, holding full-blown lotuses in both hands, riding on a chariot driven by charioteer Aruna, drawn by seven galloping horses. The deity is flanked by attendant figures; Danda and pingala on one side and his consorts, Chhaya (Shadow) and Suvarchasa on the other. The figure is surrounded by a decorative arch that adds beauty to the image. Surya is the source of light, warmth, life and knowledge, and is the solar deity the early period of Rigveda. Before the 5th century and as the solar cult was strongly influenced by the Zoroastrian cult of Iran, images of Surya was dressed in tunic, girdle and high boots, with a dagger in his hand, and only four horses drew his chariot. It was only from the Gupta period onwards that images were 'Indianized' as we see in this image.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Khondalite stone 
Measurements
189.2 x 89 x 40.5 cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Konark, Orissa 
Geography
India 
Time period
AD 13th century ~ AD 13th century 
Creation date
13th Century CE 
Function
Hinduism Ritual  
Acquisition
On loan from Archaeological Survey of India through department of Archaeology Eastern Circle,Kolkata  
Copyright
National Museum,New Delhi  
Acknowledgements
National Museum,New Delhi  
Owner
National Museum,New Delhi 
Museum
National Museum-New Delhi 
Credit line
National Museum,New Delhi 

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