Lot 61
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20th century
North Karnataka

Height: 12 in (30.5 cm)
Width: 8 in (20.3 cm)
Depth: 4.5 in (11.4 cm)

The elephant or 'gaja' has been tamed and used as a mode of transportation since ancient times, as well as for other peaceful and martial purposes. Gods, kings and people of status have all appropriated elephants as their vehicles, as they are symbolic of abundance, strength, wisdom and royalty among other positive attributes. According to Hindu legend, Airavata was the first elephant, a pure white animal with four tusks and seven trunks who served as the 'vahana' or vehicle of the God of War and Thunderstorms, Indra.

In the present lot, a richly decorated elephant carries a mahout along with Khandoba and his consort Mhalsa ensconced in a domed howdah on its back. Khandoba, a deified 'vira' or folk hero- king also known as Khanderao and Malanna, is believed to be a form or incarnation of Lord Shiva. A popular family deity, Khandoba is worshipped in west and south India, and is the patron of farmers and warriors. Mhalsa is frequently worshipped along with Khandoba. In Pali, their ritual marriage is performed and commemorated annually, and in Jejuri, where the main Khandoba shrine is located, the couple is worshipped as one.

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  Lot 61 of 120  

26-27 FEBRUARY 2013

Rs 90,000 - 1,10,000
$1,735 - 2,120



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