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Guru Gobind Singh is often depicted in paintings holding a ‘Baaj’. It is common knowledge that the Guru was known as “Chittay baaja wala” or, “Keeper of the White Falcon, but have you ever wondered why the choice of the Falcon? The Government Museum & Art Gallery, Chandigarh has a fascinating collection of Sikh art, and this painting is part of it. Falconry has been a popular sport amidst royalty, but to see it depicted with Guru Gobind Singh might take…

From the collection of:  National Museum, New Delhi What is it: A brass sculpture of a goddess holding a ladle in the right hand and a jewelled bowl full of rice in her left hand. Her bowl of grain represents the food and nourishment she offers. The iconography of Annapurna is given in the Agamas as a youthful goddess of red complexion having a face round like moon, three eyes, high breasts; the left hand carrying a vessel set with…

WHAT IS IT?   This sculpture of Ganesha, made of muscovite biotite schist  is believed to belong to the early 11th Century’s Pala Art School, and finds its origins in Bihar. “Pala” refers to the suffix in the name of rulers of the Pala Dynasty, which means, “protectors”. They were followers of Buddhism, and had a very strong hold in the Bengal and Bihar region. The Pala sculptural art is believed to bear influences from the Gupta period, and is recognised for the…

WHAT IS IT? ‘The Nataraja’ is one of the most important, visually thrilling forms of the Hindu god Shiva. Artists in Tamil Nadu, India began to make this form of Shiva in the early tenth century, with the patronage of king inspired by poetry written by ardent devotees and using skills in metal craft developed over hundreds of years. Once made and brought to life through ritual, Nataraja lived in the temple, moving out daily and during festivals, gracing his devotees…

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