(Indian Museum, Kolkata)
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  • The noblest creation of the artistic genius of South India is Siva Natararja which illustrates the process of world creation and destruction in the term of rhythmic dance. Encircled with a halo of flame the figure of Nataraja is holding a damaru by his upper right hand thereby bringing about creation. The upper left bears the all-consuming flame from which proceeds destruction. The lower right hand is in abhaya mudra (the gesture of protection) while the lower left in gajahasta pointing to the raised left foot which symbolizes deliverance. The right foot is trampling upon the dwarfish figure of evil personified, apasmara purusha.
  • The beautiful Somaskanda group shows together a four-armed Siva, Skanda and Parvati. Siva is seated in sukhasana and holds by his upper left hand a mriga (deer) and by the upper right a parasu. His lower left hand shows the vitarka mudra, while the lower right is in the abhaya mudra. The small figure of Skanda is standing in the middle with lotuses in his two hands. The figure of Parvati is seated in lalitasana on a separate lotus showing varada mudra by her left hand.
  • It is a percussion musical instrument. A designed circular drum is suspended from a circular wooden frame. A decorated brass piece is present on the top of the wooden frame. Both the sides of the drum are covered with parchment and each side is decorated with three animal figures painted with multicolour paints. The wooden frame has four curved legs. The edges of the wooden frame are strengthened by brass rings. Two sticks are hung on two sides of the wooden frame. The drum sticks are wooden and decorated with designed brass pieces near the heads as well as at the ends.
  • It is made of iron. The upper part of the stirrup is oval in shape and placed perpendicular to the foot rest. The foot rest is also oval in shape. The upper part of the stirrup is designed with two dragon motifs. The lateral sides of these are also decorated with designs made by inlaid brass work.
  • It is a carved wooden figure of a male, in standing posture, on a rectangular shaped pedestal. The figure is carved out of a single piece of wood. The conical shaped headgear, dresses, ornaments are executed by engravings. In three valleys in northern Pakistan at the eastern extremity of the Hindukush are a few small permanent villages of Khalash. They maintain their own traditional religion although surrounded by Muslims, own language and a complex system of ritual and belief.
  • It is a string musical instrument. The resonator is made of gourd while the rest of the body is made of wood. The entire body is decorated with inlaid ivory work. Five pegs with lion motif are tied with iron strings.
  • It is a model of a boat. It has flat bottom. The anterior end of the boat is pointed while the posterior end is little wide. Two curved wooden pieces, having leafy designs and lacquered with golden colour are attached at two sides of the posterior end. The outer surface of the boat has painted designs. Two ends are painted with leafy designs.
  • The Kareava are carved wooden human figures. This life-sized standing image has one hand raised upwards as if holding a spear to throw. The face is coloured red while the hair and eye brows are painted black. Sclera of the eyes is white and the eye balls are black. The nose is flat and broad. Lips are thick and broad. Ear studs and bead necklace are present. The image has a frightening expression. The Nicobarese are the most significant tribal population in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Usually the Kareava are kept at the entrance of the house of the Nicobarese in memory of the dead and also to scare away malevolent spirits. Meat, pork and various kinds of cooked food are offered to them to ward off illness, disaster and death in the family. According to the people not only do they act as scare-devils but also as symbols of their profound love and respect for the deceased.
  • The Illustrated folio from Kalpasutra shows Tirthankara seated with apsaras. Kalpasutra deals with Panchkalyanakas, the five most auspicious events in the life of a Tirthankara- birth, lustration, renunciation, enlightenment and nirvana - salvation. Among the earliest surviving illustrated paper manuscripts in India are a copies of the jain manuscripts of the Kalpasutra or book of Ritual. The Kalpasutra is a canonical text of the Shvetambara white clad Jains written by Acharya Bhadrabahu in the 4th cent. B.E. It is the biographical account of Mahavira and other Tirthankaras or spiritual teachers of the Jainas, generally read and recited by devotees during their ten days of fasting known in Rajasthan in the month of Bhadrapada,(August and Sept.) The style of illustration is characterized by rigid and exaggerated sharpness and the use of monochromatic colours particularly lapis lazuli blue, gold, black and white. Jain patrons of the 15th century preferred very opulent illustrations richly painted in gold. A particularly stylistic feature is the eye that protrudes from the face in the three quarter profile.
  • The sculpture, possibly the capital of a pillar, represents a banyan tree, enclosed by a railing at the base and higher up by a bamboo fencing in the shape of a net work. The branches of the tree bear coin purse, a conch shell, a lotus and a vase overflowing with coins.