SANTANA LAKSHMI CARVING
This intricately carved wooden chariot piece of a Santana Lakshmi – goddess of fertility and bestowing offspring, one of the eight manifestations of Lakshmi (Ashta Lakshmi) was once a part of a chariot. Santana Lakshmi is also believed to protect infants from all the diseases.
Temple cars or chariots also called as “Rathas” are vehicles used to carry idols of Hindu gods in processions on annual festival days. These are usually made of wood and in most cases have exquisite and intricate carvings on multiple set-in panels. The carvings can be images depicting stories from puranas, deities, mythical animals like Yali, ganas, dancers, real animals etc.
Rathas from different parts of India vary in style and size. These rathas decorated with flowers and jewels are pulled with thick ropes by hundreds of devotees. The anglo-Indian term “Juggernaut” was inspired by the large temple cars at Jagannath temple, Puri. The chariot at Thiruvarur, Tamil Nadu is said to be the largest – 29 metres tall and weighing over 300 tonnes.
When these chariots get too old or need big repairs, they are replaced by new ones. These chariot pieces once were a part of the temple rathas. This wooden carving is a fine artefact to add antique look to your home decor.
The Antique Story