Legend of Hindu God Shiva as Tripurantaka

Tripurantaka is a form of Hindu God Shiva, the Destroyer.  As Destroyer of Evil, one of Shiva’s most pronounced legends tells of Shiva destroying 3 mythical cities known as Tripura.

Legend has it an evil demon by the name of Taraka had 3 princely sons. As they grew each served penance to Brahma, the great Creator, in order to get in his good favor.  They gained immense power in the process.  Pleased with them, Brahma bestowed on them each their own city in the sky.  These three fortresses were virtually impenetrable and they were granted life for a thousand years as they lived their lives in their great kingdoms.  Only by an arrow merging the three cities setting them ablaze could they be destroyed.  Armed with this immense power bestowed by Brahma, the three demon sons began to wreak havoc on the universe.   From cliff sides within their great citadels they would taunt and threaten the gods, mounting attacks from the sky.

Seeing no end to their harassment within their virtually impassable cities, the great Hindu Gods went to Shiva for help.  Lord Shiva agreed to help but waited for the perfect moment to strike.  Shiva created a bow, arrow, and chariot from pieces of the gods in order to mount his attack.  As he raced into the sky, Shiva hit the converged cities with a flaming arrow as Brahma steered the divine chariot.  The arrow was created from Hindu God Vishnu, protector and preserver of the universe, destroying the three cities and freeing the gods from the princes reign of torment.  Forgiving as he was, Shiva forgave the repenting princes and gave them each duties within his abode.  Originally Shiva devotees, he recognized their following of an evil path, but forgave them of their sins.  After destroying the cities, Shiva smeared the ashes of the three cities on his forehead.  This has become a widely known symbol of Shiva and devotees smear ash on their foreheads in his honor to this day.

Click here for more info on Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma.

How to Clean your South Indian Hindu Bronze Statue

“Because of the durability of the metal not much is needed to maintain a bronze sculpture.”   

Bronze is an extremely durable metal made from a combination of 5 metals; copper, iron, tin, with minute additions of silver and gold.  This combination is called Panchaloha bronze and is the basis for making the sacred Hindu temple statues of India and the world.  Copper is the most prevalent metal in the alloy.  Copper also gives the metal a softer composition that allows the bronze artisans to carve the details that are prevalent in each piece.    All the South Indian bronze statues Lotus Sculpture carries are Panchaloham and thus suited for any home altar or community temple.

Indian Bronze Statue with Verde Gris, green patina
Mahasaraswati South Indian Bronze Statue with verde gris patina
Indian Bronze Statues cleaned of Verde Gris with coconut oil
MahasaraswatiSouth Indian Bronze Statue cleaned with coconut oil.

Because of the durability of the metal not much is needed to maintain a bronze sculpture.  Many of our customers purchase a bronze statue and perform daily puja and abhisheka consisting of bathing the Hindu deity in ghee, milk, coconut milk or other liquids.  In this case nothing is needed to keep the statue clean as it will be bathed daily.  If the sculpture is used for “darshan” or simply viewing the sculpture it is best to dust the statue as needed so no dirt collects in the details of the sculpture. For both polished golden bronzes and antique patina bronze statues if you would like the sculpture to shine use a cotton cloth with some coconut oil or other natural oil to wipe down the piece as needed.

Many of our bronze Hindu statues have been placed in outdoor temples.  Bronze’s durability makes it perfect for cold winters and hot summers of any climate.  We suggest you bathe the sculpture every couple of months so that dirt does not collect on the sculpture and then use a cotton cloth with some natural oil to give the statue a shine.  Both indoors and outdoors a bronze statue can be left alone which, overtime, will give the bronze an antique patina.

On some bronze statues you can see small hints of lime green, verde-gris patina.  Some people prize this color for its age others want to remove it.  If you would like to remove the verde-gris use a tooth brush with some coconut oil or other natural oil and lightly go over the verde-gris.  This should remove the unwanted patina from the sculpture.

“If you would like the piece to shine use a cotton cloth with some coconut oil or other natural oil to wipe down the bronze statue.”

If you have any questions concerning your bronze statue please email us at [email protected] or call us at 1(760) 994-4455.

Owls in Bronze Country, Finding New Wood Artists!

I have just been looking over my photos from the small town where I buy my wood statues. Is it me or do Indians try to look as mean as they possibly can when taking pictures? I have always noticed this how some very happy people can suddenly turn their normally smiling faces into vacant spaces where their smile used to reside. Back to the wood…

As usual I have over done myself. I bought entirely too much wood. Way too much wood. Heaps and heaps of wood statues! It is a problem I have. I can never say no to a good statue.

Finally I have met my Hindu wood artists!

It took me 5 years of searching to find the small village where the majority of wood statues in India are produced. I met Natarajan (the unsmiling man to my right to the right of the nataraja statue) 4 years ago and have been dealing with him ever since. To be honest he is not my favorite artist to deal with. Nearly half of each visit is spent discussing price, something that after dealing with each other for 4 years should have taken a back seat by now… But his work is fantastic! Last year I ordered many larger statues that were finally completed this year. There is one 8 foot by 3 foot Ravana panel that is simply amazing as well as a 5 foot nataraja pictured above that I couldn’t take my eyes off of. In total I bought 10 statues over 7 feet. In the past ten years Lotus Sculpture has only carried 3 statues over 7 feet so this is big difference in our offerings. View a video of the wood carvers as they carve a Hindu God from wood.

I can never say “no” to a good statue

The heat has been borderline unbearable. Especially when you get away from the coast and take away the breeze. I was happy to leave Natarajan and head to Swamimalai Bronze country!

Muthu, although always smiling in person, his charm tends to fade in front of a camera

After a sticky 5 hour ride I arrived in Swamimalai and went directly to Muthu’s shop. Muthu is a lively old chap who doesn’t speak a lick of english but we get along just fine. His good cheer is infectious and a smile almost always on his face, with the exception of posing for pictures of course. He has run the bronze collective in the same house that his father ran before him. He now has three sons, two of which are working with him carrying on the family traditions that is part of the culture of Swamimalai. Swamimalai is known throughout India as the place where temple bronzes are made. For 10 years I have been coming here and I am now am familiar with most of the artists. Most I simply cannot deal with because they only see the color of my skin and thus the price increases by double. Muthu is a departure from normal bronze artists in that he sees me for me, rather than a walking dollar bill. For this I am grateful as I don’t ever have to question his pricing. His work speaks for itself. He has cast some amazing bronze Ganesh statues that are yet to be completed but I can tell they are going to be fantastic. I also bought from him a full set of the 32 forms of Ganesh that are 6″ tall. I have never seen the full set before and I practically jumped out of my skin when I saw them all. He also cast a beautiful 27″ Nataraja statue as well as a 30″ Krishna statue with a beautiful bronze that he has newly designed. I can’t wait for them to arrive in the warehouse in California!

After a long day I then went to eat in my favorite parotha shop. View parotha video. A parotha is a croissant-like flaky flat bread that you dip in some type of meat based sauce, usually chicken, that I can never get enough of. I then sat for 20 minutes looking up at 4 adolescent owls that are living in the attic of a building across the street from the parotha shop as they made calls for their mother to feed them. It was such a weird contrast to see 4 very wild animals living directly above the bustling streets….Life is everywhere in India!

Click here to View Hindu Wood Statues
Hand Carved by Natarajan!

View All Kyle’s Stories from His Travels and Meet the Artists!

Meet Jew, Thai Buddha Artist
Meet Balan, Indian Artist
Travel to Bali
South India Stone Artists
Bronze South India Artists
Kolkata Fiber Artists