Aiyanar

Seated in lalitasana (royal ease), this figure of Aiyanar is shown in a meditative posture with a yogapatta (waist band) tied around the knee. In this sculpture the arms of Aiyanar is seen to be striking the pose of a warrior hero. The matted hair and the sacred thread are characteristic of Aiyanar as a brahmachari (celebate mendicant). Aiyanar is the widely known gramadevata (village god) of Tamil people and his major shrines are around Madurai, Tanjore and Cuddalore districts in Tamil Nadu, South India. In most of these areas, he is the presiding deity in a temple complex shared by many other minor deities. He is seldom seen as a subordinate deity. Sometimes he is also depicted along with his two consorts.

Indigenous Name
Aiyanar
Date/Period
12th century
Region
Tamil Nadu, South India
Dimension
Object size: H:59.0 x W:41.5 x Depth:23.5 cm
Accession No.
1997-00779
Material
Granite
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Category
Sculpture