Vahana and Yaalis - from the temples of India

The Jaya He, GVK New Museum has many Vahanas and Yaalis incorporated in the art installations, we have selected a few for our boards. During the temple processions ceremonial bronze images of the deity (utsavamurti) are carried beyond the temple compound on poles, on their animal vehicles or vahanas. The deity is placed on a chariot, which on its base has mythical composite animals called Yaalis, as protectors of the deity.
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#yaali or #vyala is a composite being that has the body of a lion and features of other animals such as elephants, crocodiles, snakes, and horses. The yaali embodies the characteristics of each of these animals – The yaali is usually represented with bulging eyes, a flame-like mane, fangs, and pronounced claws. It rears on its muscular hind legs as though poised for attack. These are usually foind on pillars of temples. #TamilNadu, #18-19century

#yaali or #vyala is a composite being that has the body of a lion and features of other animals such as elephants, crocodiles, snakes, and horses. The yaali embodies the characteristics of each of these animals – The yaali is usually represented with bulging eyes, a flame-like mane, fangs, and pronounced claws. It rears on its muscular hind legs as though poised for attack. These are usually foind on pillars of temples. #TamilNadu, #18-19century

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#yaali or #vyala is a composite being that has the body of a lion and features of other animals such as elephants, crocodiles, snakes, and horses. The yaali embodies the characteristics of each of these animals – The yaali is usually represented as a ferocious. These are usually found on pillars of temples. This particular yaali would have either been a bracket figure or a processional figure, alongside the utsavamurti of the deity.#TamilNadu, #19thCentury

#yaali or #vyala is a composite being that has the body of a lion and features of other animals such as elephants, crocodiles, snakes, and horses. The yaali embodies the characteristics of each of these animals – The yaali is usually represented as a ferocious. These are usually found on pillars of temples. This particular yaali would have either been a bracket figure or a processional figure, alongside the utsavamurti of the deity.#TamilNadu, #19thCentury

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This particular vahana represents Nandi, the divine mount of Shiva. The sacred bull is not only the deity’s devoted companion but also the leader of Shiva’s army and the gatekeeper of his celestial abode. As befitting his role, Nandi is depicted striding forward.#TamilNadu, #Kanchipuram district, #17th-18thCetury.

This particular vahana represents Nandi, the divine mount of Shiva. The sacred bull is not only the deity’s devoted companion but also the leader of Shiva’s army and the gatekeeper of his celestial abode. As befitting his role, Nandi is depicted striding forward.#TamilNadu, #Kanchipuram district, #17th-18thCetury.

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This figure of an #elephant bearing an elaborate canopied pedestal was designed as a processional #vahana or vehicle of a deity.#TamilNadu, #Chennai, district, Late #18thcentury

This figure of an #elephant bearing an elaborate canopied pedestal was designed as a processional #vahana or vehicle of a deity.#TamilNadu, #Chennai, district, Late #18thcentury

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This carved wooden horse would have served as the #vahana or vehicle of a deity – probably Sri Devi or various avatars of Vishnu.The horse is depicted as though in motion. The body of the horse would have originally been delineated in gold, and further embellished with variously coloured painted motifs. The deity would have been placed  atop the small pedestal affixed to the top of the horse’s saddle.#TamilNadu, #17thcentury

This carved wooden horse would have served as the #vahana or vehicle of a deity – probably Sri Devi or various avatars of Vishnu.The horse is depicted as though in motion. The body of the horse would have originally been delineated in gold, and further embellished with variously coloured painted motifs. The deity would have been placed atop the small pedestal affixed to the top of the horse’s saddle.#TamilNadu, #17thcentury

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This carved wooden horse represents the #ashvavahana or horse vehicle favoured by the god #Vishnu. #Karnataka, #18thcentury

This carved wooden horse represents the #ashvavahana or horse vehicle favoured by the god #Vishnu. #Karnataka, #18thcentury

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This particular vahana represents the mushika or mouse that is the beloved mount of the elephant-headed Hindu god, Ganesh. As befitting its role, the mouse is bedecked in ceremonial finery. #Karnataka, early #18thcentury

This particular vahana represents the mushika or mouse that is the beloved mount of the elephant-headed Hindu god, Ganesh. As befitting its role, the mouse is bedecked in ceremonial finery. #Karnataka, early #18thcentury

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This particular vahana represents the simham or lion, the chosen vehicle of the Great Goddess in her many manifestations.Small wings and luxuriant vines fan out from the lion’s muscled shoulders, indicating his celestial nature. The lion is bedecked in ceremonial finery.#TamilNadu, #Thanjavur district, #18thcentury

This particular vahana represents the simham or lion, the chosen vehicle of the Great Goddess in her many manifestations.Small wings and luxuriant vines fan out from the lion’s muscled shoulders, indicating his celestial nature. The lion is bedecked in ceremonial finery.#TamilNadu, #Thanjavur district, #18thcentury

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#yaali or #vyala is a composite being that has the body of a lion and features of other animals such as elephants, crocodiles, snakes, and horses. The yaali embodies the characteristics of each of these animals – The yaali is usually represented as a ferocious. These are usually found on pillars of temples. This particular yaali would have either been a bracket figure or a processional figure, alongside the utsavamurti of the deity

#yaali or #vyala is a composite being that has the body of a lion and features of other animals such as elephants, crocodiles, snakes, and horses. The yaali embodies the characteristics of each of these animals – The yaali is usually represented as a ferocious. These are usually found on pillars of temples. This particular yaali would have either been a bracket figure or a processional figure, alongside the utsavamurti of the deity

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This figure represents the mythical bird, the annapakshi. Its body and beak resemble that of the swan, while its elaborate plumage and crest derive from the peacock. In its beak, it holds a flowering vine, a symbol of abundance. This could be used as a #Vahana for #Shiva or his son #Murugan.

This figure represents the mythical bird, the annapakshi. Its body and beak resemble that of the swan, while its elaborate plumage and crest derive from the peacock. In its beak, it holds a flowering vine, a symbol of abundance. This could be used as a #Vahana for #Shiva or his son #Murugan.

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