Bronze Sculptures Of Thanjavur Art Gallery

When I visited the Thanjavur Royal Palace, I was surprised to find that the Art Gallery had an extraordinary collection of antique bronze statues. Some deities were unique and unheard of, and they ranged from 9th Century to 19th Century. I am posting all the pictures I took, so it may be of some interest to you. Apart from these sculptures, they had a nice collection of Old Coins and also an ancient burial urn called Mudhumakkal Thazhi. You can find all the bronze sculptures from the Thanjavur Art Gallery below:

On the left is Appar; On the right is Brahmadhirayar depicted as a fat person. I could find no historical or mythological reference of him.

Yogasakthi Amman, 12th Century

Nataraja from 12th century A.D. Note how is waist cloth is flying in the air due to his dancing. However, interestingly this statue has no hair, which is often the key element in Nataraja sculptures.

This Nataraja from 11th century, shows the exact opposite. His hair is flying on both sides, while his waist cloth falls straight down.

Dakshinamurthy, shown stamping on Apasmara (the personification of ignorance) - 11th Century

A close up of Apasmara (Ignorance) shown with his lower half pushed into the ground
2 dancing Krishnas on the left and middle; The righmost is Sambandar -12th Century A.D

2 Parvathis on the right and middle; The rightmost is Sridevi

2 statues of Thirupuranthakar from 10th and 11th Century A.D

Alingana Chandrashekar 12th Century Sculptures (Alingana means embracing in Sanskrit)

2 more sculptures of Alingana Chandrashekar from 13th century

Left: Arivattaya Nayanar aka Thayanar; Middle: Chandikeswarar; Right: Unknown. 12th Century A.D

Bronze Maha Vishnu Sculpture 12 Century A.D

Bronze Nandhi 15th Century A.D

Bronze Nataraja (Dancing Shiva) 11th Century A.D

Bronze Nataraja 12th Century A.D

This angle shows a 3D version and how much work must have gone into this Sculpture

Bronze Nataraja Sculpture 11th Century A.D

Another Bronze Nataraja Sculpture; Time Unknown

Parvathi Statue 11th Century A.D

Somaskandha Sculpture, surprisingly single. This representation is usually shown with Shiva's wife and son

Another Somaskandha Sculpture, without the son (Skanda)

Bronze Temple Bell - 16th Century A.D

Chandrasekhar with Parvathi -10th Century

Another Dhakshinamurthy from 11th Century

Enthol Mukkan, an unknown deity with 8 arms and wears 2 snakes on his waist

Godhanda Rama, 16th_Century

The sculptures were made with precision on the back as well.

Left: Kannappa Nayanar; Next: Chandrashekar; Next: Parvathi; Rightmost: Pattinathar 

Mahalakshmi - 18th Century A.D

Narthana Krishna; Narthana means Dancing in Sanskrit. 13th Century

Another Narthana Krishna from 16th century.

Parvathi - 9th century

Parvathi from 14th century

Bhikshatana (Sanskrit: भिक्षाटन;), a representation of Shiva as a beggar. Notice that has no clothes on and has a snake in his waist. In this form, he is often shown with a pet deer. Bhikshatana is most popular in Tamil Nadu and his icons are almost non existent in North India.

A statue of Raja Raja Chola, made recently

A statue of King Serfoji II is placed in the Durbar hall. 
Rishabavaghana and Parvathi

Sambandar, a child poet shown in a dancing pose. 12th century 

Left: Unknown; Middle: Sambandar; Right: Appar

Sita, 16th Century

Left: Sivagami; Middle: Sridevi; Right: Kali Amman

Somaskanda (Shiva) is shown with his wife Parvathi and his son Skanda in the middle

Another Somaskanda Statue, please ignore the reflection :)

Vishnu in the middle with Sridevi on the left and Bhudevi on the right

A standing Vishnu with his 2 consorts, Sridevi and Bhudevi

Unknown deities, 11th century bronze sculptures

Vishnu, 12th century. His wheel was used a returnable weapon (like boomerang) and his conch was used to initiate war 

Bronze Vishnu, 16th Century

Vishnu Chakra (wheel). This was a weapon that would spin, strike and return back to the user.


Awesome collection! I saw this museum. Bronze lovers must see this museum.

Awesome collection! I saw this museum. Bronze lovers must see this museum.

All are wonderful. I would like to know sale of idol?

Description of some sculptures are wrong, e.g. Somaskanda literally means Sa-Uma-Skanda (Siva who appearing with his consort Uma and Son Skanda). If Siva appearing alone with the same attributes of Somaskanda (I.e. parasu, mriga,abhaya and varada) which can be consider as Chandrasekhara

Construction mystery involved in the great monumental structure, “Thanjavur Brihadeeshwarar temple” located at the southern part of India.

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