Saturday, March 7, 2009

Didarganj Yakshi

The Didarganj Yakshi is a fine specimen of Mauryan art. Almost 2000 years old, it stands five feet four inches and is carved out of a single stone. It is an exquisite carving and almost true to life. Government of India, has used her figure as a fine art ambassador and she has travelled to many countries, including the Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., USA.

The painstaking attention to detail by the artisans, is visible in the prominent breasts, broad hips, narrow waist and the creases on the lower abdomen, formed due to the weight of her full breasts, as she is unable to stand erect. These are considered to be classic features of femine beauty even today. And to think that this Yakshi was carved out of a single stone 2,000 years ago is a marvel in itself, a marvel in the advancement of sculpting in stone! I am at a loss of words to describe her attire, and jewellery. The clothes are draped elegantly with folds and pleats, in the front and held in place by an exquisite oddiyanam. To complete her ensemble she has a fly whisk (the chauri) in her right hand. And her pose? It is called ‘tribanga’ (three-bend) which shows her bending at neck, waist and hip to form a gentle "S" shape the quintessence of femine beauty.

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