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Flame Scarlet-Red and Beige Printed Batik Sari from Madhya Pradesh with Painted Border and Anchal

Flame Scarlet-Red and Beige Printed Batik Sari from Madhya Pradesh with Painted Border and Anchal

Simplicity and an appeal of the basic characterises the sarees produced in the Central Highlands of the subcontinent. Fashioned from pure homegrown cotton for a texture that remains unparalleled in the rest of the world, this saree would be a fine pick to wear to poojas. The rich red of the sheer field brings out the white and gold paint of the border, while the beige of the pleats is superimposed with batik prints. Together with the folk batik prints, the hand-painted border of this saree conveys a charming sense of the rustic.
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The Humble Yet Powerful Kamandalu

The Humble Yet Powerful Kamandalu

They say a sadhu (ascetic) lives by three tenets. He comes and he goes, but does not stay; he sees and he listens, but does not say; he eats and he drinks, but does not taste. Indeed he goes through life with a threshold degree of detachment, upon which his sadhana (spiritual practice) is based. Amongst his minimal possessions are the staff, to help him navigate harsher terrains, and the kamandalu, wherein he gathers whatever bhiksha (edible alms) he may chance to receive.

The lustrous brass kamandalu that you see in this painting sums up the Indian yogic idea of asceticism. It is big enough to hold a scarcely sufficient meal’s worth of food at a time. From the tanned and lined hand from which it dangles, the sadhu to whose service it belongs seems to be a veteran yogi of the lower reaches of the Himalayas. The distinctive saffron of his robes contrasts sharply with the green grass reflected on the body of the kamandalu, an unusual subject for an oil painting.

It is in the kamandalu that he accepts all his bhiksha, irrespective of the state or the taste palette of the offering in question. Everything - textures and tastes - blends therein, a reinstatement of the third of the basic tenets of asceticism. The kamandalu is practically his lifeline, the only remaining link between him and life as we know it. Any day now, he would no longer need even the humble kamandalu.

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Goddess Mahakali

Goddess Mahakali

Mahakali is the great darkness and also personifies the universal power of transformation, the transcendent power of time and the cosmic goddess who rules unchallenged over the entire universe. She is the feminized variant of Mahakal (her consort) and referred as Dasa Mahavidya Mahakali when depicted as dasamukhi (ten headed).


This brass statue, sculpted in absolute perfection, shows the wrathful goddess with ten arms and ten feet; each hand carries the different ritualistic objects and weapons, each of which represents the power of devas, implying that Mahakali is responsible for the powers of each of these deities. She stands on the body of Shiva, as Mahakali is the Shakti or the pure creation and Shiva represents pure consciousness which is inert. There is a saying that Shiva without Shakti is shava, which means that without the power of action, consciousness is inactive, this sculpture depicts the same.


Mahakali here, wears her iconic long garland of severed heads and an apron of human hand tied to her waist, with the tongue lolling out in embarrassment of not recognizing her husband because of her blood lust. The crowned head is shown with a large aureole at the back and each face is depicted with three eyes representing past, present and future.


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True-Blue Jacket from Kashmir with Florals Embroidered By Hand on Neck and Border

True-Blue Jacket from Kashmir with Florals Embroidered By Hand on Neck and Border

You cannot go wrong with a piece of Kashmiri fashion. The looms of the valley produce some of the most desirable shawls, jackets, and sarees of traditional ethnic fashion. This gorgeous jacket is a fine example of the signature Kashmiri workmanship. Dyed the blue of the valley's beauteous lakes, one would attribute the stunning shimmer of the fabric to its pure silk make. As feminine as it is elegant, this jacket would work wonders should you team this with an evening suit or saree, or even a statement-making western outfit.

And it is not just the fabric or the luscious blue dye that makes it so distinctly Indian. It is the panels of endemic ari embroidery that runs down the front along the entire length of the jacket, around the hem, and at the ends of the loose full sleeves. The colour palette comprises of vibrant selections of pastels, and the highly characteristic motifs are of the richly colorued foliage to be found in abundance in Kashmir. The skill required to put together this stunning embroidery has been passed onto present-day artisans of the valley across generations of working with rudimentary needles, crochets, and crewels. Layer your outfit with this one-of-a-kind jacket and walk into any traditional gala like a queen.

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Devi Kali, The Very Picture Of Bloodlust

Devi Kali, The Very Picture Of Bloodlust

A Devi of unspeakable beauty dances on a bed of death. Her roopa is like the pregnant dusk of amavasya, Her eyes like glowing embers studded in that soft round countenance. This explains Her name for She is none other than Devi Kali. An expression of unquenchable bloodlust pours forth from Her face. A long tongue has emerged out of the mouth in Her thirst for the adharmee’s blood; together with the wide gaze of Her long-lashed eyes, it is enough to send chills down the spine of the one who displeases Her.

She is tall and has the full, flowing figure of the divine mother. But for the tigerskin loincloth wrapped barely over Her thighs, She is naked. The sheer proportion of gold on Her person befits the most exalted of the heavenly Devis. A headband that holds Her luscious, floor-length hair in place; kundalas that frame Her beauteous face. Chunky bracelets clasping the length of each of Her four arms (She is chaturbhujadhari). Even Her feet are clad in gold and jewels, one of which Her Lord Shiva lovingly clasps as He lies bare beneath Her feet. Note how He gazes upon the ferocity of the Kali-roopa Parvati.

Portentous skies and a line of severed heads constitute the backdrop of this oil. A freshly severed head She grabs by the hair with one hand, its blood still dripping from the scimitar in another.

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The Beauteous Devi Parvati, Tiger-skin Over Her Saree

The Beauteous Devi Parvati, Tiger-skin Over Her Saree

The beauty of Devi Parvati is supreme. She is wife to the Lord of destruction, the great Lord Shiva. With Him She resides in Kailash Mansarovar, Her skin the same colour as the pristine snows that cover Her home. This sculpture of the Devi, with its soft curvaceous make, captures the beauty of Her divine persona. She is youthful and sweet, Her composure of countenance made of equal parts both.


Over the pale peach saree that conceals Her young maternal figure, She wears a tiger-skin that holds the drape in place. Together with the necklace of rudrakshas and the kamandalu in Her right and left anterior hands, respectively, these elements of Her iconography convey Her status as the wife of none other than Mahadeva Himself. The gold on the edges of Her garment and the shringar on Her torso, wrists, and earlobes add to Her divine glamour.


Zoom in on the simple quadrilateral pedestal She stands on. Her feet rest on a lustrous green lotuspad, flanked by Her simhavahana (lion-mount) and Nandi. The presence of more deities are to be found in Her iconography - the Shivalingam and the miniature Lord Ganesha, Her son, atop the two lotuses She holds in Her posterior hands. Note the distinctive halo behind Her head, and how the sharp gold rays make a statement of strength and power.

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Pirate-Black Bandhani Tie-Dye Shawl from Kutch with woven motifs on border

Pirate-Black Bandhani Tie-Dye Shawl from Kutch with woven motifs on border

This woollen shawl has been fashioned in Kutch, a region in Gujarat known for the signature textiles produced by local artisans. Woven from pure homegrown wool, it has been tie-dyed in a combination of black dominating over a splash of sunset red and yellow (this technique is called bandhani in the local language). Matching tassels grace the edge of the shawl, along which have been woven panels of simple, pale blue miniscule motifs. Drape this over your everyday Indian suit or saree, or throw this across your shoulders on the milk run.
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Large-Eyed Woman With Pooja Thali

Large-Eyed Woman With Pooja Thali

A young lady climbs the steps up to the mandir. The time is early morning, and there are fresh pink jasmines in her hair. Like a duteous daughter-in-law, she has risen prior to dawn, bathed and adorned herself, and set her household in motion. Now she is at the temple, on the verge of making her daily obeisance to her ishtadeva. It is her favourite part of the day, where her husband drops her at the foot of the temple-steps in his carriage every day.

In her hands she holds a plateful of offerings for her deity. A fresh coconut, handpicked flowers and leaves of basil, and juicy laddoos she has made with her own hands. The two silver dibia (miniscule containers) are for turmeric and vermillion, respectively. Her dress and shringar befit her marital status. She has chosen a brocaded red saree with miniscule booties, and a vibrant blue bootidar blouse to go with it. Her hair is thrown in one long, thick plait, pinned with studded gold accessories. The jhumke and bangles she is wearing are probably her favourite hand-me-downs from her mother. A large nosering dangles from the flap of her sharp nose, while the bejewelled maangtika on her temple is as large as those moist eyes glistening with emotion as she looks on at the receding figure of her husband.

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Shri Ganesha Seated on His Vahana

Shri Ganesha Seated on His Vahana

Ganesha is revered in Hinduism popularly as Vighnaharta (one who removes obstacles) and also worshipped first before the start of any auspicious event or celebration to have an easy flow of work; he is the only god who shares a similar bond with every child and adult because of his childlike innocence and love for his devotees. This Ganesha sculpture is sculpted in his iconic paunchy belly and sits comfortably on his sacred vahana, mouse, who stands on a stylized double layered flower pedestal. The sculptor has beautifully played with the color palette while coloring this sculpture in a bright green and divine orange hue and the vahana has a self patterned shade of a unique black, green and yellow blend.


Unlike the usual ways, his well striated trunk is postured high towards the left and holds a beautiful double lotus. Chaturbhuja carries his favorite fruit, Mango and the broken tusk in his anterior hands highlighting his child behavior and immense dedication respectively. Posterior hands carry the implements used to demolish evils, all carved in a magnificent style.


The color of Ganesha’s garbs and embellishments complement beautifully, enhancing the bright color of his skin. The sun haloed crown glorified on his head is carved in mesmerizingly beauteous patterns in multiple layers. The intense shine and glow of this Ganesha statue captures the attention of the viewers.



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Silver-Mink Pure Pashmina Handloom Shawl from Kashmir with Sozni Floral Embroidery

Silver-Mink Pure Pashmina Handloom Shawl from Kashmir with Sozni Floral Embroidery

Light as nothingness, warm as freshly baked earth, this pashmina shawl folds to a fraction of its surface area. A characteristic of the endemic fabric, pashmine is desired for its inimitable texture and the warmth it offers. No wonder, because the ingredients of such a fabric as well as the skill required to work with it, are found only in the valleys of the central Himalayan reaches in Kashmir and Tibet. The one you see on this page has been handpicked therefrom, which is the home of pashmina.


It is an understated number, the colour palette comprising of a few pastel basics. Slender red-bordered paisleys in all their elongated beauty, their pale blue bellies embroidered with miniscule flowers. The same are punctuated with yellow and light pink maple leaves with similar embroidery within their silhouettes. The sandy base colour brings out the beauty of the same. It is the density of the tribal sozni handiwork - which is, again, endemic to Kashmir - that makes this shawl a sumptuous buy.

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