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Shodashi, also alluded to in some texts as Tripura Sundari, the most beauteous in three worlds, and as such having three forms defining three stages – Tripura-bala, the virgin, Tripura-Sundari, the beauteous, and Tripura Bhairavi, the terrible, is perceived as one with timeless youth and beauty, though not without frowns or angry looks. She is sometimes seen as the embodiment of sixteen modifications of desire and at other time as one created to arouse Shiva to procreative activity so that his creative powers could stimulate the world. In Hindu pantheon she seems to have emerged in around eleventh-twelfth centuries and had perhaps a few temples too, with one at Tehara near Bheraghat, Jabalpur, in Madhya Pradesh, devoted to her. Like Kali and Tara, Tripura-Sundari is also perceived as swaying all gods, though perhaps with her paramount beauty, not by Kali-like superior power. This superior position of Shodashi reflects in her iconography in which she sits on a lotus emerging from the navel of Lord Shiva.
The artist has attempted to highlight the goddess' beauty aspect with a charming nose ring, her golden complexion, the beautiful sari and above all her graceful manner of sitting.
This artwork was made in the sacred city of Puri, Orissa.
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