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Shiva's Dance in Stone:
Ananda Tandava, Bhujangalalita, Bhujangatrasa

Fig. 11: Shiva Nataraja in the Edakanatheshvara temple in Thiruvedakam
Stone, probably granite
Thiruvedakam, Tamil Nadu, India
Date unknown
170 centimeter without the pedestal, 210 including (approximately)

February 2012 by Liesbeth Pankaja Bennink, Kandhan Raja Deekshithar, Jayakumar Raja Deekshithar, Shankar Raja Deekshithar.

This Nataraja is placed in a walled off space with a wide entrance and harmonica doors in the North-East corner of the prakaram together with other bronze murtis and faces south.

The murti is placed on a raised platform on a high and square pedestal. Pedestal and murti are together maybe two meter in hight. The murti by itself is possibly 1.60 to 1.70 meter.

The prabha is round with very broad, heavy and solid. Its central broad and round body is encased with several thin, decorated rims. Many almost abstract and identically shaped flames are placed close together. Two very pronounced, large beaked, makaras form the base of the prabha. At the top the prabha also appears from the open mouths of two makaras. Between the makaras is a large medallion which is crowned by further abstract decorations forming a shikhara. Shiva's headdress connects to de decorations at the top of the prabha.

The Apasmara lies with its head towards the right. It is a dwarf-like grown man with a moustache and a large hair-do. It holds a large naga which raises its head to the raised foot of the Nataraja.

The 5 jata form two solid bodies stretching sideways away from the head with a gentle wave with a small moon sickle on the left uppermost jata and a small Ganga on the right on the uppermost jata. They are decorated with small flowers placed in a very symmetrical manner. Jata or curls are also falling down the side of the head onto the shoulders. A diadem decorates the forehead. A double fan with a scull in the center crowns the ahead. Other head attributes cannot be established.

Another naga is wrapped around the wrist of the crossed arm with its head touching the palm of the dola-hasta.

The body of the Nataraja is worked free from the prabha, except between the makaras. It may be the standing leg is sculpted in the round and free from the supporting stone which gives solidity to the prabha. This would be a sculptural achievement.

Damaru and fire are in respectively the right and left hand.