Hindu Religion has three primary deities: Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer . They are termed as Trimurthis. Similarly their respective consorts or Goddesses are Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati ( Durga, Kali, Shakti).
Nataraja (Lord of Dance) is a depiction of Shiva as the Cosmic Dancer who performs his divine dance to destroy a weary universe and make preparations for God Brahma to start the process of Creation. Chennai Museum has a fantastic collection of bronzes which I was fortunate to be able to photograph and some of these are presented below for your viewing:
1. Shiva & his consort Shakti (Parvati)
2. Sukhasana (Shiva) (Thanjavur - 10 Century AD)3. Adhikara Nandi
4. Can you identify this bronze?
5. Durgai (a form of Shakthi)6. Maheswari ( another form of Shakthi)7. Somaskandar ( Siva,Parvati & Little Muruga)
9. Maheswari (Velankanni - 11th Century AD)
10. Ardhanareeswarar - Half Shiva (left) & Half Parvati (right)
11. Chandikeswarar ( the accountant of the Gods)
12. Vishapaharanar (Shiva) - 9th Century AD
13. Tripurantaka - 11th Century AD
14. Natesa or Nataraja (a dancing form of Shiva)
15. Nataraja16. Parvati or Shakthi - consort of Shiva17. Figurines of Parvathi
18.Sivakamasundari or Parvati19. Parvati - 14 Century AD20. Kali21.Kali
22. Bhadrakali (popular form of Goddess Parvati worshipped in kerala)23. Trisoolam - Kali's weapon of destruction24. Tirugnanasambandar - The famous saint who has sung praises of the Lord Shiva25. Ayyanar on elephant back
26. Tirugnanasambandhar27. Can you identify this figure?28.Can you identify this figure ?29. Chandikeswarar - 15 century30. Appar - another famous saint
31. Trisulam32. Trisulam33. Ardhanareeswarar34.Trisulam
35.Can you identify this figurine ?
There will be more bronzes to follow in the next series which will focus mainly on Nataraja.