God Surya (Colombo National Museum)

Bronze Figure of Surya
The bronze representing God Surya is presently on the display in the Gallery of Polonnaruwa Period in Colombo National Museum, Sri Lanka. It was discovered from the premises of Siva Devale No. 5 in Polonnaruwa Ancient City (Coomaraswamy, 1914).

This solid cast bronze (copper) is 54 cm in height (Arunachalam, 2004; Coomaraswamy, 1914). It represents God Surya (the Sun god), one of the five main deities of the Hindu pantheon. He stands on a lotus in an erect posture called Sama-bhanga (Arunachalam, 2004). He wears a conical crown and a Dhoti knee-deep covering both legs. Two lotus flowers are found in either hand. A round halo behind the head has given the figure a divine appearance.  The pedestal of the figure is fixed onto a square base with two hoops on either side indicating that the image was carried in procession.

Scholars have dated this work to the 12th century A.D.

1) Arunachalam, P., 2004. Polonnaruwa bronzes and Siva worship and symbolism. Asian Educational Services. p.32.
2) Coomaraswamy, A., 1914. Bronzes from Ceylon, chiefly in the Colombo Museum. Series A. No. 1. Memoirs of the Colombo Museum/Ed. J. Pearson. Colombo: Horace Hart, Colombo. p.18.

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This page was last updated on 12 January 2023
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