Shiva Bhairava, Colombo National Museum

Shiva Bhairava
A granite sculpture probably representing Shiva Bhairava (Tamil: சிவ பைரவாி; Sinhala: ශිව බහිරව) is presently on display in the Stone Gallery in Colombo National Museum, Sri Lanka.

The provenance of this artefact is uncertain. The sculpture is 51.5 cm in height and depicts an eight-handed terrifying figure, probably a form of Shiva Bhairava (Chutiwongs et al., 2013). Each hand of the figure holds some object (such as a trident, a knife and a cup) but most of them are indistinguishable due to the erosion of the stone over the years (Chutiwongs et al., 2013). The hair that flares out widely around the neck and the pair of large ear discs have intensified the rough appearance and aggressive nature of the figure (Chutiwongs et al., 2013). 

Scholars have dated this statue to the 12th century A.D. (Chutiwongs et al., 2013).

1) Chutiwongs, N.; Prematilleke, L.; Silva, R., 2013. Sri Lanka Murthi: Siva (Sri Lanka Sculpture: Siva). Central Cultural Fund. Ministry of Cultural and the Arts. pp.96-97.

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This page was last updated on 2 August 2022
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