PRESENTING AN EXCEPTIONAL, RARE AND LARGE 11C Shiva Tripurantaka Red Sandstone Relief.

It features a depiction of Tripurantaka (Tripurantaka Murti) as a manifestation of Lord Shiva.

This relief was carved from red sandstone, most likely in Central India, circa 900-1000 AD (the 10th or 11th Century).

It sits on a wooden plinth.

We strongly believe, that this piece was bought at either Sotheby’s or Christies in NY, some time between 1999 and 2004.

It has lost it’s Auction Lot label(s), BUT, it was part of a larger Collection (a number of which we have now in our Collection and are listed in this category, most, with full Provenance).

Unfortunately, both Christies and Sotheby’s, do not retain online catalogs or auction results prior to 2006, BUT, we are sure that if you had access to those catalogs for their twice yearly ‘Southeast Asian Art & Antiquities’ auctions, then you would find it!

The quality of the carving on this piece is SIMPLY OUTSTANDING and it is a very impressive size being, 80 cm (31.5 inches) Tall, 48 cm (19 inches) Wide and 22 cm (8.7 inches) Deep … on it’s plinth!

Heavy piece weighing circa 100/120 lbs.

This would have carried a very substantial auction estimate.


Tripurantaka (Tripurantaka Murti) is a manifestation of Lord Shiva. In this aspect, Shiva with four arms wielding a bow and arrow with his lower pair of hands and an axe and a deer with his upper pair of hands. In this aspect Shiva is credited with the destruction of three demon infested cities. Hence the name Tripurantaka or the destroyer of three cities. Metaphysically, Tripura has been considered by many scholars to mean the three kinds of bodies of man viz. Sthula sharira—the external embodiment, Sukshma sharira—the intellectual corpus, and Karana sharira—the consciousness or the soul. The Tripurantaka aspect of the Shiva destroys and extinguishes the tri-partite division of the being and merges all three essential components of man into the supreme consciousness. Tripurantaka destroys the veil of Maya, ajnan (ignorance), and unites the individual soul with the supreme consciousness. The idol of Tripurantaka is enshrined at Tiruvatikai near Chidambaram. The Veeratteswarar temple here is one of the 8 Veerata stalas, celebrating Shiva as the destroyer of evil forces. Tripurantaka is also enshrined at Tiruvirkolam (Koovum) near Chennai.

Tripurantaka (Shiva killing demon Tripura) is a Samhara Murti, Brahma as a charioteer, Vishnu as bow, Vasuki as the string and sun & moon as the two wheels of the chariot.

The Iconographic description of Tripurantak (Shiva killing demon Tripurantak)
1. Jatta Mukuta (matted hair).
2. Karnakundal (earrings)
3. Galahara (necklace)
4. Sarpa (snake)
5. Trisula (Trident)
6. Dhala (shield)
7. Prasa (spear)
8. Khatabhanga (skull bar)
9 Khadga (Sword)
10.Puspamala (Garland)
11. Mriga (Deer)
12. Bhudevi (Earth goddess)
13. Dwarapala (attendant)
14 Standing on Alidha gesture
15 Airavat (elephant)
16 Simha (lion)

Three demons are Vidiyunmali, Tarakaksha, Kamalaksha. They performed severe Tapasya, pleased with which, Śrī Brahma Deva granted them boon. They wanted three castles which can be destroyed by a sing arrow.

11C Shiva Tripurantaka Red Sandstone Relief

Provenance: See above. From a Dallas Private Collection.

Condition: Very good original condition.

Dimensions: 80 cm (31.5 inches) Tall, 48 cm (19 inches) Wide and 22 cm (8.7 inches) Deep … on it’s plinth


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