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A Celestial Woman Attendant with a Vina (Stringed Instrument)

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Harshagiri, the Hill of Joy, rises above the plains near the Indian city of Sikar, in Rajasthan. The hill was the site of a large temple complex dedicated to the god Shiva Harshanatha (Shiva as the god of joy). This celestial woman, from the exterior wall of one of the temples, rests on a wide lotus flower that grows directly from the wall plane. She stretches to grasp the thick stalk of a second lotus plant, taking a pose reflecting the early Indian female nature spirit known as a yakshi. One of her two squat attendants holds up to her a stringed musical instrument (vina). Scenes of celestial music and dance are abundant on this temple to the god of joy.

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