What Metallurgy Can Tell Us About Our History
By Anil Kumar Suri
Swarajya - September 30, 2015
An exploration of metallurgy in India:
The history of metallurgy in India can tell us a lot about the history of India itself. Our scientific heritage has inexplicably always been given short shrift in our history textbooks, as pointed out here and here. It is, therefore, not very surprising that our historians don’t enter at all into this rather technical, if extremely fascinating, aspect of our history.
Child Saint Sambandar
Chola period (880–1279)
Late 11th century
India (Tamil Nadu)
Sambandar, the popular seventh-century child saint, is one of the muvar, the three principal saints of South India. Legend recounts that after receiving a gift of milk (represented by the bowl) from the goddess Uma, the infant Sambandar devoted his life to composing hymns in praise of Lord Shiva; his raised hand points to Shiva’s heavenly abode at Mount Kailash, in the Himalayas. The sculptor captured the saint’s childlike quality while also empowering him with the maturity and authority of a spiritual leader. This icon was intended for processional use during temple festivals celebrating gods and saints.
Text and image credit:
© 2000–2016 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.