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  • Hindu Tantric Sculptures of the Odisha State Museum

    June 11, 2022

    At the end of 2019, I visited the Odisha State Museum in Bhubaneswar. When you enter the museum, there is a long gallery on the left where hundreds of sculptures are on display. First come Buddhist and Jain figures, then Hindu Tantric deities. I initially intended to take pictures of the whole gallery, but I soon realized that I would not have enough time to do it. However, I still managed to take pictures of the whole Hindu Tantric gallery, which is what interests me the most.

    I counted a total of 95 items in this gallery. The pictures were taken with my phone, which camera is absolutely terrible, and the lightning was not great either, thus the quality of the pictures is not optimal, to say the least. I still tried to make sure that important details—such as deities attributes—are clearly visible. Additionally, I took note of sculptures labels and transcribed Sanskrit names according to occidental conventions instead of reproducing the ad hoc latin transliteration used throughout the gallery. Thus Nrusimha becomes Narasiṃha, Mahisasuramardini becomes Mahiṣāsuramardinī, and so on.

    You can visit the gallery by using the table of contents below. (The taxonomy is mine and does not necessarily follow the actual order in which objects are displayed.) Several pictures are available for most objects. You can access them by clicking on thumbnails or on legends.

    I prepared a catalog of the whole gallery as a CSV file, which you can download here. The format should be self-explanatory. One observation, though: the ids I assigned to objects roughly follow the order in which they are presented. You can also download all pictures in their highest quality as a tarball here.