Know about the Traditional methods of Sculpting Indian God and Goddess

India is one of the countries where the first pieces of evidence of sculpting have been found. Over 5000 years old sculptures of Indian Gods were discovered a few decades ago in the old cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. These cities belonged to the Indus civilization, one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Of course, the country and its beliefs have evolved in these years, but still sculptures are still believed to be the best way of worshiping gods and goddesses. The largest population of the country is of Hindus, and they exercise idol worship very extensively. You can very easily find the sculptures of their popular gods, Shiva and Krishna, in the market. Besides the Hindu gods, a sculpture of Buddha is also very common in India. The materials and methods have not changed much the years. Tools have become more efficient, though. Some of these traditional methods are discussed below. Metal and stone sculpting were the most common methods used in ancient India. Different dynasties used different metals. It started with bronze in the Indus civilization, and the Cholas used copper. In case of stone, the sculptor either used to get a cut out rock of a particular size or create the sculpture as a part of the rock itself. More details of these methods are here.


Metal sculpting: Indus civilization was quite advanced in the field of technology. Its cities were designed to be architecturally accurate and efficient. Even in the field of metal sculpting they used highly evolved methods. Sculptors are still using those methods with only a few modifications. It starts by creating a wax model of what the finished sculpture should look like. The wax is kept in direct sunlight to keep it warm and malleable. Nowadays, lamp is used in the place of sunlight. Artisans use different methods for creating the wax model. While some use their hands, others use metal tools. Once the model is complete, the process of creating a mold is started by painting a solution of china clay on it. After letting it dry for two days, a thick layer of paste is applied to it by hand. Another coat of rice husk and clay is applied to it in the last. This completes the mold, further metal casting is applied. Molted metal is poured into the mold and is kept for at least two hours to dry. After this, finishing the piece is the only thing left. Created by this process, a sculpture of Nataraja - the goddess of dance - is popular around the world.


Stone sculpturing: The most popular sculptures of stone in India are found in the caves of Ajanta and Ellora. The process of sculpturing is quite straightforward but highly complex. Only the extremely skilled artisans can do it properly. They take a piece of rock and carve the details of the sculpture they want. The small ones are made from a single piece of rock while the big ones are made in part and then joint together. Most of the idols found in Hindu temples are still made this way.

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