A rare Chamba Bronze Altar of Vishnu, India, 11th century possibly earlier.

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A rare Chamba Bronze Altar of Vishnu

India, Himanchal Pradesh 11th century possibly earlier.

Vishnu is cast standing on a high rectangular base supported by four legs, wearing a Dhoti and an upavita from his right shoulder, with long earlobes adorned with jewels, holding a conch shell in his upper right hand and disk in his lower right. In his upper left hand a mace or gada and in his lower left a lotus, and attended by a male and female attendants and two deities in a adoration gesture above his head.

H. 16 cm


Chamba was a hill state in the Western Hiamalayas lying to the immediate south of Jammu and Kashmir. Chamba developed their own unique style of bronzes.

According to Khandalavala et al (1988, p. 103), ‘these metal images are unique; certainly nothing comparable to them in beauty and in the style of that period has survived anywhere in north India.

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