Chandra – The Moon God
  See it in the Museum
India and Nepal
Orientation 3
Display 5

ABS 352

 Code: ABS 352

  Country: Nepal


  Date: 1400 - 1500

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 10.4

  Materials: Gilt Copper


In Buddhist cosmology, the moon god Chandra is believed to ride across the sky every night in a chariot pulled by seven male wild geese, in the same way as Surya, the sun god rides across the sky every day in a chariot pulled by seven horses.
This finely crafted sculpture of Chandra shows him seated on a risen platform representing the chariot pulled by seven ganders. He wears an ornate crown with five leaves and elaborate bodhisattva jewellery inlaid with turquoises and garnets.

This sculpture was cast in copper and its surface has been richly gilt. The sweet expression of the face and the virtuosity of the design demonstrate the high level of skill of Nepalese Sculptors during the Kasha Malla period. There is a bent copper tang beneath the sculpture, indicating that it was once part of a larger ensemble. 
Although Chandra is a very popular deity in Nepal and was frequently depicted in paintings, statues of Chandra are very rare. An example is exhibited in the British Museum.