This is a sculpture of Nandi, the sacred bull, the vehicle of Lord Shiva, and also be a gatekeeper of Shiva’s abode. Shiva is one of the most important gods in Hindu pantheon and widely known as the destroyer. Nandi is generally depicted as a young bull with a shoulder hump and small horns.

The Nandi was depicted in a crouching pose, adorned with a beautiful necklace, saddle, and anklets. Dated to Angkorian period, Angkor Wat style, 12th century AD.

As noted in the Angkor Conservation Report on January 31, 1926, this Nandi was found by Mr. Leon Fombertaux near the central tower of Prasat Chau Say Tevoda. Then, it was transferred to the Angkor Conservation Repository. And in November 2007, the Nandi was well-conserved and housed safely in the Angkor National Museum.

According to the Lingapurana, a blind Brahmin Silada wished for an immortal son not born of human form. To fulfill this, Silada performed a severe penance and prayed to Shiva. Aftermath, he was satisfied and granted a son-the sacred bull named Nandi.

Photo credits: ANM & EFEO 


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