THE sculpture must have originally occupied the left side niche of the base of the door jamb of a lost temple of Shiva at Shamalaji. The right side dvarapala (lower image) is almost identical to this one except for the glass eyes which are attached later. It also shows heavy polish due to the anointment by the people who worship it as Shiva today.
The image is conceived to be guarding the abode of Shiva standing either in front of a cave or at the foot of the Himalayas, as indicated by the carving of the background in the upper half of the stele. He stands stretching his right leg a little, giving a graceful tilt to his body and the curled folds of his dhoti near his waist support his relaxing left hand. The Trishula held in his right hand is supported vertically on the ground, while the serpent around his shoulders is looking around as if exploring the surrounding environment. The ornaments, folds of the dhoti, the mukuta and the tassels of his hair, as also the details of the mountain with indications of trees, are meticulously carved, giving a distinctive appearance to each of these details, on this fine-grained schist. Though the proportion of the left arm is slightly distorted, the artist shows remarkable mastery over the modelling of the body contours, the fleshy roundness of the chest, the abdomen and the loins and creating rhythmic patterns by gentle curves wherever possible, as seen in the postures of the attendants who reflect the rhythm of the main figure. The image offers a very interesting comparison with the contemporary image of Shiva from Parel.
Late 6th century CE
101 x 43 x 18 cms.