B 32


B 32


This is one of the earliest images of Parshvanatha belonging to the 1st–2nd century CE and is also an interesting example of bronze casting in India of this period. Though the image is compared to the Bapatla bronzes by Nihar Ranjan Ray, the modelling of tubular long legs, wide long eyes, and slightly pouting parched lips remind one of the Mohen-jo-Daro dancers. The snail-shell curls on his head and large eyes indicate its proximity to the early Mathura sculptures, whereas other features such as a slightly bulging abdomen and the coils of the snake attached to the image separately as an applique work, point to a more archaic origin. As suggested by U.P. Shah, it could indicate a continuation of the bronze casting techniques of the Indus Valley period up to the 2nd century BCE.
Parshvanatha stands in the Kayotsarga pose under the snake-hood spread around his head. His elongated arms, one of the signs of a great man, reach almost up to his knees. Quite unlike Parshvanatha's images of the later period, the entire length of the snake is shown in the shape of a wavy rope behind him.
It has been generally observed that in the early images of Parshvanatha, the snake has five heads. In later images, this becomes the special feature of Suparshvanatha.


Jain Art

Object Type









2nd century CE


Eastern India


23 x 6.6 x 3.4 cms