Originally belonging to Bihar, this image, along with two Bodhisattvas, was discovered from the campus of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, about 25 km north-east of the Museum. Considerable Buddhist activities are evident in the vicinity, particularly at Kanheri caves where strong eastern Indian influence is discernible during this period. This is also confirmed by an inscriptional dated 844 CE which indicates that there was close interaction between Bengal and Western India.
Tara, also known as the goddess of mercy, is the most popular Buddhist goddess. She is the consort of Avalokiteshvara. In her simplest form, Tara carries the night (blue) lotus in her left hand and her right hand is in the varada mudra.
The goddess here is seated in Lalitasana with her right leg pendant resting on a lotus. Her left leg is folded on the Simhasana. Her right hand is in the varada mudra, and her left hand is now missing. She wears various ornaments and an elaborate coiffure. A transparent odhani passes across her breasts and is gathered in thick folds at the back. The pitha on which she is seated is spread with a beautifully patterned textile as noticed on the right side. The image was probably gilded and the eyes and the tilaka mark are inlaid with silver. There is an inscription on the pedestal behind.
Gift of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
9th - 10th century CE
11.2 x 7.8 x 5.7 cms