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Maheshasuramardini sculpture at Ponnuru (A.P.) in 1801.‘Durgee slaying Mehesoor at Ponoor in the Guntoor Circar 1801

Maheshasuramardini sculpture at Ponnuru (A.P.) in 1801.‘Durgee slaying Mehesoor at Ponoor in the Guntoor Circar 1801

Artist: Anonymous

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1800

Shelfmark: WD1065

Item number: f.19

Length: 45.7

Width: 28.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour drawing of a figure of Durga at Ponnuru in Andhra Pradesh, from an Album of 56 sheets of drawings (60 folios) mainly of miscellaneous architecture and sculpture in the Deccan and S. India, dated 1793-1806 from the Mackenzie Collection.

Durga is one of the many names of the goddess and a manifestation of Shiva's consort and has two aspects: one is merciful and benevolent and the other is ferocious and punishing. She is said to have been created by the gods to kill the buffalo-demon Mahisasura who had usurped their position. She is represented in this drawing standing on the demon she has killed, holding her weapons.

Colin Mackenzie (1754-1821) was the first Surveyor General of India. Originally from Scotland, he came to India in 1782 as a member of the Madras Engineers. He took part in numerous map surveys, mainly in Southern India, before he was appointed to the post of Surveyor General in 1815. During his surveys in South India he collected and recorded innumerable details concerning every aspect of South Indian history, language, life and religion, resulting in possibly as many as 2,000 drawings and over 8,000 copies of inscriptions.

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