Sculpture of Indrani at Jajpur, Orissa f.12
Medium: Pen and ink on paper
Pen and ink drawing of a sculpture of Indrani from Jajpur in Orissa, by an anonymous artist, taken from an album of 37 drawings (43 folios) of sculpture at Jajpur, Puri, Bezwada and Sitanagar made during a journey from Bengal through Orissa to the Coromandel Coast, part of the MacKenzie Collection, dated 1815. Colin MacKenzie (1754-1821) joined the East India Company as an engineer at the age of 28 and spent the majority of his career in India. He used the salary he earned from his military career as a Captain, Major and finally a Colonel to finance his research into the history and religion of Indian and Javan culture, collecting many sketches and drawings along the way. Jajpur is a sacred pilgrimage site in Orissa that is situated on the Vaitarani River. There are numerous temples at the site, the most important being the shrine of the mother Goddess Viraja (Durga), and the shrine to Varaha, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu as a boar. The sculpture of Indrani is depicted in this drawing and was described by M.H.H. Kuraishi in the "List of ancient monuments...in the Province of Bihar and Orissa" of 1931: "This four-armed statue...represents Indrani, the wife of Indra, as one of the Seven Mothers of Hindu mythology. She is seated on a raised throne in an easy posture (lilasana) and is readily identifiable through her Vahana, the elephant...The goddess wears a high conical headdress, elaborate ornaments, and a sari...On her left thigh she originally held a child...The image is made of chlorite and carved in full relief."