Statue of Bodhisattva from Takal Bala, Peshawar District
Photographer: Cole, Henry Hardy
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph taken in c.1883 and attributed to Henry Hardy Cole (probably incorrectly) of a full-length seated statue of a Bodhisattva, sculpted in the round, , now in the Lahore Museum and captioned on the negative 'Lahore Museum. [From] Eusofzai. Takal Bala.' The museum label beneath the sculpture reads: 'Found by Colonel J.W. Johnstone at Teakal near Peshawar.' Bodhisattvas are a type of Buddhist deity who were once mortals. They became enlightened, yet instead of ascending to Nirvana, remained on earth to help others attain the same goal. They were a prominent feature of Mahayana Buddhist doctrine. The Bodhisattva in this photograph is sculpted in what can be broadly termed the Gandharan style. This style developed in the Peshawar region from the first century onwards and bears affinities with Graeco-Roman sculpture. In this photograph the draped clothes and naturalistic modelling of the body show this influence.