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The River deity Ganga

The River deity Ganga

The River deity Ganga, approx. 800900. India | Madhya Pradesh | or | Rajasthan state. Sandstone. The Avery Brundage Collection, B69S3.

Two of India's greatest rivers, the Ganga (Ganges) and the Yamuna, are personified as goddesses with the same names. They were often represented at either side of the lower part of temple doorways, and that is where this sculpture would have been positioned. Ganga here stands on a mythical water creature that has a little male figure issuing from its upturned mouth. The voluptuous goddess leans on the shoulder of an attendant. The large-leafed lotus vine above the goddess's head was held like an honorific parasol by another attendant, whose image has been broken off except for one foot and one arm.

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