"Madanika" Large Wooden Hoysala Apsara

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The Madanika or heavenly maiden of Channakeshava temple from Belur is some of the most awe-inspiring and exquisite representations of the female form in Indian art. This life-size wooden statue of Madanika or Apsara is a classical recreation of Hoysala sculpture, where grace, beauty, youth, and divinity all condense into ethereal femininity. 

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Item Code: MIV471
Wooden Panel
Height: 59.5 inch
Width: 23.2 inch
Depth: 6.1 inch
Weight: 41 kg
Free delivery
Free delivery
Fully insured
Fully insured
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
Fair trade
Fair trade

The wooden Apsara statue is placed on a platform with the Kalpa-vallari or the wish-fulfilling vine whose delineation gets richer on the vegetation aureole that surrounds and complements the youthful suppleness of the Hoysala maiden. Near the right shoulder of the Apsara, the mouth of Makara (a mythical animal that symbolizes divinity and beauty) becomes the origin of the Kalpa vallari, giving the composition a unique combination of motifs. Outlined by the sinuously flowing vine, the Hoysala Apsara is ornamented beautifully, with an ornate hairstyle and heavy Mekhala or girdle. She holds a Chanvara (fly whisk) and a mango fruit in her hands which are carved painstakingly, giving them a true-to-life effect. A stillness plays on her exquisite face as a monkey playfully pulls at the tassel of her waist ornament, probably demanding the mango in her hand. Markata or monkey as a troublemaker and mischievous company is seen in Hoysala sculpture, representing Chanchalta or youthful anxiousness which troubles the hearts of these delicate ladies. Another heavenly maiden, much smaller in size but beautifully presented strikes a graceful posture near the right foot of the Apsara.

Brimming with the beauty of youth and aesthetics, this wooden panel is your portal to the celestial world of Apsaras, who are known to bestow abundance, regalia, and charisma wherever they go. 

Sculpting Serenity: Unveiling the Art of Crafting Wood Statues

Wood has been a preferred material for sculptures and statues since ancient times. It is easy to work with than most metals and stones and therefore requires less effort to shape it into any desired shape or form. The texture of the wood gives an element of realism to the sculpture. The selection of an appropriate wood type is necessary for carving. Woods that are too resinous or coniferous are not considered good for carving as their fiber is very soft and thus lacks strength. On the other hand, wood such as Mahogany, Oakwood, Walnut wood, Weet cherry wood, etc., are preferred by sculptors because their fiber is harder. A wood sculptor uses various tools such as a pointed chisel in one hand and a mallet in another to bring the wood to the desired measurement and to make intricate details on it. A carving knife is used to cut and smooth the wood. Other tools such as the gouge, V-tool, and coping saw also serve as important tools in wood carving. Although the wood carving technique is not as complex and tough as stone carving or metal sculpting, nonetheless, a wood carver requires a high level of skills and expertise to create a stunning sculpture.

1. Selecting the right wood

The process of wood carving begins with selecting a chunk of wood that is required according to the type and shape of the statue to be created by the sculptor. Both hardwoods and softwoods are used for making artistic pieces, however, hardwoods are preferred more than softer woods because of their durability and longevity. But if heavy detailing is to be done on the statue, wood with fine grain would be needed as it would be difficult to work with hardwood.

2. Shaping the wood

Once the wood type is selected, the wood carver begins the general shaping process using gouges of various sizes. A gouge is a tool having a curved cutting edge which is useful in removing large unwanted portions of wood easily without splitting the wood. The sculptor always carves the wood across the grain of the wood and not against it.

3. Adding detailing

When a refined shape of the statue is obtained, it is time for making details on the statue using different tools. This is achieved by using tools such as a veiner to make and a V-tool to create decorative and sharp cuts.

4. Surface finishing

Once finer details have been added, the sculptor is ready to smoothen the surface and give it a perfect finish. Tools such as rasps and rifflers are used to get a smooth surface. The finer polishing is obtained by rubbing the surface with sandpaper. If a textured surface is required, this step is skipped. Finally, to protect the statue from excessive dirt accumulation, the sculptor applies natural oils such as walnut or linseed oil all over it. This also brings a natural sheen to the statue.

How to care for Wood Statues?

Wood is extensively used in sculpting especially in countries like China, Germany, and Japan. One feature that makes the wood extremely suitable for making statues and sculptures is that it is light and can take very fine detail. It is easier for artists to work with wood than with other materials such as metal or stone. Both hardwoods, as well as softwood, are used for making sculptures. Wood is mainly used for indoor sculptures because it is not as durable as stone. Changes in weather cause wooden sculptures to split or be attacked by insects or fungus. The principal woods for making sculptures and statues are cedar, pine, walnut, oak, and mahogany. The most common technique that sculptors use to make sculptures out of wood is carving with a chisel and a mallet. Since wooden statues are prone to damage, fire, and rot, they require proper care and maintenance.


  • Wood tends to expand and contract even after it has been processed, thus it is always recommended to keep the wooden sculptures in rooms with little humidity. Excess moisture can harm your masterpiece.


  • Periodical dusting of the finished piece is necessary to maintain its beauty as dust accumulation on the surface takes away the shine of the sculpture. You can use a clean and soft cloth or a hairbrush for this purpose.


  • You must avoid applying any chemical-based solutions that may damage the wood from the inside. Instead, you can apply lemon oil or coconut oil using a cotton rag to the sculpture to bring out its natural shine. Lemon oil also helps to clean any stains on the sculpture.


  • Applying a layer of beeswax protects the wood from sun damage and hides even the smallest imperfections on the wood.


It is extremely important to preserve and protect wooden sculptures with proper care. A little carelessness and negligence can lead to their decay, resulting in losing all their beauty and strength. Therefore, a regular clean-up of the sculptures is a must to prolong their age and to maintain their shine and luster. 

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