Tibetan Buddhist Garuda Copper Statue - Made in Nepal

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Garuda is widely known in Hindu and Buddhist mythology, he is a legendary bird-like creature with rich symbolism and significance in both religions. He is often portrayed as a majestic eagle or a large bird with human features, Garuda serves as the mount (Vahana) of Lord Vishnu, showcasing loyalty and devotion. With immense wingspan and powerful talons, Garuda embodies strength, speed, and the ability to soar to great heights. His beak and keen eyes symbolize precision, Garuda is celebrated in the epic Ramayana, where he aids Lord Rama in rescuing his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana.

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Item Code: XV56
Specifications:
Copper Statue
Height: 7.5 inch
Width: 7.5 inch
Depth: 3 inch
Weight: 1.20 kg
Handmade
Handmade
Free delivery
Free delivery
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
Garuda 'the devourer' is the mythical 'Lord of birds' in both the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. In the Hindu Puranic legends, Garuda is the son of Kashyapa and Vinata. He is said to have emerged, fully grown, from an egg, after incubating for five hundred years.

Garuda has always been the sworn enemy of snakes and nagas. The archetypal legend of the enmity that exists between birds of prey and serpents occurs across a wide spectrum of transcultural mythologies. Such birds include the Sumerian and Greek eagle, the poison-transmuting peacock of Persia and India, the Chinese peng-niao, and the gigantic snake-eating simurgh or rukh of Sinbad's adventures in Arabian nights.

Literally, the word Garuda means 'wings of speech'. He actually personifies Vedic knowledge. On his wings,as it were, Vedic knowledge has come down to us. The Brihad Tantra Sara lists twelve of his names, which include Suparna (beautiful wings), Garutman (the solar bird), Naga-Bhishana (enemy of serpents), and Khageshvara or Pakshiraj (Lord of birds).

In Tibet, the Indian Garuda became assimilated with the Bon khading (Tib. mkha'lding), the golden 'horned eagle', king of birds, and the Bon bird of fire. Tibetan iconography depicts Garuda with the upper torso and arms of a man, the head, beak and legs of a bird, and large wings which unfold from his back. His curved beak is like that of an eagle. The hair on his head blazes upwards, and his eyebrows twist like fire.

Garuda is commonly evoked to ward off snakes and snakebites. Here he is shown holding two of them in his hands.

How are Nepalese copper statues made?

Nepalese statues and sculptures are best known for their unique small religious figures and ritual paraphernalia for over two thousand years. These are mainly cast in copper alloy. Nepal draws influences from the artistic styles of Buddhism and Hinduism, and therefore the sculptors of the country specialize in making the icons of both these religions. Over the years, Nepalese sculptures evolved into their own distinctive iconography. Some characteristic features of these sculptures that differ from other pieces are exaggerated physical postures, youthful and sensual features, languid eyes, wider faces having serene expressions, and ornate flourishes. The Buddhist deity icons of Nepal have tremendous demand in countries such as China and Tibet for ritual purposes in their temples and monasteries.

Nepalese statues and sculptures have a high copper content and therefore develop a slightly reddish patina on the surface as they age. However, the most unique feature of Nepalese copper statues is their decorative detailing. The pieces are heavily gilded and sometimes inlaid with semi-precious stones. This embellishment protects them from getting tarnished. The traditional lost-wax method for casting Nepalese copper statues remains the most practiced technique in Nepal for many centuries. This process involves many steps and requires skilled artists.

The first step in lost-wax sculpting is to make a wax replica of the desired Buddhist deity to be cast in copper. This replica is created by hand and therefore needs excellent artistic skills otherwise fine features will be lacking.

Once the wax replica is made, it is then coated with a special mixture of clay with a brush. This layer of clay is hardened when left to dry. A small hole is made on the base of the wax mould so that the wax flows away when it is heated.
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At this stage, a hollow mould in the shape of the deity is obtained.

This is the time to pour liquid copper into the hollow mould which is then allowed to cool and harden inside a container of cold water. When the liquid metal has hardened, the mould is removed and the statue within is revealed.
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The artist works on the details of the statue using various tools. It is then polished to get a shiny and lustrous surface.

Now comes the most important part of Nepalese art which is gold gilding. This is done by the traditional fire gilding method. A mixture of mercury and 18K gold is applied on the surface of the statue and heat is applied using a flame torch. The result is that mercury evaporates along with impurities, leaving a pure 24K gold finish.
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The lost-wax method of sculpting is the most preferred technique

for artists to cast a metallic statue having intricate details. Since Nepalese copper sculptures require extraneous effort for giving a majestic look by adding special embellishments, it takes several weeks to complete one masterpiece. A 24K gold gilded copper sculpture retains its brilliant luster for many years and appears as like before. Nepalese sculptures continue to remain one of the finest specimens of the art of the East that have a strong aesthetic appeal that other sculptures cannot match.
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