The cosmic dance of Lord Shiva has symbolizes fivefold aspects of Divine control of the universe namely; creation, preservation, destruction, illusion and grace. When he dances, matter, energy and sound are sorted out through the vibration of His drum and such as are created by His moves. The triple qualities of created matter manifest themselves and all spheres with their atomic energy begin operating rhythmically along with the movement of His body.

This highly interesting painting from Chamba depicts Lord Shiva in total ambience of dance. His matted hair are seen tossing, his garments of leopard skin whirls off his body and the serpent tossed off his neck by his pace finds it difficult to keep coiling. A large audience consisting of gods, goddesses and Shiva’s ganas is seen assembled around including six headed Karttikeya who is beating circular drum and bell, four armed Ganesha playing vina and Uma or Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva, the circular metal. Nandi the bull is in rapt attention listening to the music issuing out of divine orchestra and enjoying the divine dance of Lord Shiva. Banasura, Lord Shiva’s ardent devotee, plays innumerable drums and various other instruments simultaneously with his numerous hands.

The painting with its fine colour scheme displays the mood of gaiety and jubilation and of contentment reflecting all around.


  • Title: Lord Shiva dancing
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1700 AD - 1800 AD
  • Location: Chamba, India
  • Physical Dimensions: w207 x h287 mm (without cover)
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: National Museum, Janpath, New Delhi
  • Style: Indian Paintings & Art
  • Place Part Of: India

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