The goddess Parvati was the consort of Shiva, one of the supreme deities in Hinduism. She was the daughter of the Himalayas and the mother of the gods Ganesh and Skanda. This bronze figure was created as part of a set for use in temple worship during the Chola dynasty which flourished from the 9th century to the 13th century.

Parvati was the reincarnated form of Sati, Shiva's first consort who sacrificed herself to defend his name and honor. When Sati returned as Parvati, she was received as the goddess of the household, motherhood, marriage, and family. Parvati's loving nature awakened Shiva's concern for humanity, and it was under her influence that the ascetic and stoical god became the lord of music and dance. Though Parvati is generally considered a benevolent deity, she also has more aggressive incarnations, such as the fearsome warrior Kali.

This figure's -shaped pose is called the tribhanga stance, which means "bent in three places" and appears frequently in South Asian sculpture. Parvati is bedecked with jewels, and the fine material of her garments clings to her body. She stands upon a lotus blossom, which signifies her divine status.


  • Title: Parvati
  • Creator: Indian
  • Creator Nationality: Indian
  • Date Created: c. 11th century
  • Physical Dimensions: w21.6 x h53.3 x d16.2 cm (overall)
  • Type: Sculpture
  • External Link: MFAH
  • Medium: Bronze
  • Period: Chola Dynasty
  • Credit Line: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, museum purchase funded by the Agnes Cullen Arnold Endowment Fund

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