Kandarpa-ratha, chariot of Kandarpa, the god of love. Ivory; 21 cm x 8 cm. Orissa. c. early 20th century. 85/6864.

This composite figure carved in solid ivory is composed of numerous females forming the chariot of cupid god Kamadeva, also known as Kandarpa. Kamadeva was born of the mind of Brahma and as soon as he was born he turned to Brahma and asked ‘Kamdarpayami?’. (Whom should I make proud?), so Brahma gave him the name Kamdarpa alias Kandarpa.

In the centre of the chariot Krishna is depicted playing the flute and surrounded by numerous women in amorous poses.

1. Mani, 1984, p.384

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