The Standing Parvati originated in the Chola Period circa 880-1025 AD, a time when bronze statues grew increasingly in number to meet the demands of a changing religious and social lifestyle. Alterations within the Hindu religion called for moveable statues that could be carried outside of temples to participate in rituals. The old stone sculptures of Hindu deities were stationary, so artisans turned to the casting of metal as a new approach to creating religious art
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The Yakshi bracket figure stands locked in place, carved into stone and forever part of a torana at the entrance of the Great Stupa. Parvati, in comparison, is about half the size of the Yakshi, and can be transported when necessary. At the time of the Chola rulers, statues of deities participated in temple processions, daily rituals, and festivals where they were anointed with oils, covered with silk garlands and draped in jewels (Salmony 378). Therefore, the sculptures created during the Chola Period had round lugs and holes on their bases for easier transport to such festivities (Asia Society).
Both Yakshi and Parvati are strongly associated with fertility and the powers vested in the female. Yakshis were extremely common fertility deities seen in elaborate architectural motifs on temples and stupas, or as freestanding statues. Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religions worship Yakshis as Mother Goddesses, perhaps similar to the Western concept of Mother Nature. Although Parvati is not exclusively a fertility goddess, she is the consort of Shiva and an integral aspect of his power, embodying the essence of the female and symbolizing the fruitfulness of man and the universe (Far Eastern Scripture 418). Parvati is “an intrinsic manifestation of the Great Mother and of the Godhead itself,” (Far Eastern Scripture 418).
“Far Eastern Sculpture.”. The Burlington Magazine. Vol. 109. 1967.