Ganesha Statue - Antique Chola Style Indian Bronze Standing Ganesh Statue - 49cm/20"

Chola Ganesha: The Divine Icon of the Chola Dynasty


The Chola dynasty of Southern India, renowned for its patronage of art, culture, and architecture, left an indelible mark on the rich tapestry of Indian history. Among the many artistic masterpieces that flourished during their rule, the Chola Ganesha stands out as a unique and significant representation of the beloved Hindu deity, Lord Ganesha. The Chola Ganesha sculptures, characterized by their exquisite craftsmanship and deep religious significance, symbolize the artistic and spiritual legacy of the Chola dynasty.

Historical Context

The Chola dynasty, which thrived from the 9th to the 13th century, was a period of remarkable cultural and artistic renaissance in Southern India. The Cholas were renowned for their fervent support of the arts, including temple construction, bronze casting, and sculpture. This period saw the emergence of stunning religious art, with a particular focus on the worship of Lord Shiva and his family, which included the elephant-headed deity, Lord Ganesha.

Chola Ganesha Sculptures

The Chola Ganesha sculptures are among the most celebrated works of Chola art, capturing the essence of Lord Ganesha with precision and grace. These sculptures are primarily crafted from bronze and stone, each unique in design and imbued with individual charm. Lord Ganesha, the god of wisdom, knowledge, and the remover of obstacles, is portrayed in various forms and postures, each symbolizing different aspects of his divine personality.

The Chola Ganesha sculptures typically feature the following key characteristics:

  1. Iconic Attributes: Chola Ganesha is often depicted with a prominent pot-belly, symbolizing prosperity and contentment. He carries his broken tusk, a sacred attribute representing the sacrifice made for the pursuit of knowledge. In some representations, Ganesha holds a modak, a sweet dumpling that is his favorite treat.

  2. Elaborate Details: Chola artisans demonstrated exceptional skill in the intricate ornamentation of Lord Ganesha's attire and accessories. His waist is adorned with a snake, and his chest is covered with various necklaces, adding to the divine allure of the deity.

  3. Expressive Faces: The hallmark of Chola Ganesha sculptures is the expression conveyed through his countenance. His eyes, often large and serene, radiate benevolence and wisdom, while the gentle smile gracing his lips imparts a sense of charm and goodwill.

  4. Varied Postures: Chola Ganesha is represented in a wide range of postures, including sitting, standing, dancing, and even reclining. Each posture embodies a specific aspect of the deity's character and role in the cosmic order.

Standing Chola Ganesha

Religious Significance

The Chola Ganesha sculptures hold profound religious and cultural significance. They were not merely art pieces but objects of devotion and veneration. These sculptures found a cherished place within the inner sanctums of Chola temples, serving as a focal point for devotees to offer their prayers and seek blessings. Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, was revered for his ability to help individuals overcome challenges and impediments in their lives.

Legacy and Influence

The legacy of Chola Ganesha sculptures endures far beyond the Chola period. These sculptures served as a wellspring of inspiration for subsequent South Indian and Southeast Asian art and temple architecture. The graceful and intricate depictions of Ganesha in the Chola style have continued to influence artistic representations of Lord Ganesha in contemporary times, making them a living testament to the timeless appeal of Chola artistry.


The Chola Ganesha sculptures are a testament to the Chola dynasty's profound contributions to Indian art and culture. They represent an extraordinary fusion of artistic aesthetics with spiritual significance, making them not only stunning works of art but also potent symbols of devotion and worship.

These sculptures stand as timeless exemplars of the Chola dynasty's artistic and religious legacy, perpetuating their profound influence on Hindu iconography and temple artistry, and continuing to inspire awe and reverence in the hearts of devotees and art enthusiasts alike.

Seated Chola Ganesha