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- March 2019
Why Shiva Paintings Intrigue Me?
   Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:38 am

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Why Shiva Paintings Intrigue Me?

Permanent Linkby indianartideas on Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:38 am

Shiva, the Adiyogi, the first sage who walked this Earth, the man, the myth, the legend!

For every Indian, a peculiar version of Shiva stories hold significance. But those who have a core sense of what Shiva is don’t look to define the deity.

India, a nation with several beliefs, holds Shiva in its heart. Believed to live on Kailash, Shiva has many names, many faces, and uncountable stories.

From the start of time, Shiva and his epics have allured artists across the world. The mesmerizing versions, the mystique in each tale, and the glory in every story appeal artists tremendously.


Traditional artists used to keep Shiva as the subject matter to craft exquisite paintings, sculptures, frescos, cave paintings, artifacts, etc.

Even modern and contemporary painters are captivated with the ecstasy of Shiva. Indian traditional paintings hold a vast treasure of Shiva artworks.

I personally love Shiva paintings and would definitely want to place one in my home, office, and any suitable place. This is so because every small detail in Shiva artworks signifies a specific interpretation in itself.


To all common people, this small damru won’t mean anything more than a drum that produces sound.

However, a damru in Shiva’s hand signifies the creation of the universe. We all know the universe is a wave function. So, the dipping and soaring sound of damru denote the collapse and expansion of universe correspondingly.

Even the shape of a damru is in itself a representation of the function of the universe; first coming out of a point source and then expanding and collapsing again back to the same dot.

Nandi – the bull

In most of the Indian traditional paintings of Shiva, you all must have seen a bull.

In the spiritual context, the bull is a representation of righteousness and truth. The painting of Shiva riding a bull is an epitome of how Shiva always relied on honesty and truth.

Artworks of Shiva give us the blessing that those who perform noble deeds will be blessed by Shiva himself.


The trident that Shiva holds in his hand in most of his manifestations is a symbolic depiction of three stages of consciousness that humans have. These are dreaming, waking, and sleeping.

The three nips of Trident signify these three states. The Trishul also convey that all forms of pain in this world can be weeded out by the almighty himself.


You must have seen a snake folded around the neck of Lord Shiva in his artworks. Do you what it depicts?

The serpent that is wrapped around Shiva’s neck is a representation of alertness and awareness. Since Shiva spends most of his time meditating, the snake represents that despite being in the transcendence mode, he is aware of everything happening around.

In other words, the serpent shows how strong is Shiva’s inner state of consciousness is.


It is a common manifestation of Shiva in Indian traditional paintings where river Ganga is seen flowing from his hairs. This signifies that Shiva can consume the universe in himself. Since the power of river flow is immense, this depicts that Shiva has the ability to hold a vast amount of power and knowledge just like he held Ganga.

The flow of river water from his headlocks represent the piousness and generous nature of Bholenath.

All in all, this manifestation depicts that Shiva has the knowledge that can purify our soul.

Blue Skin

The blue colored skin of Shiva reflects calmness, serenity, and the never-ending universe. Since the sky is blue too, artists try to present Shiva as eternal and ever-present.

These are some of the factors that make Shiva paintings a must buy. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comment section. Thanks!

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