Exquisite bronze sculptures were produced in the Tamil country from the Chola period. These sculptural creations in bronze are unique to Tamil Nadu, and this concept of casting deities in bronze with a specific role in mind exists nowhere else in India. The origin of bronze sculptures comes from the urge to take the gods out of the temples in palanquins. It then became a tradition for royal households to donate bronze idols to various temples. The rules of iconography followed for metal sculptures are the same as those for stone ones. Many of us are used to seeing bronze sculptures in passing. Huge Natarajas in bronze embellish our airports. But as Indians, have we ever understood our own heritage? This walk will attempt to raise awareness about the rich heritage of South India. A look at some of the beautiful bronze pieces in the Pondicherry Museum and other collections will give us an opportunity to partake in the process of appreciation and experiencing the bliss of a connoisseur. Discover and gaze at the collection of Nataraja (or the dancing Shiva) – a popular theme with the Cholas. Enjoy the evolving Somaskanda or the Shiva family sculptures of different artisans, with each sculpture manifesting a different aura. Delve into the deeper aspects of Shaivism with the line of Shaiva saints. This walk promises to provide insights into the myriad layers of Tamil heritage.

This guided tour is free.

Event Partner


Walk Leader
Lata Iyer
She has lived in Pondicherry since 1988 with a few breaks. She is a Sustainability professional with a deep and enduring interest in Indian culture, religious and spiritual practices. She is a speaker on Indian Temple Architecture, Iconography and related subjects. She is currently living in Auroville as a free-lance Consultant working under the banner of Sustrack – Tracking Sustainability.