Bihar Museum - <!-- -->Didarganj Yakshi
Didarganj Yakshi




20th February 2024
Article Banner Image

Didarganj Yakshi is a key object in Bihar Museum which was obtained from Didarganj, Patna in 1917. Yakshi with its incomparable beauty is world famous as a symbol of the ideal woman and represents a unique craftmanship of ancient Indian art. The story of discovery of Yakshi is quite interesting. The shining statue of Yakshi was carved out of buff colored sand stone brought from Chunar, Uttar Pradesh. On 18th of October 1917, it was found in a chance discovery at a laundry bay on the banks of the Ganges at Didarganj, East Patna during chasing a snake and digging out the mud around the hidden sculpture. On 20th of October 1917, a report got filed by Qazi Muhammad Azimul alias Gulam Rasul in Malsalami police station about the discovery of sculptures. Later, Police administration handed over this sculpture to Patna Museum for almost 100 years and then it moved to Bihar Museum on 27th of September 2017. Didarganj Yakshi lives upto all the high standard of art. The entire idol made on a single stone with mesmerizing shine all over the clave, which has remained till date. The sculpture is three in dimension and follows the modern rules of female anatomy. The appearance looks of a middle aged female. Its lyrical body language, elite musculature, mathematical balance and gentle smile on its face are seductive. Beautifully ornamented sculptures of Yakshi demonstrates the different theories among the scholars like Anand Coomarswami, Rakhal Das Banerjee, Vasudev Sharan Agrawal, Krishanand Gupta and so on. They connect this sculpture with the Yaksha cult, which was in existence since Vedic period. In ancient India, before the emergence of deities, there might have been the tradition of worshipping Yaksha and Yakshi. Yaksha was the god of trees and Yakshi was the goddess of cultivation and considered to be the symbol of virtue. Sculptures of Yaksha and Yakshi carved out more likely of a normal human anatomy and sometimes bigger than this. In the scriptures, there are names of 24 Yakshas and 36 Yakshis. In Kushana period, the idols of Yakshas find their own names. All these facts indicate towards the worship of Yaksha-Yakshi in ancient India. In later period, Yaksha- Yakshi serve as an attendant of Jain Tirthankaras and count in categories of Vidyadhara and Gandharvas. In folk traditions of eastern region, Yakshas are worshipped as local gods. To sum up, it could be concluded that The Yakshas-Yakshis might have been worshipped as local gods and goddesses for public welfare. On the matter of dating of Didarganj Yakshi, scholars have different views. Few believe in its connection to Mauryan period (3rd BCE) due to selection of material and polish over the surface but few fix it on later Mauryan period (2nd BCE). Theories are whatsoever, but this is the unique masterpiece of contemporary period and competent with all pre and later Indian art forms.

About the author

Additional Director
Back to top