The Karnataka government has finalised the above featured image as the official depiction of Goddess Bhuvaneshwari, revered as Mother Kannada. The same image will be used for all official purposes.
The image was finalised by a five-member committee appointed by the Karnataka government to ensure one official image as representing the ‘Naadadevate’.
Until now, various images of different Goddesses were used, especially on the occasion of the state’s formation day, Rajyotsava, when She is worshipped across the state. But ’since most looked like calendar art, distant from the rich art tradition of the state and were far from reflecting the uniqueness of Karnataka‘, the state felt the ‘need to have an official one’, opine government sources.
Bhuvaneshwari or 'Kannadambe' (Mother Kannada) as she is called, is a personification of the Goddess of the land that has Kannada as its unifying identity. The committee headed by former Lalitha Kala Academy Chairperson D Mahendra finalised the portrait of the Goddess created by renowned artist K Somashekhar.
Karnataka's Minister of Kannada and Culture, V Sunil Kumar Karkala, said since ‘it was observed that different versions of the image of Karnataka state’s Goddess were being used’ there was the need for an official and authorised one to be created‘. To this end, the government appointed a committee in September 2021 which has recommended the (above) portrait. ‘We will discuss it with the Chief Minister and soon issue orders declaring it as the official one,” said Sunil Kumar.
Talking of the portrait, he said ‘although various depictions were also beautiful, they didn't portray the unique features of the state’, while this one apart from being aesthetically appealing and divine also embodies the cultural, historical and natural wealth of the state.
The portrait has been created by Bengaluru-based artist K Somashekhar. keeping the committee’s brief of depicting both the traditional art form of the state as well as her description in the Naadageete or the state anthem.
‘Various features of our Kannadambe as described by the great poet Kuvempu in our Naadageete have found a beautiful and apt expression in this portrait,’ said the Minister.
Some of the features of the image (as per sources in the ministry) and the thought behind their inclusion are as follows:
1. The map of the state features as the background of the image.
2. The facial expression of the Goddess is one of natural beauty and divinity.
3. She is two armed - to keep her as close to reality.
4. She has the ‘abhaya mudra’ in her right hand, symbolic of guarding and blessing the citizens, and holds the palm leaf manuscripts in her left, signifying the knowledge traditions and literary wealth of Kannada language.
5. Her posture eludes a majestic presence.
6. The Kannada flag stands for Kannada pride.
7. Her green saree reflects the state’s ecological wealth and flora and fauna.
8. Her jewellery too has been designed to reflect the various glorious kingdoms that ruled this state - from the Chalukya style crown; the lion emblem on her shoulder embellishments; the large ganda bherunda pendant; the keertimukha symbol pendant, the Hoysala emblem for a pendant among others. The anklets, toe rings, her bindi, flowers in her hair, all are representative of ‘saubhagya’ (symbols of a woman’s divinity).
A delicate string of flowers that she is garlanded with is to add a ‘gentle outline to all her ornamentation. The lotus at her feet are for her to rest her gentle feet while the Western Ghats and greenery, waterfalls in the backdrop reflect out natural bounty, said the source.
“In totality, this image of Naadadevi is a true reflection of Karnataka's pride, intellectual, cultural and natural wealth. Which is why it is perfectly suited to be selected as the official image of the divine and magnificent Karnataka Maate (mother),”he added.
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