Period / Age: ca. 16th - 18th Century AD, India, probably Karnataka

Provenance: Private English Collection


Length: 62.5cm (24.6")
Weight: 33.1kg

The holy white bull carved with powerful almond-shaped eyes, wide nostrils, large laidback ears, and prominent horns. The mouth with a large opening functioning as the spout.

CONDITION: Good condition with old wear, few nicks and dents, small losses, and natural encrustations as well as other signs of weathering and erosion. With a modern metal stand.

This fountain spout in the form of Nandi is reminiscent of the Sri Dakshinamukha Nandi Tirtha Kalyani Kshetra, a small temple, reported by some as ca. 400 years old, located in front of the Gangamma temple in Northwestern Bangalore. The focal point of this temple is a unique stone Nandi which is positioned facing the Southern direction. There is a continuous stream of water that flows out of the Nandi’s mouth, which is considered holy water. The waterfalls from the Nandi’s mouth onto a Shivalinga below and from there flows into a stepped tank in the middle of the temple, called a ‘Kalyani’ (temple tank). At some point in its history, the Nandi Tirtha temple fell into disuse and was slowly buried under mud and dirt. As this temple is below the normal ground level of the surrounding area, and there is no Gopuram tower, the entire structure eventually disappeared from view. However, knowledge of the existence of a temple continued to survive in the memory of the people residing in this area. As Malleswaram developed into one of the preferred residential areas of Bangalore, property prices increased significantly. In 1997, there was an attempt to usurp this temple area and sell it off as a vacant plot of land. After protests by the local population, the land in question was dug up and the temple complex gradually emerged from under the mud. The present piece once served a similar function as the one in Nandi Tirtha, probably in another lost temple, where it was removed from the site a long time ago.