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Part of Chandrasila (moon stone) Slab  
Nagarjunakonda,
3rd Century A.D.
Limestone
80 x 15 cm
Acc No. 686

  
Out of the three carved specimens forming a semi circle ofChandrasila (moon stone), the one represented here was discoveredin a slightly dislodged condition at the entrance of a Buddhistmonastic establishment in the course of excavation atNagarjunakonda. The stupas and monasteries created under theSatvahanas and Ikswakus were often decorated with richly carvedarchitectural members.   The site had reported a fewmoonstones of plain variety laid at the threshold of monasticestablishments; however, the carved one represented here served thepurpose of value addition to threshold. The tradition of layingsemi circular stepping moonstone at the threshold is considered tobe an auspicious sign.

    The semicircular slab represented hereshows a row of leaping bull, lion and horse, from left to right,inside a pair of plain, beaded lines. The spaces between theanimals are tastefully filled with sinuous floral motifs.

  This decorative piece shows remarkable sense ofdynamism as each figure has been carved in animated form whereinthe front legs are bent, displaying leapinggesture.