Saturday, June 20, 2020

Snakes and Ladders Shivalinga Design

Since a long time I wanted to design the gameboard of Snakes and Ladders in the form of a Shiva Linga. But the jutting out part of Yoni-peetha on one side of the Shivalinga posed a problem of symmetry.
Image courtesy: Internet
Observe that one side is stretched out and hence the symmetry is lost. Then one day in early 2018, Sri R.G. Singh bought an interesting painting which had 108 Shivalingas within one giant Shivalinga. Looking at it was an eureka moment for me. It showed Shivalinga but without the jutting-out part of the Yoni-peetha. It was as if the Almighty wanted me to design the Shivalinga Snakes and Ladders and had sent me a prototype to base it on.

Tarakamantramayi 108 Shivalinga. Artist unknown. Size: 36x51 cms. Collection & Copyright: Ramsingh's Museum of Mysuru Paintigns, Mysuru. 
This painting is now in the collection of Ramsingh's Museum of Mysuru Paintings.

Based on it, I designed a Snakes and Ladders gameboard having 108 squares. I added two winged angels (from the oleograph print of Shilpi Siddhati Siddalingaswamy's Lakshmi Narasimha) on either side of the Shivalinga. If you observe the central bindi (round red dot) within the tripundra, it has the crescent Moon and Sun together. This is a little addition from my side which symbolises that Sun and Moon together to form the crowning ornament (or the third eye) of Lord Shiva.

I have retained the trefoil flower garland, though made the flowers smaller and have not disturbed the beloved leaf of Shiva - Bilvapatra which crowns the Shivalinga.

The artists of Srikalahasti beautifully rendered my design into their traditional craft form of Kalamkari which is given below.

Personally for me, this product process has been quite satisfying since its inception in my mind as a concept, then the design hurdle faced by me, followed by a chance encounter with an artwork which unraveled the problem, further led to a good design and finally the creation of a beautiful product. It is at these times when I hold the product designed by me that I feel proud.

I have designed a Snakes and Ladders gameboard in the form of a temple, you can read about it here.

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