Arts & Culture


The Great Departure

unknown100-200 C.E

National Museum - New Delhi
National Museum - New Delhi

Prince Gautama decides to renounce all worldly pleasures
including his wife Yasodhara and son Rahula in quest of
Supreme Knowledge, and this event is known as
mahabhinishkramana (the great Departure or Renunciation).
The prince mounts his favourite horse Kanthaka, whose
hooves are supported by the yakshas on their palms to avoid
noise. The royal groom Chhandaka holds an parasol over
his head and Vajrapani (yaksha in attendance) holds his
thunderbolt. The prince's way is obstructed by Mara or
Kama, who is seen holding a sword, and behind him stands
a hallowed god with folded hands. The three figures of the
upper-half corner may be the retinue of Mara of whom one
holds a sword and other, a lady, probably Rati, who may
also be identified as the presiding deity of the capital city of

Read more


  • Title: The Great Departure
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date: 100-200 C.E
  • Location: Indian Museum, Kolkata
  • Physical Dimensions: Schist stone, 48x54x8.6 cm.
  • Provenance: Loriyan Tangai (north-west part of undivided India)
  • Accession Number: 5043

Discover more