Pulling a wagon bearing a Hindu idol, India, 1774-1781.

Poison

Pulling a wagon bearing a Hindu idol, India, 1774-1781.
3 1 c m
40cm
actual image size: 32cm x 23cm

Description

Engraving by Poison after a painting by Pierre Sonnerat (1748-1814). This may be a representation of a ceremony of the cult of Juggernaut (Jagannath), from which the modern usage of juggernaut is derived, meaning a heavy lorry or vehicle. The legs seen beneath the wheels of the cart probably belong to a devotee, although contrary to common belief, the act of hurling oneself beneath the wheels of the cart bearing the image of the Jagannath, a form of the Krishna incarnation of Vishnu, is not part of the ritual. Illustration from Sonnerat's 'Voyage aux Indes Orientales et a la Chine, fait par ordre du roi, depuis 1774 jusqu'en 1781' ('Voyage to the East Indies and China, made by order of the king, from 1774 to 1781'), published in 1782.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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