Janiform or Two-sided Temple Bell

   Nepalese Janiform Temple Bell depicting Garuda and Hanuman
  Nepalese janiform temple bell depicting Garuda and Hanuman

Does a day go by when you don’t hear a bell? Perhaps; but bells are so woven into the fabric of society it is easy to take their sound for granted or to overlook them altogether, no matter how loud they ring.  We grow up with bells in the classroom, as a call to dinner or to announce somebody is at the door.  We hear them in music on the radio, on bicycles when someone has the courtesy to signal they’re passing, when the ice cream man comes rolling around.  They ring as alarms in threatening situations and at the start of prize fights. Bells are everywhere, yet no one really knows who made the first bell or when it was made. One thing for sure – behind every bell is a story, whether it emits a subtle tinkle, a gigantic ring, or heralds a season as our headline suggests.

Two-sided Bell (detail)   
Two-sided Bell (detail)

Most bells signal a special occasion or event. Featured is a janiform bell from Nepal. Over 100 years ago it clanged away, but what occasion did it celebrate; what event did it proclaim? Curiously, the handle is composed of two statues sitting back to back. One depicts Hanuman, the monkey god representing friendship, loyalty and service. The other depicts Garuda, a mythic half-man, half-bird who flies everywhere to protect humankind. Hanuman and Garuda cross paths multiple times in mythology, but we can’t say for certain which time this bell was meant to recognize. What we can say is this bell represents the virtues of Hanuman carried forth on Garuda’s wings. It’s a lovely thought; one worth celebrating daily, not just during the holiday season.

(Product SOLD)