Divinity, purity, prosperity and beauty are all words that are used to describe the Indian mythological bird – Annapakshi or Annams as we call them. Said to symbolize purity, the white coloured Annapakshi, could have well resembled the elegant modern day swan.
The annam traditionally occupies a prominent space in brass lamps (usually at the head of the lamp) owing to its aspects of purity. Hence, it is considered auspicious and pure to light such a lamp at any important event or happening.
Also refered to as “Hamsa” in varied contexts, the Annapakshi is mentioned in several references across mythology. It is said to eat pearls and separate milk from water from a mixture of both. In many texts it is extolled as the king of birds. In one of the Upanishads, a hamsa is also said to possess the sacred knowledge of the Brahman. The hamsa is also the ‘vehicle’ of the goddess Saraswati.
Where on one side the Annapakshi occupies a place in the beautiful Somanathapura Temple in Mysore on the other it also adorns our Beautiful store of Sarangi. Found right at the entrance to the room, the Annapakshi Valaku (lamp) only helps add to the beauty component of our store.
Lamps, sculptures and artifacts aside, the Annapakshi has for generations been woven into our Kanjivarams. From the golden hues to shades of other colours, the motif of the Annam on our 6 yards surely make it divine.