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Large Bronze Temple Cooking Basin (Charakku or Urly)

19th century

diameter of basin: 59cm, with handles: 66cm, height: 23cm



UK art market

This bronze cooking basin was cast as a single piece. Such vessels were cast in Tamil Nadu in south India and used in temples for cooking dhal and rice over open fires for temple festivals and for pilgrims.

The basin has a flattened bottom, and curved sides leading to a broad lip.

The handles are decorative with scrolling motifs but are also thick and robust – bamboo rods were inserted in them so that the basins and their contents could be carried.

This example was acquired in the UK and almost certainly was brought to the UK during colonial times.

Stirring dhal at the Golden Temple complex, Amritsar, northern India (photographed in August 2007).

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