Antique Hindu Garuda Prayer Bell, India (9545XLC) $295


H: 10”  Dia: 3.75” | FREE SHIPPING!

This Hindu prayer bell was likely placed on a home or temple altar and in daily puja rituals. This simple yet elegant bell has a smooth and undecorated body with only incised parallel rings circling plain surfaces and is topped by a pair of Garudas sheltered by a hood of Nagas. Garuda, the mythical winged bird that is Vishnu’s mount, and Naga, a seven-headed hooded serpent, are natural enemies and when they are represented together, they symbolizes  peace, a very appropriate adornment for the tranquility and serenity elicited by the pleasing sounds of a prayer bell.



Martin Lerner an Steven Kossak, The Lotus Transcendent: Indian and Southeast Asian Art from the Samuel Eilenberg Collection, Harry Abrams, New York, 1991.



Hand bells are used in daily puja (rituals), placed on a home altar, and are rung to call the devoted to worship and ask and the gods to enter homes and grace their devotees with their presence. Their sound helps create a spiritual atmosphere increasing the intensity of the Hindu religious experience. Metalwork bells are an important part of Hinduism with considerable symbolic meaning. A bell’s curved body represents Ananta, the Sanskrit term meaning limitless, eternal and infinity and symbolizes unending expansion and its clapper represents Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom, knowledge and music. It takes considerable skill to design an outstanding bell since the body may be mold made  but the handle, decoration, image on top of the handle and designs on the body are all done individually. More difficult, the maker must create a metal alloy not overly brittle that can accommodate additions and alterations for decoration, last for generations and produce a pleasing, effective and spiritual sound. This bell is topped by a pair of Garudas under the shelter of a naga.  Garuda is the mythic Hindu winged bird with the body of a man and the head of a falcon celebrated in the Hindu epic the Ramayana. As the mount (vahana) of Vishnu it symbolized the virtue of knowledge, bravery and discipline, Vedic knowledge and the mind.  In many Hindu myths, as here, gods are protected by nagas. This fine metalwork bell is a remarkable example of Hindu ritual art that is used daily for home devotion. This is in very good condition with a nice patina, although there is some loss of definition on the top section due to its considerable use and age.


Fredrick Bunce, A Dictionary of Buddhist and Hindu Iconography, D.K. Printworld, New Delhi, 1977.

Subhamoi Das, Deities We Live With: Deities as Symbols.

Additional information

Dimensions 10 × 9 × 9 in
Place of Origin



Antique (1200-1920)


Late 19th/Early 20th Century

Materials and Technique

Bronze/brass/copper alloy

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 10”: Dia: 3.75”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 25.4cm Dia 9.52cm


1lb 11oz


Very good, patina and wear consistent with age and use

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size