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Natraj Statue at G20 Summit- What Is Its Significance

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Natraj Statue at G20 Summit- In the field of global diplomacy, symbols often hold a special place. They have the power to transcend language barriers and convey messages that words alone might struggle to convey.

The presence of the Nataraj statue at G20 summit has created curiosity and intrigue across the world. To show India’s rich history and culture, a 27 feet tall and 18 tonne Nataraj statue has been installed outside the venue of the G20 conference.

This idol of Nataraja installed outside the Bharat Mandapam is the tallest idol made of Ashtadhatu. It was built by the Ministry of Culture within 7 months with the help of skilled workers from Tamil Nadu.

But what is the significance of this ancient cultural symbol in the context of an international diplomatic gathering? In this article, we uncover the layers of meaning behind the presence of the Nataraj statue at the G20 summit, exploring its historical, cultural and diplomatic implications.

The Natraj Statue at G20: A Cultural Marvel

To understand the significance of the Nataraj statue, we must first understand its rich cultural roots. Nataraj, or the dancing Shiva, is a beloved symbol in Hindu mythology.

The cosmic dance of Lord Shiva represents the rhythm of life, the eternal cycle of creation, preservation and destruction. This intense dance symbolizes the balance and harmony of the universe, making the Nataraja statue a cultural marvel and an artistic masterpiece.

This is an important creation of Chola sculpture. Nataraja, the Hindu deity Shiva as the cosmic dancer, is found as metal or stone statues in many Shaiva temples, especially in South India.

The symbolic significance of Lord Shiva’s dance in Hindu mythology

The symbolic importance of Lord Shiva’s dance is very important in Hindu mythology. Lord Shiva has no beginning or end. In Hindu religion, people believe that our universe is in the lap of Lord Shiva.

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The Nataraja form of Shiva symbolizes the cycle of birth and death in dance form. The Nataraja form of Shiva and the cosmic, cosmic dance of Shiva symbolize the cycle of life in the world.

Whereas Rudra Tandava shows his violent nature. Shiva is present first as the creator and later as the destroyer of the universe. Even in death, he is depicted as joyful in Ananda Tandava. In the Shaiva Siddhanta tradition, Shiva as Nataraja (literally “King of Dance”) is regarded as the supreme lord of dance.

The description of Lord Natraj Statue

Natraj Statue at G20
Lord Natraj. Photo credit Wikipedia

Damru in the upper right hand

Nataraj has a drum in the upper right hand. It symbolizes the sound of the creation of the universe. All the creations of the world emerge from the great sound of Damru. From this sound, speech and music were created in the world.

Eternal fire in the upper left hand

The eternal fire remains lit in the upper left hand. It symbolizes the destruction of the universe. Destruction is the harbinger and inevitable counterpart of creation. New starts only after destruction. That means Shiva is the beginning as well as the end.

Lower right hand Abhaya Mudra

Nataraj’s lower right hand is in Abhaya Mudra. It is a symbol of blessings, fearlessness and submission to the universe. Shiva’s message reassures the devotee not to be afraid.

Lower left hand pointing upwards

The lower left hand of Shiva indicates towards the raised leg. Its message points the way to salvation. It is the way to merge the soul with the divine.

Dancing on the figure of a dwarf

Shiva is dancing on a human being with the figure of a dwarf. This dwarf is a symbol of ignorance and arrogance of the individual. Shiva represents the need to crush ignorance and give up ego.

Hair matted in both directions

The streams flowing from Shiva’s matted hair represent the flow of the river Ganga. It is always a symbol of moving forward/effort in life.

Forgetting (purifying) all the sins (filth, dirty water), Ganga keeps moving ahead. In the same way human should move forward by solving all the problems of life.

Male in one ear and female in the other

The Nataraj statue has a male ornament in one ear and a female ornament in the other. It represents the fusion of the male and the female. Shiva is known in the Ardha-Narishvara form.

Here it represents the elimination of discrimination according to gender. We should not discriminate between kids.

A snake wrapped around one arm

A snake is wrapped around Shiva’s arm. The snake is a symbol of Kundalini Shakti (inner power). Which lives in a dormant state in the human spine. If Kundalini Shakti is awakened then a person can attain true consciousness. Can control all the 5 elements.

Source of all types of motion within the universe

Lord Shiva in his Nataraj form is shown as the source of all types of motion within the universe. These are dances to the Day of Judgment. Represented by arches of flame, these refer to the dissolution of the universe.

The meaning of the dance at the time of doomsday is that ‘death is the truth’. We should not be afraid of death. One day everyone has to die. That’s why the new creation keeps on happening after the disintegration of the universe.

Surrounded by a veil of shining light

Lord Nataraj is surrounded by a veil of shining light. It symbolizes the vast endless cycle of time. Which means rebirth. This is an endless cycle. If a human being is born, his death is certain.

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Earth, trees, rivers, mountains, keep on forming and disintegrating. The destruction of the universe is the symbol of newness. That’s why we don’t know how many Kaliyuga, Dwarayuga, Tretayuga and Satyayuga keep repeating. In the same way, the universe continues to be created and also destroyed. This is a cycle.

The historical journey and artistic intricacies of the Natraj statue

The historical journey of the Nataraj statue dates back to the time of the prosperous Chola Empire of India. It belongs to the Chola sculpture from the 9th century to the 13th century.

The first stone statue of Nataraj was made by Queen Sembiyan Mahadevi. It became a symbol of monarchy in Tamil Nadu during the Chola dynasty. Then the Nataraj idol started being used in religious rituals.

Gradually people made this statue a part of the processions and religious festivals of the Chola era. This practice continued till now from the Chola Empire.

The G20 Summit: A Global Diplomatic Gathering

The G20 Summit is a forum that brings together the leaders of the world’s major economies. It is a platform to discuss important global issues ranging from economics and trade to climate change and public health.

Over the years, the G20 summit has used themes and symbols to reflect the culture and priorities of the host country. In this episode, while hosting the G20, India has installed a huge 27 feet statue of Nataraja in front of the Bharat Mandapam.

Explanation of the G20 Summit and its role in global diplomacy

The interpretation of the G20 summit and its role in global diplomacy are important. It first happened in 2008 in Washington DC, USA.

The G20 brings together the world’s leading advanced and emerging economies. Established in 1999, the G20 summits are a forum for international cooperation on the most important aspects of the international economic and financial agenda.

This year India is hosting a G20. This is the 18th conference which is being helds at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, India. It is presideding over by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi.

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They represent approximately 85% of global GDP, more than 75% of global trade and two-thirds of the world’s population. Its members are follows….

Natraj Statue at G20
G20 Countries Map. Photo credit Drishti IAS

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, United States, United Kingdom, European Union, and Turkey.

Apart from this, India has invited some guest countries as G20 President. Whose names are as follows …

Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and United Arab Emirates.

India’s priorities for G20 2033

  • Inclusive, equitable and sustainable development.
  • Jeevan (lifestyle for the environment).
  • Women empowerment.
  • Digital public infrastructure and technology-enabled development in sectors ranging from health, agriculture and education to commerce.
  • Skills-Mapping, Culture and Tourism; climate finance; circular economy; global food security; energy security; Green Hydrogen; Disaster risk reduction and adaptation.
  • Developmental Cooperation; fight against economic crime; and multilateral reforms.


Discussion on key issues in the global economy to bring together systemically important industrial and developing economies.

G20 2023 Motto

The motto of the G20 Summit, according to him, is “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – One Earth One Family One Future”.

G20 2023 Theme

“One Earth, One Family, One Future”.

Natraj Statue at G20- Symbolism and Diplomacy: The Intersection

The interweaving of symbolism and diplomacy is powerful. It has the ability to convey messages to the world through symbols. Words alone may struggle to express that.

This is the gift of India’s heritage to the world. They bridge cultural divides and provide a common ground for dialogue.

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From this point of view, the selection of Nataraja idol as a symbol at the G20 summit is significant. It demonstrates the power of cultural symbols to promote international understanding.

India’s Cultural Heritage on a Global Stage

The presence of the 18th Natraj statue at G20 Summit represents India’s rich cultural heritage on the global stage. It tells the world that India values its traditions and is keen to share them with the international community.

This in itself is a diplomatic statement – a message of openness, inclusiveness and willingness to engage in cultural diplomacy. You should move forward by solving all your problems. Mutual prosperity, harmony, inclusiveness, trade, culture should be promotes.

Developing cultural diplomacy through Natraj Statue at G20

The Natraj statue at the G20 summit is more than just a symbol. It is a symbol of cultural diplomacy for the world. It reminds us that in a world often divided by politics and economics, culture can serve as a unifying force.

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Cultural icons such as Nataraj have the potential to bridge divides, promote understanding and pave the way for meaningful international cooperation. Forgetting war policies, mutual differences will have to be resolving.


Natraj Statue at G20 Summit- The Cultural Diplomacy

As the statue of Nataraj takes center stage at the G20 summit, it symbolizes not only the dance of Lord Shiva but also the dance of diplomacy. It represents a unique form of global communication.

It promotes the rich history and culture of India. Which goes beyond language and politics to celebrate culture and tradition. In an age where the world is more connected than ever.

The Ashtadhatu statue of Nataraj in the Bharat Mandapam reminds us of the enduring power of cultural exchange in shaping international relations.


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