The divinely handsome prince of paraloka (otherworldly realm of existence). In slumber within the coils of Sheshanaga, He dreamed the world into being; as mortal avatara, He delivered us mortals from the clutches of adharma many times. Lord Vishnu, the preserver deity of the Hindu trinity, is the all-powerful, the eternally youthful deity of the Hindu pantheon. The sculpture of Him that you see on this page depicts Him in all His azure-skinned beauty.
Lord Vishnu stands on an upturned lotus with petals the colour of earthy orange and green. His tall, stately figure is clad in a dhoti of orange silk. A world of gold adornments grace His upper body and arms and ankles. He is the chaturbhujadhari, the one possessed of (‘dhari’) four (‘chatur’) arms (‘bhuja’): in the posterior hands are the signature conch and discus, lotus and mace in the anterior hands. Handsomely carved features on an angular face, which convey a composure of superb wisdom.
The most striking aspect of this composition is the way the unusual colour of Lord Vishnu’s complexion contrasts with the remaining colours of the palette. Together with the stylistic elements of the composition, it is a hallmark of the Dravida architecture-influenced contemporary sculptural tradition of the South. In addition to the same are the ornate pedestal where Bhoodevi and Shridevi, the wives of Vishnu, are seated on either edge, the Kirtimukham aureole that seems to swallow down the Lord’s crown, and the ornate aureole that frames the central standing deity.
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