Vishnu is adorned with a towering crown known in iconographical texts as the 'Kiritamukuta.' This is literally and metaphorically the highest of all crowns. The shape is that of a rather conical cylinder, similar to a mitre, ending in a knot or point. When worn by a deity, this signifies that he has a rank among the highest of all gods.
The facial expression is benevolent and the eyes gentle - befitting attributes for Vishnu, since he is believed to be the preserver of the cosmic order. The sharp nose grants a handsome demeanour to the face. The lips are lightly compressed, with the lower one being slightly thicker than the upper.
Sumptuously bejewelled, Vishnu has four arms that carry the wheel, the conch shell, and the club. The extended right hand has a lotus inscribed on the palm, and displays the Abhaya mudra - the gesture which grants the boon of fearlessness. Thus does Vishnu describe himself in an ancient text: "The world rests as the lotus in the palm of my hand, the cosmos revolves around my finger like a discus. I blow the music of life through my conch and wield my mace to protect all creatures."
The skill of the sculptor is evident in the deft treatment of the folds of the short dhoti which clings to his thighs and ends well above the knees. Ornamented waistbands hold this lower drape together and a number of elaborately decorated tassels can be seen falling between Vishnu's legs. The upper part of his anatomy is bare save for the rich array of jewels.
Vishnu is straight as a post, for he is the firm center, and the axis of the universe; he is the sturdy pillar that joins the earth to the heavens. Indeed to his devotees, a formal, hieratic representation of Vishnu - their refuge and protector - standing like a mighty pillar, is a deeply comforting sight.