Garuda entering Agnigraha (House of Fire)
The image shows a section of the Krishna’s Victory over Banasura bas-relief depicting Vishnu’s vehicle Garuda entering into the Agnigraha (house of fire) to save Banasura’s daughter Usha, who was imprisoned there by Banasura to keep her away from suitors.
The Banasura story appears in Mahabharata and Vishnu Purana. Although not very well-known, it is an interesting story in which Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu, fights Shiva and becomes victorious. This bas-relief illustrates the superiority of Vishnu over Shiva and is of great significance to King Suryavarman II, the builder of Angkor Wat, who broke the Shaiva tradition of his predecessors and made Vishnu the dominant god of the Hindu Trinity. Check the Angkor Wat Bas-Reliefs page to read about the legend of Banasura.
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