Draupadi Swayamvara – Arjuna shooting at the fish revolving in the Matsya Yantra
The painting shown in the image is a part of the Hampi Virupaksha Temple Murals painted on the ceiling of the Virupaksha Temple in Hampi, Karnataka, India.
It depicts a scene from the Draupadi Swayamvara episode described in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. According to the story, King Drupada of Panchala arranges a swayamvara for the princes who seek his daughter Draupadi’s hand in marriage. Note: Swayamvara is an ancient Indian practice in which the girl herself chooses her husband. Swayam means self and vara means groom. As part of this swayamvara, his sons devised a competition in which the suitor must shoot a mechanical fish revolving above in the Matsya Yantra (Fish Machine) by looking only at its image in the water pond below.
As you can see from the image, Arjuna, who is one of the Pandavas, is seen looking down on the water pond for the reflection of the mechanical fish revolving on top and holding the metallic bow above him to shoot the fish. Draupadi, whose hand Arjuna is seeking, is standing on the right anxiously watching Arjuna.
Hampi Virupaksha Temple Murals
Copyright © 2019 – 2020 by Lawrence Rodrigues. All rights reserved.