Brahma on the ceiling of the mukhamantapa (verandah)
This beautiful bas-relief adorns the ceiling of the mukhamantapa (porch) of Cave – 3, the third of the four rock-cut caves of Badami in Karnataka, India.
As you can see, there are two concentric circular panels enclosed by a square panel. Within the inner circular panel, there is an intricately-carved relief depicting a four-headed Brahma seated majestically on his vehicle Hamsa (a swan). One of his four hands carries a long-handled spoon, and the other a japamala (prayer beads).
Filling the space between the outer and inner circular panels are the eight smaller circular frames, each with a relief carved inside.
The relief above Brahma depicts Yama, the god of justice and death, riding a buffalo. The relief below him depicts Varuna, the sea god, riding Makara. To his left is the relief depicting Indra, the king of heaven and the devas (demigods), riding Airavata, an elephant. To his right is the relief depicting Kartikeya, a son of Shiva and the god of war, riding a peacock. The other four circular frames have reliefs of yakshas and Vidyadhara couples.
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