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Badami Cave – 3: Maha Vishnu seated on Adishesha


Maha Vishnu seated on Adishesha
The image shows part of the mukhamantapa (verandah) of Cave – 3, the third of the four rock-cut cave temples carved out of Badami, Karnataka, India. It is carved in such a way that it appears like a durbar (court) of a king.

Seated majestically on a throne formed by Adishesha, a seven-headed mythical serpent, is Maha Vishnu, a form of Vishnu represented as a supreme being. Visnhu’s vehicle Garuda is on the lower left and his consort Lakshmi is on the lower right.

As you can see, Adishesha has created a beautiful throne for Maha Vishnu by stacking up his soft coils to form its cushion and raising his seven-headed hood as its canopy.

Adishesha is known by many names, including Shesha, Sheshanaga, and Ananta. Hidden in these names are two interesting mathematical concepts, remainder and infinity. In Sanskrit, shesha means one that remains (i.e., remainder), and ananta means endless (i.e., infinity). In other words, Shesha will prevail even after the end of the universe, and Ananta will exist for eternity.

The squarish pillars on the left are embellished with carvings of beautiful patterns and reliefs depicting stories. The ceiling also has intricately carved bas-reliefs depicting Vishnu,Brahma and Ashtadikpalas (8 guardians of the directions) that include Indra and Yama.

Related Images
Maha Vishnu Seated on Adishesha – An beautifully carved relief on the outer wall of the Somanathapura Keshava Temple
Vishnu Reclining on Adishesha – An intricately carved relief on the outer wall of the Belur Chennakeshava Temple
Buddha Seated on Adishesha – A statue depicting Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu situated on the top level of the Angkor Wat Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Related Pages
Badami Cave – 1, Badami Cave – 2, Badami Cave – 3, Badami Cave – 4
Durga Temple at Aihole – A harmonious blend of architectural styles
Somanathapura Keshava Temple – A magnificent temple Dedicated to Vishnu
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – A masterpiece of Hoysala temple art
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Bracket Figures
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Garbhagriha exterior wall
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Kappe Chennigaraya Shrine
Angkor Wat – A grandiose temple complex originally dedicated to Vishnu

Related Pages
Angkor Wat, Angkor Wat Bas-Reliefs, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Ta Prohm, Banteay Srei
Phnom Kulen, Tonle’ Sap, Cambodia
Bali, Prambanan, Prambanan Bas-reliefs, Borobudur, Indonesia

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