Mahāvira in the Garbhagriha
Carved into the rear wall of the garbhagriha (inner sanctum) of Cave – 4, this sculptural relief depicts a Jain Tirthankara, most-likely Mahāvira, seated majestically on a lion throne.
Mahavira is the the most well-known and the final (i.e., 24th) Tirthankara and is believed to be a historical figure. In this relief, he is sitting under a chaitya vriksha (holy tree) with the Paryankāsana posture (lotus-like pose with the upward-facing palms placed on top of each other). Around his head is a prabhāmandala (halo), and above it is a mukkodé, i.e., three umbrellas stacked one above the other. Flanking him are two chāmaradhāras (male chāmara bearers), and above them are two Vidyādhara couples performing a pushpadhāre (offering a deluge of flowers).
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