Swastika patterns and the Samudra Manthana frieze
The recessed stone ceiling shown in the image is part of the mukhamantapa (verandah) of Cave – 2, the second of the four rock-cut caves carved out of a soft sandstone hill near Badami in Karnataka, India.
As you can see from the image, the stone ceiling is carved with a maze-like pattern formed by four swastikas, and at the center of this pattern is a lotus medallion. The swastika symbol is sacred to religions originated in India, i.e., Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism, and are carved in many religious monuments in India and Southeast Asia. A similar pattern is found at the Durga Temple at Aihole. Check this page: Jālandhara carved with the swastika and lotus flower patterns.
The beam below this ceiling (at the far end of the image) is carved with a relief that depicts the Samudra Manthana story. Check the Angkor War Bas-Reliefs page for a detailed explanation of this story.
This is one of the two mukhamantapa ceilings carved with the swastika-like patterns, which flank another ceiling carved with a pattern depicting a cosmic pond, known as Matsya Chakra (Fish Wheel).
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