Badami Cave – 3: Maha Vishnu Seated on Adishesha

Maha Vishnu seated on Adishesha in Cave - 3 located near Badami in Karnataka, India

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 located in 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.

Adishesha is known by many names, including Shesha, Sheshanaga and Ananta. Interestingly, two mathematical concepts are buried under these names. In Sanskrit, Shesha means one that remains (i.e., remainder), and Ananta means endless (i.e., infinity). What this means is Shesha remains even after the end of the universe, and Ananta exists for eternity.

The squarish pillars on the left are embellished with carvings of beautiful patterns and relief depicting stories. The ceiling also has intricately carved bas-reliefs of 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
Badami Cave – 1, Badami Cave – 2, Badami Cave – 3, Badami Cave – 4
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

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