Ceiling slab from Huchchappaiyya Gudi temple
PRIOR to the creation of this universe, Vishnu created Brahma lying on the primordial waters of Kshirasagara. This myth is symbolically represented in the form of Sheshashayi Vishnu. This image is distinguished by a unique composition and a very sensitive treatment of this particular theme. Quite unlike the other Sheshashayi Vishnu images lying straight on the coils of Serpent Ananta, in this sculpture he is slightly turned to his right supporting his head with his upper right hand. The serpent-hood is also slightly turned to the right to be exactly above Vishnu’s head. The centre of the serpent-hood aligns exactly with the top left corner of the slab deviating noticeably from other sculptures where it is generally in the centre of the panel. As his hands are resting comfortably on the Adishesha, his emblems the chakra and Gada are placed horizontally on the bed near his right hand, while shankha is near his left hand. Shri Devi and Bhudevi are seated by his side and the winged Garuda in the right corner is standing in adoration of the god. Mutilated figures of Madhu and Kaitabha are placed on the top. Vishnu is adorned with Kiritamukuta, Yajnopavita, armlets, bracelets, and a necklace popularly known as optimal or necklace of coins. The folds of his transparent dhoti beautifully merge with the stripes on the coils of the serpent.
The slab is bordered on the two vertical sides by meandering floral scrolls.
7th Century CE
Aihole, Bijapur District, Karnataka
105 x 240 cms.