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Ceiling panel with Indra in the centre. Scenes from the Epic-Churning of the ocean, etc, Cave III, Badami

Ceiling panel with Indra in the centre. Scenes from the Epic-Churning of the ocean, etc, Cave III, Badami

Artist: Indian draftsman

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1853

Shelfmark: WD1596

Item number: 23

Length: 71

Width: 57

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Pen-and-ink drawing of the ceiling panel with Indra in the centre and scenes from the myth of the Churning of the Milk Ocean, from Cave III, Badami, by an Indian draftsman, dated 1853.

This drawing depicts one of the medallions carved on the ceiling of Cave III at Badami. It contains figures of divinities and Indra seated on the elephant Airavata in the centre. Cave III was excavated during the reign of the Early Chalukya ruler Pulakeshin I in 578. It is the finest of the caves at Badami and the most elaborately ornate. It consists of a long outer porch, a pillared hall (mandapa), and the small shrine excavated into the rear wall. On the walls there are friezes illustrating epic stories; these drawings depict some of the scenes from the Puranic myth of the Churning of the Milk Ocean in which gods and demons (asuras) churned the waters of the comic ocean using the serpent Vasuki to obtain the drink of immortaity (amrita).

Badami, formerly known as Vatapi, was the capital of the Early Chalukya rulers in the sixth - eighth centuries. The town is situated between two rocky hills of red sandstone that surround an artificial lake.

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