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Trivikrama Vishnu and Varaha, Cave II, Badami

Trivikrama Vishnu and Varaha, Cave II, Badami

Artist: Indian draftsman

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1853

Shelfmark: WD1596

Item number: 27

Length: 71

Width: 57

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Pen-and-ink and wash drawing of two sculptures of Vishnu as Trivikrama and Varaha from Cave II, Badami, by and Indian draftsman, dated 1853.

The two sculpture panels represented in this drawing are carved inside the porch of Cave II at Badami which is dedicated to Vishnu and was excavated in the late sixth century AD. The figure to the left in the drawing represents Vishnu Trivikrama. Following a myth, Vishnu, disguised as the dwarf Vamana, transformed himself into the giant Trivikrama to fight against the demon king Bali and asked that he might have as much land as he could cover in three paces. When Bali agreed, Trivikrama with one stride covered the heavens, with a second stride covered the earth, but before he could take a third stride, Bali pleaded for him to stand on his head instead. This pushed Bali down into the underworld where he became master while Vishnu remained the master of the universe.

The figure to the right in the drawing is Varaha, the Boar incarnation of Vishnu, which he undertook when the demon Hiranyaksa pushed the earth into the cosmic ocean. He killed the demon, plunged into the ocean and rescued the earth on his tusks.

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. There are two later forts that overlook the town. Around the south fort there are four rock-cut shrines.

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