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Sculptured image of Vishnu on Garuda at Kispa

Sculptured image of Vishnu on Garuda at Kispa

Photographer: Peppé, Thomas Fraser

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1870

Shelfmark: Photo 1000/28(2801)

Item number: 1000282801

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of a sculptured image of Vishnu on Garuda at Kispa, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections: India Office Series (volume 28), taken by Thomas Fraser Peppé (1833-1902) in 1870. Kispa is in the Gaya District, Bihar which is known for Gaya city, the place where Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. It is also a sacred area for Hindus, as it is believed to be empowered by Vishnu. The area is on a level plain and has a ridge of beautiful wooded hills along the southern boundary. This photograph shows a sculpture of the Hindu god Vishnu on his vahara (mount) Garuda, who is often depicted as half-human half-bird. The sculpture may have been associated with the Vishnupaada Temple, the largest temple dedicated to Vishnu in the area. Archaeological evidence dates the earliest remains to the 4th century, but the temple that stands there today is from the 18th century.

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