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Vishnu in his Boar Incarnation holding the rescued Earth. Rock carvings at the Seven Pagodas

Vishnu in his Boar Incarnation holding the rescued Earth. Rock carvings at the Seven Pagodas

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1885

Shelfmark: Photo 807/1(18)

Item number: 807118

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of a large sculpture panel depicting the myth of Vishnu as Varaha, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1880s. Vahara is Vishnu's Boar incarnation and he is seen here lifting Bhu, the Earth goddess, from the bottom of the sea where she was imprisoned by a sea-devil and the whole world was flooded. Vahara is usually depicted with a human body and an animal head, as can be seen here, where Vahara is shown holding Bhu in his arms. This panel is situated in the rock-cut cave temple at Mamallapuram and dates from the late 7th Century of the Pallava period. Mamallapuram derives its name from the title 'Mahamalla' or Great Wrestler of the Pallava king Narasimhavarman I (r.c.630-668).

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