Figure of Kurma, the Tortoise incarnation of Vishnu

On display

Details

  • Catalogue text

    Viṣṇu’s second avatāra, when he served as the pivot or support for the churning stick when the gods and the asuras, using the serpent Vāsuki as a rope, churned the ocean of milk. This is one of the principal Indian creation myths. Viṣṇu is usually represented, as here, with a human upper body. He holds his usual attributes, the cakra, or discus (here bent back), the conch-shell, the club and the lotus.

    There is a short two line inscription in Sanskrit on the base, which reads:
    // Śrī Kūrmasevakaś Cedipatiḥ Kūrmapālaḥ // Jaiṣṭaśukla // 8 // Saṃ // 1858 (?) // muḥkāsī // (sic.)

    The final word of the inscription is obscure.

    In: Harle, J. C., and Andrew Topsfield, Indian Art in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 1987)

Glossary of terms

Vishnu

Further reading

Harle, J. C., and Andrew Topsfield, Indian Art in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 1987), no. 61 on p. 50, illus. p. 50

Reference URL

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