Indian wood carving representing ten incarnations of Vishnu


This beautiful Indian wood carving from Bangalore represents ten incarnations (Dashavatara) of Vishnu. The panel features the avatars in chronological order, with Balarama replacing Buddha in the traditional sequence.

The following avatars are shown on the Indian wood carving:

  1. Matsya (The Fish): Vishnu as a giant fish saves sacred texts and sages from a deluge. The panel depicts Matsya with a human upper body and a fish’s tail.
  2. Kurma (The Tortoise): In this form, Vishnu supports Mount Mandara on his back during the churning of the ocean.
  3. Varaha (The Boar): Vishnu incarnates as a boar to rescue the Earth from the demon Hiranyaksha.
  4. Narasimha (The Man-Lion): To protect his devotee Prahlada, Vishnu appears as a half-man, half-lion to defeat the demon Hiranyakashipu.
  5. Vamana (The Dwarf): Vishnu takes the form of a dwarf brahmin to subdue the demon king Bali.
  6. Parashurama (The Warrior with an Axe): Vishnu incarnates as a brahmin warrior wielding an axe to rid the world of corrupt Kshatriya kings. The panel shows Parashurama with his characteristic axe.
  7. Rama (The Prince): Vishnu appears as Rama, the hero of the Ramayana, to defeat the demon king Ravana. The panel depicts Rama with a bow and arrow.
  8. Balarama (The Strong One): Vishnu incarnates as Balarama, the elder brother of Krishna, known for his immense strength. The panel shows Balarama with a plow.
  9. Krishna (The Divine Cowherd): Vishnu incarnates as Krishna, who plays a crucial role in the Mahabharata and delivers the Bhagavad Gita. The panel features Krishna with his flute.
  10. Kalki (The Future Warrior): Vishnu’s future incarnation will appear at the end of the current age (Kali Yuga) to restore righteousness. The panel depicts Kalki wielding a sword.

Each avatar is carved with detailed features, highlighting their unique traits and stories. The panel showcases the rich art and religious traditions of Hinduism, capturing Vishnu’s divine actions through different ages.

Age of the Indian wood carving: 20th century
Length x width x thickness: 200 x 70 x 8 cm
Weight: 34 kg
Type of wood: Teak

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