Dynasty : Vijaynagar, Tamil nadu
Period : Late Medieval 1300 CE
Material : Stone
Location : National Museum
Current Location : National Museum
Vishnu is one of the most important gods in the Hindu pantheon and, along with Brahma and Shiva, is considered a member of the holy trinity (Trimurti) of Hinduism. He is the most important god of Vaishnavism, the largest Hindu sect.Vishnu is the Preserver and guardian of people (Narayana), he protects the order of things (dharma) and, when necessary, he appears on earth in various incarnations or avatars to fight demons and fierce creatures and so maintain cosmic harmony. The Vijayanagar Empire was a Hindu empire based in the Deccan plateau region of South India. Established in 1336 by Harihara. The empire’s patronage enabled its fine arts and literature to rise to new heights, and its legacy of sculpture, painting, and architecture influenced the development of the arts in South India long after the empire came to an end. There were great innovations in Hindu temple construction during this period, and many diverse temple building traditions and styles in South India came together in the Vijayanagar style of architecture, the finest examples of which are to be found in the capital Hampi. A granite stone image of four-armed Vishnu standing on a pedestal with a tenon. The front right and the upper arms are lost. In the upper right hand, he holds a chakra and the lower left hand (damaged) is placed on the handle of the mace. He wears the usual ornaments. The four arms indicate his all-powerful and all-pervasive nature. The crown on his head symbolizes supreme authority.