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Kaliya- Krishna

Period : Late Medieval 1100 CE
Material : Stone
Location : National Museum
Current Location : National Museum
Description :
The story of Krishna and Kaliya is told in Chapter Sixteen of the Tenth section of the Bhagavata Purana. Once a huge black serpent called Kaliya came to live in the river Yamuna. He poisoned the water of the river with his venom. The people of Vrindavan were very scared of the serpent, which was very strong. One day, Krishna decided to teach Kaliya a lesson. He jumped into the river to kill the serpent. Kaliya was furious and rushed to attack Krishna. But before the snake could catch him, Krishna quickly climbed on Kaliya's head. To shake him off, Kaliya tried to coil around Krishna and crush him. He even tried to drown him but Krishna stayed underwater without breathing. Eventually, Kaliya got tired. Krishna then started jumping and stamping on Kaliya's head and the serpent started vomiting poison.Kaliya begged Krishna for forgiveness and Krishna ordered the serpent to leave the Yamuna. Kaliya bowed his head and quietly left, and the people of Vrindavan rejoiced. Cornerstone of the outside wall of a temple, carved in deep relief on two faces. The carving on the one face depicts Krishna dancing on the head of a seven-hooded serpent, Kaliya, holding its tail with the raised left hand. His right hand is in abhayamudra. He is being watched by a small naga squatting to the right. The facial features of Krishna are damaged. The base in front is carved with horizontal and vertical wavy lines to suggest the River Yamuna, wherein a couple of fish and tortoise can be noticed. Above the head of Krishna is a foliated canopy. The second face shows Garuda standing in anjalimudra, under a foliated canopy. The base in front is carved with floral motifs. Both the figures are elaborately ornamented in coronets, earrings, necklaces, armlets, bracelets, anklets and a girdle. They wear a waist-cloth, the body above the girdle being bare.