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  • Place of origin:

    Cochin (made)

  • Date:

    19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved teak wood

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is one of series of carved teakwood ceiling panels with reliefs of various Hindu deities. They came from a temple hall demolished in 1874 in Cochin, south-west India. Such halls (‘mandapa’) were used for theatrical, dance and music performances within a temple compound.

This deeply carved and richly polychromed panel shows a seated figure of Vishnu in four-armed form. He is holding his conch (‘sangka’), discus (‘cakra’), club (‘gada’) and flower, with an honorific canopy provided by a five-hooded cobra (‘naga’).

Vishnu is richly bejewelled, wearing ‘makara’ ear-ornaments and a ‘kirttimukha’ (face of glory) clasp on his waist belt. The representation of Vishnu’s discus is unusual. Here it has assumed the form of a ‘yantra’ mandala.

Physical description

Carved teak wood ceiling panel with reliefs of various Hindu deities. The highly sculputed frieze represents the history of the marriage of Rama. The panels came from the portico of a Pagoda in Cochin, demolished in 1874. The complete ceiling decoration consisting of individual panels measured 21ft 6in by 5 ft 6in.

Place of Origin

Cochin (made)


19th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved teak wood


Width: 35.5 cm, Length: 35.5 cm

Descriptive line

Ceiling panel depicting Vishnu, polychromed wood, Cochin, south-west India, 19th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

p.229, Cat.182
L'escultura en el temples indis : l'art de la devoció : exposició organitzada per la Fundació "La Caixa" i el Victoria & Albert Museum, Londres. [Barcelona: Obra social, Fundació "la Caixa", c2007 Number: 9788476649466
p.187, Cat.93
Michell, George (ed.) Living Wood: Sculptural Traditions of Southern India, Bombay, 1992

Production Note

Kerala, south-west India





Subjects depicted

Deities; Hinduism; Figures


Woodwork; Sculpture; Religion; Hinduism; Architectural fittings


South & South East Asia Collection

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