Illustrated introduction to Hinduism, £9.99
Ivory figure of Vishnu on a naga throne
From southern India
18th century AD
Vishnu sheltered by the cosmic serpent Ananta, for use in a domestic shrine
Standing beneath a decorative arch with a
(monster-mask) at the top is a standing image of the Hindu god,
This very elaborate ivory carving was used as a small shrine for worshippers of Vishnu. The particular form of Vishnu represented is Venkateshvara. He is worshipped at the temple at Tirupati in southern Andhra Pradesh north of Madras. It is one of the most popular temples in India and thousands of pilgrims visit every year. Their donations to the deity also make it one of the richest temples.