This stone stele depicts the Hindu god Vishnu, attended by two consorts, Lakshmi (lower left) and Sarasvati (lower right). Vishnu is the god of Preservation, the great maintainer who often appears in various incarnations (avatara) to provide salvation for humanity. Some of his best-known avatars, who are tremendously popular and beloved throughout Hindu India, are the gods Krishna and Rama. While the god Shiva may appear as ferocious and terrifying, the god Vishnu generally appears as a princely and benevolent being, sometimes even in a charming and playful childlike form. Vishnu, like Shiva, is capable of conquering tremendous adversaries and is likewise armed with various weapons.
Here Vishnu appears as a kingly god, standing erect on a double lotus pedestal. Lakshmi is the goddess of beauty and good fortune. Sarasvati is the goddess of learning, music, and poetry. Vishnu is accompanied by his vehicle, the bird Garuda, seen here beneath Lakshmi as a bird-like human with a hooked nose and small wings.