Home Museums Museum Mojo #MuseumJigsaw : The emergence of Varaha by Manaku

#MuseumJigsaw : The emergence of Varaha by Manaku

In India, many of us have grown up on stories of the creation, and mythological wars between the Good and Evil. One such story is of the demon Hiranyaksha who dragged the Earth to the bottom of the sea – leading to the emergence of Vishnu as Varaha (a boar) who slays the demon and rescues the Earth (goddess). The story has been immortalised through sculptures, rock-carvings and artworks. In collaboration with Government Museum and Art Gallery Chandigarh we bring you one such painting from the Bhagvata Purana manuscript in their collection painted by Manaku (an 18th century painter).

Can you piece this masterpiece together?

Helpful Tips

# puzzle pieces might just be on top of each other – look carefully!
# make sure you have observed the painting before you start. In case you need to see the image again, scroll down or hit the picture icon on the bottom left
# hint: you might find it easy to piece the border together – but that doesn’t make the puzzle easier! Try piecing the yellow dress of Vishnu (Varaha) together!
# Share your finished piece with us using #MuseumJigsaw and tag @theheritagelab & @museumchd on Instagram/Twitter!

About the Painting : The Emergence of Varaha

As goes the story, when Vishnu takes the form of the boar with a human body, the whole world is terrified. In this painting, Manaku brings alive the fierceness and terror of Vishnu’s appearance which is accompanied by an unworldly-thunder and shower of weapons; bones and rocks flying around and the terrifying hissing of snakes. The ‘fear’ element in the painting is accentuated by the fleeing characters (who would reappear in the story later). Manaku’s series covering the battle-sequence between Varaha and Hiranyaksha spreads over 15 paintings – many of them on display at the Chandigarh museum.

The artist, Manaku

Manaku, the brother of celebrated painter Nainsukh hailed from a small town (Guler) in the hills of northern India. His series on poet Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda and the Bhagvata Purana are considered to be masterpieces given his precise workmanship and treatment of various scenes.

Discover other works in the Chandigarh museum collection.


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The Heritage Lab
The Heritage Lab
The Heritage Lab is a digital platform connecting museums & citizens through campaigns, public-engagement programs & free access content for youth, families and kids.
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