Mask of Vaikuntha Vishnu, late 5th century. Learn more about 5th century masks
A single-handed gesture in South Asian iconography in which the palm is stretched out and downwards from the wrist, with the fingers slightly bent. It derives its name from gaja, the Sanskrit term for elephant, and symbolises an elephant’s trunk. It is common in both dance and sculpture and, in the context of the latter, is commonly observed on sculptures of Nataraja, with one of his left hands depicted in this pose.