Mask of Vaikuntha Vishnu, late 5th century. Learn more about 5th century masks
A carved sundial and marker of directions featuring the sun and eight celestial bodies, collectively known in Hindu astrology as the navagraha (nine planets). Also known as a solar altar, it was typically placed atop a tiered pedestal. The central figure was that of a lotus, representing the sun. It was surrounded by the eight planets, which symbolised the eight cardinal directions. The symbols of the twelve constellations were carved around the circumference of the dial, marking the path made by the sun across the sky, every twenty four hours.