The blue-skinned figure on the left has four arms and balances on the head of a tiger. Richly costumed and arrayed in jewels, she sits under a dome. Facing her is an equally well-dressed man holding aloft a long knife. Behind him, also facing the blue-skinned woman, is a man wearing a tent-like robe, his hand upraised. Arranged behind him in a semicircle are, from the top, an antelope, a crane, a peacock, a deer and a cockerel.

The Śaiva ascetic Bhairava has told King Māridatta that he must bring pairs of animals of all species for sacrifice to the Goddess Caṇḍamārī. In return she will grant him the power of flight.

On the left Caṇḍamārī is seated on a tiger skin. On the right are King Māridatta and Bhairava, followed by animals representing four-footed creatures and birds. The dagger the king holds is mentioned in the third line of the text – karayali saṃdhāriya churi. This shows that he is ready to kill the animals.

The flowers appear to be decorative. The long protruding eye is a typical feature of western Indian painting. Its origin is unclear.

Other visual elements

This is a good example of an average manuscript. A red background is used for the painting but there is no use of gold, intricate design elements or elaborate script.

The bottom of the right margin contains the number 4, which is the folio number.

In the upper and lower margins there are syllables missing from the main text, or corrections. The number before them is the line number where they should be inserted.


The script used for the main text is the Jaina Devanāgarī script. It is used for writing numerous Indian languages, here Apabhraṃśa Prakrit.