A turbaned man fanned by a servant holding a fly-whisk stands in a room facing a man in red. Other richly dressed men are entering the mansion. Groups of women in separate rooms look on while green parrots perch on the roof. Outside the building, a mahout and his elephant rest under a tree.

King Śreṇika has arrived at his destination after travelling by elephant. The king is welcomed with presents. He and his retinue begin the tour of Śālibhadra’s mansion on the first floor, as detailed in the caption: pahilī bhūma 15.

At the sight of the first storey everyone was delighted [and cried,]. ‘This is not the dwelling-place of a mortal being – it is so beautiful!’

As for Śālibhadra’s wives, they stay in their private apartments as custom commands.

Other visual elements

The borders around the illustration, which takes up most of the folio, are plain. The double lines that form the border are in red pigment, which is now quite faded.


The elaborate script is the Jaina Devanāgarī script, in a form which recalls calligraphy. It is used for writing many Indian languages, here for Gujarati.

There are a few notable features of this script, namely:

  • it is an old type in the way the sounds e and o are notated when used with a consonant, known as pṛṣṭhamātrā script
  • the red vertical lines within the text, which, though they are used to divide the long sentences into smaller parts, are not necessarily punctuation marks.

There is a blank space in the text, which is a symbolic reminder of the way in which manuscripts were bound at one time. Strings through one or more holes in the paper were used to thread together the loose folios so the reader could turn them over easily. In this manuscript the blank space is normally in the place where the central hole would once have been. However, because the illustration takes up most of the page, the text and the blank space it contains are pushed to the left side.