A jewel-bedecked man dressed in costly clothing sits under the canopy of royalty, a female servant behind him. The man gestures to a kneeling man who raises his hands. The two plainly dressed men on the right wear small caps and carry long swords. Their dark complexions indicate they are low-caste people. The curving white and blue bands of the background signal that the scene is set outside.

The scene shows King Māridatta seated on his lion-footed throne, fanned by a female attendant. The leading official, hands folded, is respectfully kneeling in front of him. The two men he has brought will search for sacrificial victims. The low status of these men, who perform unpleasant tasks, is shown by their dark complexion. The swords they carry indicate what their role is going to be.

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.