Relief Of Atavaka
Inner Southwest Wall of the Porch
Twin reliefs on the inner walls of the porch illustrate the popular Buddhist legend of Hariti, a Hindu ogress and plague goddess who was converted by the Buddha to become the protectoress of children1. Her relief (not shown) is displayed on the inner northeast wall of the porch. Seen here, on the inner southwest wall, is a rare and unusual relief of her husband, Atavaka (or, Panchika) surrounded by the children whom he, like his wife, is now protecting.
1An example of religious usurpation, in which a contact religion (Buddhism, in this case) incorporates the gods of its competitors (Hinduism, in this case) into its own pantheon.