Lost-wax, cast brass, prabhavali from South India
This large prabhavali unusually has standing elephants with mahouts on either side at the base. Above them on panels are the dwarapalakas (door guardians) Jaya and Vijaya. At the top of the arch is a Kirtimukha ‘the face of glory’, the bulging face of a ravenous lion meant to avert malignant influences and protect devotees. Just below this is the hood of a multi-headed serpent. The arch itself is decorated with stylised flames along the outer edge and has two makaras (an aquatic mythological animal) at each base. Makara are also considered guardians of gateways and thresholds.