Is there any cryptic information in the photos of our Gods? Did we lost in the years of invasion?

Example: Muruga has two wives. Valli and Devasena. Sometimes he is with Ayudhas. Sometimes alone.

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    It is unclear what the question is. Can you rephrase and format it if possible? Sep 15, 2014 at 19:27
  • I've closed your other question and also this one is unclear, please edit your question appropriately, will close as of now, sounds like this has nothing to do with Hinduism.
    – Mr. Alien
    Sep 16, 2014 at 6:41

1 Answer 1


If I understand you correctly, you're asking whether we have any actual photos of the gods, so that we can see exactly what they look like. The answer is no, we don't have any such photos, but remarkably, we can still see exactly what Vishnu's face looks like.

If you're familiar with the story of Venkateshwara (the Vishnu deity in Tirupati, AKA Balaji or Srinivasa), then you may be aware that after Vishnu married Padmavati, he turned himself into stone (perhaps after some contretemps involving Lakshmi and Padmavati). That statue is the deity of the world-renknowned Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple in Tirupati, and it shows exactly what Vishnu looked like right before he turned into stone. So it's our best guide to his appearance.

Unfortunately, it's extremely hard to see what the statue really looks like, because most of the time it's covered with so many ornaments and decorations. The only time the ornaments come off is during the Friday abhishekham (bath) of the statue, but it's very hard to be in the audience for it. Thankfully, a documentary of the temple was made in the 1950's, and it has footage of the Friday abhishekham; see the 36:45 mark of this video and this video for a color version. Here are some screenshots from that footage.

First here's the whole statue:

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And here's a close up of the face:

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Unfortunately it's hard to see the details because the statue is black, but it's clearer when covered in milk:

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And here's a zoomed-in view of the face when covered in milk:

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This is our best look at exactly what Vishnu's face looks like. And it's also exactly how Rama and Krishna looked, because they're two incarnations that share Vishnu's appearance (apart from skin-color in the case of Rama).

One note of caution: it may seem from the position of the cheeks that Vishnu has a big grin on his face. But that's somewhat misleading, because Vishnu has high cheek-bones. He's probably smiling, but the position of his lips seems like a better indication of his facial expression than his cheeks. And by the way, the eyes may seem closed because of the shadow, but they're actually wide-open.

  • Then what about frescoes on walls of timeless temples of Kanchi.
    – user76466
    Sep 16, 2014 at 2:57
  • @user76466 What exactly are you asking about the frescoes of Kanchipuram temples? Are you asking what the painters based their depictions of gods on? Well, presumably they based it on either prior visual depictions of the gods, or descriptions of the gods' appearances in Hindu scripture. It's unlikely that th painters of those frescoes saw the gods themselves. Sep 16, 2014 at 3:50
  • What makes you so sure about Venkateshvara Temple idol? I can say the same thing about say Guruvayoor Temple or for that matter as @user76466 says frescoes of Kanchi. Sep 16, 2014 at 11:14
  • @VineetMenon There are of course many Swayambhu (divinely created) statues, but what distinguishes the Venkateshwara statue is not its Swayambhu quality, but rather the fact that Vishnu froze into stone exactly as he looked at that moment. Sep 16, 2014 at 14:42
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    @Creator Unfortunately, I don't know of any other instances where a god just turned to stone looking exactly as he was, although there are of course numerous Swayambhu (divinely created) statues of other gods and goddesses. Sep 17, 2014 at 5:27

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