The scene depicts a fantastical arial battle between Pradyumna and Arjuna on one hand and a giant bird with a captive damsel in its clutches. On the left we see the limp figure of the woman trapped in the talons of the giant raptor as it flies across a steep mountain top until Pradyumna and Arjuna sail through the skies in their chariot on the right, attack and subdue the creature and rescue the maiden.
The illustration possibly depicts a scene from the Harivamsa which relates the story of the demon Shambharasura who assumed the form of a bird and captured Rati, the wife of Kamadeva. Kamadeva was reborn as Pradyumna, the son of Krishna, and thus he is shown rescuing his consort here. The painters seem to have taken some artistic license in blending the two stories in this illustration.
We would like to thank Mrs. Alka Bagri and Prof. Nandakumar for their assistance with the identification of this scene.
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