Vishnu is black-blue in body, with four hands – one holding a club, another a conch shell the third a discus and the fourth a lotus. He rests on the coiled serpent king, Sheshanga. He covers the universe in three strides: on earth as fire, in the atmosphere as lightning and in the sky as the sun.
He is in control of all universal phenomena and has undisputed power over others. His vehicle is Garuda and his consort, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and well-being. Together Vishnu and Lakshmi are a popular duo, worshiped particularly by families seeking material welfare.
Vishnu is the ultimate arbitrator of disputes, between not only human beings but celestial beings too. Thus to his court in the bed of the ocean, come Indra or Narada, with stories and complaints. he intercedes on behalf of others and is the peacemaker. Extremely gentle of nature and personality, he symbolizes tolerance and patience.
He has taken various forms, or avataras, from time to time, the most popular of which are Rama and Krishna.
The chief temples of Vishnu worship are Tirupati Venkateshwara in Andhra, Padmanabhan in Kerala and Dwarakadheesh in Gujarat. Krishna and Rama temples are virtually countless.