He is one of the trimurty’s or the trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiv). He regarded as the preserver of the universe. In Sanskrit the word Vishnu means that which pervades every thing. He is described as dark in complexion. His four hand hold the Shankha, Chakra, Gada and Padma. Sankha(conch shell) that is believed to spread the divine sound or the anhatnada “OM”. The Chakra (disc like wheel) that indicates the kalachakra or the Time cycle. The chakra is also used by him as a weapon. In the other hand he holds the padma (lotus) and lastly he holds a Gada (mace) which is used as a weapon too. His vehicle is a divine bird- Garuda. He rests on a huge coiled serpent called Sheshanaga which represents the ignorant life on earth. His consort is Devi lakshmi (goddess of wealth).
With reference to dance, in the Abhinayadarpanam he is described as
hastabhyam tripakastu vishnuhastaha kirtitaha
He is represented by holding both hands in Tripataka hasta close to the shoulders.