The bump, or ushnisha, on top of the Buddha's head signifies his advanced spiritual state and great knowledge. The elongated earlobes refer to his early life as a prince, when he wore heavy earrings, which remind the faithful that they, too, should reject worldly goods and pleasures. The downcast eyes symbolize the Buddha's understanding and mastery of meditation. The hair is cropped short and shaped like snail shells. All of these are typical features of buddha images. The U-shaped fixture on the back of this Buddha's head was used to attach a large body-halo to the sculpture.
A consecratory inscription carved on the pedestal is often found on Indian sculpture; this creed loosely translates as, "All those phenomena which are born of causes, Tathagata [that is, Buddha] spoke indeed of all those causes, and their cessation (was also preached by him)." This sculpture has been dated on the basis of the paleography of this inscription. It is written in the northern Indian Brahmi script, which was commonly used in the late 5th and early 6th century.