Hampi:Lakshmi Narasimha statue and the monolithic Sivalinga

The Lakshmi-Narasimha statue is located quite close to the Bala Krishna temple. It is the biggest monolithic sculpture in Hampi measuring 6.7 meters high. It depicts Narasimha – the half man, hald lion form -  the fourth Avatar of Vishnu sitting in a yoga posture. Due to it's fierce appearance, this statue is known as "Ugra-Narasimha".

Lakshmi Narasmiha sculpture in Hampi - Karnataka
Ugra-Narasimha statue with unfinished surrounding wall
By Nithin bolar k (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons



Even though the exact time line of this statue is not well known, an inscribed stone slab found near the statue mentions that the King Krishnadevaraya has commissioned this statue in 1528. Narasimha has a fierce expression on his face, which is aggravated by the protruding eyes. Above the Narasimha statue, we can see a multi headed serpent with a monster mask; it indicates the Adi-Sesha, the serpent of Lord Vishnu.

Lakshmi Narasmiha sculpture in Hampi - Karnataka
The seven hooded serpent above the head of Narasimha 
By Ilya Mauter (Own work) [CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons
The Lakshmi-Narasimha sculpture got its name from the peculiar construction which cannot be observed now. In the original form of the sculpture had Lakshmi – Consort of Narasimha- sitting on Narasimha’s lap. It was destructed during the Mughal raid of Vijayanagara in 1565. The remnant of Goddess Lakshmi’s statue is also visible on the close inspection.

Lakshmi Narasmiha sculpture in Hampi - Karnataka
The enclosure containing the Lakshmi Narasimha statue
By Ravi basarihalli (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Even though the Lakshmi-Narasimha statue was complete, there are signs of an incomplete square chamber that was under construction which surrounds the Lakshmi Narasimha statue. The construction would have never been completed as the main patron Krishnadevaraya passed away in 1529 and the Vijayanagara Empire started diminishing in its strength and eventually succumbed to the Mughal attack in 1565AD.

Next to the Narasimha statue, we can find a monolithic Siva Linga, measuring 3 feet height placed on a circular pedestal.  It is contained in a cubical chamber with flat slabs on the roof. It also known as "Badavalinga" in local language, meaning the giant Shiva Linga

Badava Linga temple in Hampi - Karnataka
Badava Linga in the rectangular chamber
By Dey.sandip (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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