Dynasty : Vijaynagar, Tamil nadu
Period : Late Medieval 1200 CE
Material : Stone
Location : National Museum
Current Location : National Museum
The Narasimha avatara is one of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. It is always represented in a hybrid form. The face is that of a lion (simha) and the body being human (nara). The story behind this incarnation goes as follows: Prahlada, who was a great devotee of Hari (another name for Vishnu) was tortured by his demon father Hiranyakashyapu, a great hater of Hari. After his vain efforts through persuasion and severe persecution to dissuade Prahlada from his devotion to Hari, asked him where his god was. Prahlada answered that he was everywhere, even in the crystal column before them. Hiranyakashyapu kicked at it, and out came the god in the peculiar form, felled the demon on his thighs and killed him outright. Many reliefs depicting this theme have been recovered from various parts of India, and a large number of them represent either the combat between the god and the demon or the killing of the latter.Image of Narasimha shown standing on a semi-circular pedestal. He is lion-faced. He wears a necklace, the sacred chord, udarabandha and anklets. A sash is draped around the thighs and its loop is held in the left hand.