Dynasty : Gahadavala, Rajasthan
Period : Late Medieval 1100 CE
Material : Stone
Location : National Museum
Current Location : National Museum
Harihara, in Hinduism, is a deity combining the two major gods Vishnu (Hari) and Shiva (Hara). Images of Harihara (also known as Shambhu-Vishnu and Shankara Narayana, variants of the names of the two gods) first appeared in the classical period, after the sectarian movements, which elevated one god as supreme over the others, had waned sufficiently for efforts at compromise to be attempted. In images of Harihara, the right half is depicted as Shiva and the left as Vishnu. The hands of Vishnu hold his characteristic conch shell and a chakra (discus). Half the headdress is shown with Shiva’s matted locks, which hold a crescent moon, and half as Vishnu’s crown; on the forehead, half of Shiva’s third eye is visible. Four-armed image of Harihara standing on a damaged lotus pedestal. Three of his hands are damaged and lost, while in the only surviving upper left hand, he holds a chakra. As Hari, he wears half of a kiritamakuta on the left half of his head; and as Hara he has jatamakuta on the right half of his head. Near his right foot, stands one of the personified weapons, chakrapurusha, while the other one i.e. Gadadevi is lost. Behind the deity stands the Nandi Bull, the vahana of Siva; and the mount of Vishnu, the Garuda stands to the proper left. Two devotees flank the deity on either side. Above on the two sides are seated Brahma and Siva on the right and left respectively. There is an ornamented nimbus behind the head of the God with lotus petals carved in the centre. A srivatsa mark on the chest is also shown.