Lakshmi Narasimha statue in Hampi is the largest monolithic statue in the town and the sheer size of it will leave you in awe.
Narasimha, meaning half-man and half-lion in the local language, sits in a cross-legged yoga position with a belt supporting his knees on the coils of a giant seven-headed snake called Sesha. The snake’s heads act as a hood over Narasimha’s head. It’s a terrifying sight with his protruding eyes and facial expression.
This statue is sometimes referred to as Ugra Narasimha or the ferocious Narasimha.
Believe it or not, the statue originally had an image of the goddess Lakshmi sitting on Narasimha’s lap. But during a raid that led to the fall of the Vijayanagara Empire, the statue was severely damaged. Unfortunately, the damaged portion of the statue of Lakshmi carved on his lap is missing, probably lying around in tiny pieces. But you can still see the hand of the goddess resting on his back in an embracing posture with perfectly executed nails and rings on her fingers.
This statue is a perfect example of how creative and destructive the human mind can be. Don’t you agree?
The statue is located on the southern side of the Hemakuta group of temples that stand on the Hemakuta Hill. It was constructed in 1528 AD during the rule of Krishnadevaraya, one of the greatest rulers of the Vijayanagara Empire. The temple is dedicated to Lord Narasimha and Goddess Lakshmi and is known as the Lakshmi Narasimha Temple.
The statue is open to the public every day from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and the best time to visit is from October to February. There is no entry fee, and photography is allowed. The statue is a testament to the skill of the craftsmen of the ancient era, and the mythology related to it is fascinating.
So, if you want to witness an awe-inspiring sight and learn more about Hindu mythology, the Lakshmi Narasimha statue in Hampi is the place to go.