A Guardian of Shiva

1200s
Overall: 113.3 x 49.2 x 29 cm (44 5/8 x 19 3/8 x 11 7/16 in.)
Weight: approx. 600 lbs.
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Did You Know?

A three-hooded cobra winds its way up the shaft, while another slithers through the sockets of the skull.

Description

Guardians at Shiva temples sometimes appear as a form of the deity himself. Carved in the ornate style favored by kings of the Hoyshala dynasty (1026–1343), this four-armed figure holds a drum that indicates the ongoing passage of time in his upper right hand. In his upper left hand, he holds a staff surmounted by a decomposing head of the god of creation, Brahma. The soft contours of the face, complete with third eye of knowledge, temper his ferocity and create a gently alluring figure.
A Guardian of Shiva

A Guardian of Shiva

1200s

Southwestern India, Karnataka

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