Close view of carved pillar at the Narasimha Temple, Ahobilam
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a carved pillar in the Narasimha Temple at Ahobilam in Andhra Pradesh, taken by an unknown photographer in c.1870, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections. Ahobilam is an important Vaishnava pilgrimage site and the principal place of worship of Narasimha. There is one temple complex in lower Ahobilam, seen in this view, and another in upper Ahobilam. The temples were begun by the Reddi rulers of the 14th century and reconstructed in the late 15th and 16th centuries under the Vijayanagara rulers. The complex consists of nine shrines dedicated to the nine different forms of Lord Narasimha, the lion-man incarnation of Vishnu. This view shows a column carved with a figural panel and rearing yalis, mythical animals, typical of the Vijayanagara style. The temple, which comprises free-standing mandapas or halls and subsidiary shrines, stands in a courtyard. It is entered through pyramidal gopuras or gateways on the east and west sides.