From the Narratives on Mythical Beasts to the Voicing of Power

The Case of the Vīrabhadra Temple in Keladi




Ikkeri Nayakas, Vīrabhadra Temple in Keladi, Narasiṃha, Gaṇḍabheruṇḍa, Śarabha, puruṣamṛga, hybrid creatures


Taking as the case study the Ikkeri Nayakas’ Vīrabhadra temple in Keladi (the current Karnataka state), the paper discusses the potential correlation between the narrative and the image in terms of the temple’s artistic programme and the myths it draws on. With the assumption that the artistic production can serve as a political tool aimed at expressing a ruler’s agenda, our focus is on the depictions of certain hybrid creatures found within the premises of the temple and their multidimensional symbolism attested to in Hindu narratives. Our analysis of the visual and the narrative material against the backdrop of the early history of the temple’s royal patrons suggests that in the centre of their interest, while designing the temple, was the desire to set out their claims to power and present the milieu they lived in.


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How to Cite

Dębicka-Borek, Ewa, and Lidia Sudyka. 2022. “From the Narratives on Mythical Beasts to the Voicing of Power: The Case of the Vīrabhadra Temple in Keladi”. Cracow Indological Studies 24 (2):219-52.