Rock-Cut Narasimha, Dudhai Village, Lalitpur District, Uttar Pradesh

Located a little away from the hustle and bustle of Dudhai village is an extremely rare rock-cut image of Lord Narasimha that is nothing short of an engineering and artistic feat. One must remember that the facial expressions, posture and ferocity of Lord Narasimha is probably one of the most difficult to depict even for an exemplary artist. It can be said therefore, that this image carved on the rock surface is simply incredible and is testimony to the genius and mastery of the Guptas.


Though this particular rock-cut Lord Narasimha has not been documented in entirety yet, it can be said with some certainty that this is from the 5th century and was commissioned by the Guptas as there are several temples, sculptures and structures of their period in Dudhai village.


According to historians and archaeologists, this rock-cut figure is roughly 30 feet in height and carved as per the rock formation. A close look at the image reveals the mouth of Lord Narasimha slightly open with his sharp teeth and tongue strangely red in colour that locals say is due to the colour of the rock. The red rock and the rainwater runoff on the rock surfaces only makes the fierce expression of Lord Narasimha all the more captivating. It also surprisingly manages to reassure the devout.


The horizontal lines of the stratified rock lend an appearance of jewels and garments on Lord Narasimha. Hiranyakashipu is seen lying across the enormous thighs of Lord but is barely recognizable owing to eroding rock surface.


The natural lines of the rock exude elegance, charm, awe and grandeur. This imposing figure is probably best viewed at a distance as the rock surface makes it difficult to identify the different sculptural elements.


Written by Lakshmi Subramanian


* Photos are only symbolic (Taken from public domain/internet and any copyright infringement is unintentional and regrettable)

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