Nandi, the Sacred Bull of Shiva
Housed inside a stone mantapa (covered hall), this finely carved statue depicts Shiva’s vahana (vehicle) Nandi.
Carved out of a single rock, this magnificent statue of Nandi is smooth and shiny and has retained its original polish. It is a superb work of art with great attention to detail. Adorned with finely crafted jewelry all over his body, Nandi is leisurely resting with a serene expression on his face and appears to keep a constant watch on Shiva. Nandi’s body is well-proportioned and perfectly curved, including a small curved hump on its back.
A large-sized statue of Nandi is a common sight in the courtyard of Shiva temples. Because the Halebidu Holysaleswara Temple has two garbhagrihas (south and north), there are two stone mantapas (pavilions) built next to each other on the east side of the temple courtyard. The Nandi statue shown in the image is housed in the stone mantapa in front of the north garbhagriha.
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