One Legged Shiva Temple

Lord Shiva appears as one-legged in a Temple.

Shiva is worshiped as Ekapada Shiva.

In one form he has one leg with the two of the other Trinity, Brahma and Vishnu forming a part of Him.

There are three aspects of this Form.

This form is also one of Bhairava as well.

One legged Shiva

Ekapada Bhairva

Shiva with three Legs

Tripada Shiva

Ekapada refers to a one-footed aspect of the Hindu god Shiva. This aspect is primarily found in South India and Orissa, but also occasionally in Rajasthan and Nepal. The Ekapada is primarily represented in three iconographical forms. In the Ekapada-murti (“one-footed icon”) form, he is depicted as one-legged and four-armed. In the Ekapada-Trimurti (“one-footed Trinity”) form, he is depicted with the torsos of the deities Vishnu and Brahma, which together with Shiva form the Hindu Trinity (Trimurti) emanating from his sides, waist upwards and with one leg; however, sometimes, besides the central one leg of Shiva, two smaller legs of Vishnu and Brahma emerge from the sides. While some scriptures also call the latter configuration Ekapada-Trimurti, some refer it to as Tripada-Trimurti (“three-footed Trinity”). In Orissa, where Ekapada is considered an aspect of Bhairava—the fearsome aspect of Shiva—the iconography of Ekapada-murti becomes more fierce, with motifs of blood sacrifice. This aspect is called Ekapada Bhairava (“one-footed Bhairava” or “the one-footed fierce one”).

The Ekapada form of Shiva originated from the Vedic deity Aja Ekapada or Ajaikapada, a name that Ekapada Bhairava still inherits. Ekapada represents the cosmic pillar of the universe and portrays Shiva as the Supreme Lord, from whom Vishnu and Brahma originate. Ekapada is often accompanied by ascetic attendants, whose presence emphasizes his connection to severe penance.

“Ekapada Shiva is a rarity in Indian Iconography, considered to be a Lilamurthy of Shiva and found in all of two places. One is found in Chaunsath Yogini temple is Orissa where he is more commonly known as Ajaikapada Bhairava and the other is found in Someshwara temple Andhra Pradesh. In both cases He is found in close association with the Mother Goddess cult, specially Chamunda. He seems to be very closely associated with the Tantrik cult, a probable influence of the Sakta cult originating in Bengal in close association with Tantrik practices.




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