Gudimallam Shivling – one of the earliest known idols of a Hindu deity

Gudimallam Shivling is a 1.5 meter high ‘lingam’ and is a rare representation of Lord Shiva. The period of construction of Gudimallam Shivling is ascribed to the 3rd - 2nd century B.C and this makes it one of the earliest known idols of a Hindu deity.

Gudimallam Lingam is the only idol in which Lord Shiva is carved completely within the Lingam. This rare ‘lingam’ has the figure of two-armed Lord Shiva standing embossed on the front of the ‘lingam’. Lord Shiva has a ram by the hind leg which is held in his right hand and in the left hand there is a vessel and an axe. The shivling stands on a crouching fish, a Meena Yaksha.

The idol is found in the Parashurameshvara temple in Chittor District of Andhra Pradesh. The temple is about 25 km east of Tirupati. The temple also has shrines of Kartikeya and his consorts, Anandavali Amman, and Surya.