Virgal in Hinduism is a memorial built to honor a hero who dies while protecting a village, cattle, or saving the honor of a woman. The memorials are known as hero stones and are found in different parts of the country especially in Karnataka.
The custom of erecting Virgal is believed to have begun in the 4th century AD and it continued until the 19th century AD. The maximum Virgal were erected between 13th and 16th century AD.
There are generally bands of carvings on the Virgal, of which the lowest one depicts the hero fighting with the raiders, and the next one shows him going to heaven. At the top is carved a Shivlinga. The fallen hero assumes divine status and is worshipped.