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Harirudra In Hinduism

Harirudra is a combined iconic form of Hari (Vishnu) and Rudra (Shiva). The form is also known as Shiva-Narayana and Shankara-Narayana. Hari Rudra is described in detail in Matsya Purana. Madhava (Vishnu) occupies the left side and Shiva, the right side.

Both of the arms of Vishnu are adorned with diamond bracelets and he holds the conch shell and disc or mace. The lower right hand of Shiva is held in Varada mudra and the upper right hand holds a trident.

The yajnopavita or sacred thread consists of serpents and the lower garment of Harirudra is made of animal skin.

According to many scholars, this concept was evolved to bring about a fusion or synthesis of two modes of worship (Shaivite and Vaishnavite) and also to indicate the complementary nature of two gods. Sasta or Ayyappan is the offspring of Harirudra and is known as Hariharaputra.

Sculpture specimens of Harihara, though small in number, are found all over India from the period of Kushanas (1st century CE from Girdharpur Tila, now kept in Mathura Museum). Temples of Harirudra are mainly found in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.