Kambada Narasimha (a k a Ugra Narasimha) is an avatar of Lord Vishnu wherein he kills a Rakshas by name Hiranyakashipu. This statue of Narasimha is at the top of 'Kote Betta' (Kote Hill).

Indian mythology is not just Ramayana and Mahabharatha, it also consists of many short stories and events. The story of Lord Narasimha and Hiranyakashipu is one such.

Kambada Narasimha - Kote Betta

The story goes like this: Hiranyakashipu by severe penance had secured the gift of immortality from Brahma – with conditions applied of course. Using his gift he was creating havoc to all and sundry and had soon become a thorn in the flesh for the Gods. As usually happens, the Gods were waiting for the opportune time to eliminate Hiranyakashipu and hence restore the balance of power. In the midst of all this, Hiranyakashipu had a son by name Prahlad who was a devout follower of Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu furious at the devotion of his son to Vishnu, as the god had killed his sister in one of his avatar, decides to kill his own son, but each time he attempts to kill the boy, Prahlad is protected by Vishnu’s mystical power. When asked, Prahlad refuses to acknowledge his father as the supreme lord of the universe and claims that Vishnu is all-pervading and omnipresent. Hiranyakashipu points to a nearby pillar and asks if ‘his Vishnu’ is in it: Prahlad then answers, He was, He is and He will be. He is in pillars, and he is in the smallest twig. Hiranyakashipu, unable to control his anger, smashes the pillar with his mace, and following which, Vishnu in the form of Narasimha appears from it and moves to attack Hiranyakashipu.

Kamba = Pillar
Narasimha = Nara (human) + Simha (Lion), an avatar of Vishnu

Kambada Ugra Narasimha - kote bettaHiranyakashipu is killed; but remember that he had obtained the boon of immortality (with conditions) from Brahma! Hiranyakashipu can not be killed by human, deva or animal. Narasimha is neither one of these as he is a form of Vishnu incarnate as a part-human, part-animal. He comes upon Hiranyakashipu at twilight (when it is neither day nor night) on the threshold of a courtyard (neither indoors nor out), and puts the demon on his thighs (neither earth nor space). Using his sharp fingernails (neither animate nor inanimate) as weapons, he disembowels and kills the demon.

Moral of the story:
God is all-pervading and omnipresent.
Fully understand the terms and conditions, always!

Anoop Hullenahalli

An Electronics Engineer working on wireless embedded systems for a living. Traveling, photographing and sharing my experiences here at ANUBIMB helps me unwind and break the monotony of life.


Ramesh N · 16 Aug ’13 at 1:15 am

I love this god very much.

    Anoop Hullenahalli · 16 Aug ’13 at 8:04 am

    Good to know that! Thanks for commenting and see you around ANUBIMB.

Devraj c.k · 15 Mar ’14 at 2:40 pm

nama mane devru

Sangeetha SR · 10 Dec ’17 at 10:00 pm

It’s our mane devru.. Written so nicely about the place and God..

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