Sphinx or Purush Singham


Sphinx (face of human and body of lion or other animal) or Purush Singha was popular way of probably representing figure of royalties or kingship in Egypt and India and even Mesopotamians. This thread capture such instances of Purush Singham from India.

Keith 1914 translates Purushamriga Chandramase as 'The Human-Beast to the Moon' YV-II.5.5.14 but we will call such figures Purush Singham for sale of simplicity and uniqueness.

These 4500 years old Harappan seals with depictionof Nari Singham or anthropomorphic figures with face of a human mostly female and body of a beast (mostly tiger) are probably of a queen/King/royalty.

This Pair of Purusha Singha guard the entrance of the Shri Shiva Nataraja temple in Chidambaram, India. Male and female,

Purush Singham and Nari Singham on a pillar of Shri Airavateshvara temple in Darasuram 12th cent. CE

Pair of Purush Singham in Shri Sarangapani temple in Kumbakonam

Seated sphinx among the sculpture of the Krishna cave in Mamallapuram Granite 8th century Approximately 85 cm high Photo by Raja Deekshithar, 25 July 2005

Walking Purush Singham Shri Shiva Nataraja temple 12th century

Purush Singham from the wall of the Shri Varadaraja Perumal temple in Tribhuvanai near Pondicherry 1000 CE

Purush Singham ? and Bhima from the Mahabharata and the judgment by Dharmaraja Yudhistira in the Shri Airavateshvara temple in Darasuram Granite 12th century

Purush Singham worshipping a Shiva Linga South Gopuram of the ??? temple in Villianur, Puducherry 15th century

Purush Singham worshipping a Shiva Linga, South gopuram of the Shri Arunachaleshvara temple in Tiruvannamalai

Purush Singham in standing upright posture Shri Subrahmania shrine, Rajarajeshvara temple in Tanjore

Purush Singham depicted on the base of the Vishnu shrine in the temple of Tirumalai in Kanya Kumari district

Sad, some of the temple are only 400 years old with these purush Singham sculptures and yet we can only guess about their meaning. There are no expert of the subject matter left it seems. This thread is from my own research and opinions. Pics taken from respective owners