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Emblem of the God Shiva with One Face (Ekamukhalinga)

A work made of sandstone.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of sandstone.


c. 6th century


Madhya Pradesh

About this artwork

Enshrined in the innermost sanctums of temples dedicated to Shiva throughout southern Asia, lingas are phallic emblems of the deity’s cosmic, procreative powers. Shiva is regarded as possessing five faces or aspects, and lingas sometimes contain anthropomorphic depictions of one, four, or five of these faces. The head on this ekamukhalinga (single-faced linga) displays many of Shiva’s identifying traits, such as the prominent vertical third eye, the matted hair indicative of his ascetic practice, and the crescent moon affixed above his left forehead.


On View, Gallery 141


Arts of Asia


Emblem of the God Shiva with One Face (Ekamukhalinga)


Madhya Pradesh (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

501 CE–600 CE




49.3 × 15.6 × 17.5 cm (19 3/8 × 6 1/8 × 6 7/8 in.)

Credit Line

James W. and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection. Gift of Marilynn Alsdorf

Reference Number


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