When the young devotee Prahlada insists that Vishnu lives everywhere and permeates everything, his angry father, the powerful demon Hiranyakasipu, points to a pillar and asks, Is your Vishnu in this column? Prahlada answers calmly, He is not only in the pillar, he is also in the tiniest twig.

The top sculptural panel of the gopura shows Hiranyakasipu kicking the tree-like pillar from which explodes the man-lion Narasimha, roaring with rage. Prahlada stands on Narasimha's left, in a worshipful posture.

Narasimha is seen emerging from the pillar and preparing for battle while the demon king challenges him.

Hiranyakasipu wrestles with Narasimha while his Prahlada watches, hands joined in prayer.

The lowest register of the narrative shows Narasimha disembowelling Hiranyakashipu while Prahlada prays to his protector.

Narasimha and Hiranyakasipu

The story of Narasimha, Lord Vishnu's man-lion avatara, is depicted on the western (inner) face of the temple gopura, to be read from top to bottom. The figures are made of stucco/cement and painted in bright colours.