The Hindu god Shiva is shown here in a warlike form as Virabhadra ("distinguished hero"). In the story associated with this form of Shiva, the god is angered by his father-in-law, Daksha, whi did not invite Shiva to an important religious sacrifice. He cuts off Daksha's head but later relents and restores the patriarch with a ram's head. You can see ram-headed Daksha on the lower left side of the sculpture. Shiva appears in his wrathful form as a fierce armed warrior, holding a bow and arrows and a sword and shield. Such ferocious images may have occurred in pairs, on either side of a temple door, to ward off evil.