Sharabha or Sarabha is a part-lion and part-bird beast in Hindu mythology, who, according to Sanskrit literature, is eight-legged and more powerful than a lion or an elephant, possessing the ability to clear a valley in one jump. In later literature, Sharabha is described as an eight-legged deer.
Shaiva scriptures narrate that god Shiva assumed the Avatar (incarnation) of Sharabha to pacify Narasimha – the fierce man-lion avatar of Vishnu worshipped by Vaishnava sect. This form is popularly known as Sharabeshwara (“Lord Sharabha”) or Sharabeshwaramurti. The Vaishnavas refute the portrayal of Narasimha as being destroyed by Shiva-Sharabha and regard Sharabha as a name of Vishnu. Another tale narrates that Vishnu assumed the form of the ferocious Gandaberunda bird-animal to combat Sharabha. In Buddhism, Sharabha appears in Jataka Tales as a previous birth of the Buddha.
Sharabha also appears in the emblem of State government of the Indian state of Karnataka, University of Mysore and the Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited.