Gwalior Fort: Yali is a mythical creature potrayed in #Hindu Mythology and has beem adapted into a characteristic of Hindu Architecture, which can be observed in many temples, which often sculpted onto the pillars. It may be portrayed as part #lion, part #elephant and part horse, and even snake and in similar shapes. Also, it has been sometimes described as a leogryph (part lion and part griffin), with some bird-like features. Descriptions of and references to yalis are very old, but they became prominent in south Indian sculpture in the 16th century. #Yalis were believed to be more powerful than the lion, the tiger or the elephant.
In its iconography and image the yali has a catlike #graceful body, but the head of a lion with tusks of an elephant (gaja) and tail of a serpent. Sometimes they have been shown standing on the back of a makara, another mythical creature and considered to be the #Vahana of #Budha (Mercury). Some images look like three-dimensional representation of yalis. Images or icons have been found on the #entrance walls of the temples, and the graceful mythical lion is believed to protect and guard the temples and ways leading to the temple. They usually have the #stylized body of a lion and the head of some other beast, most often an elephant (gaja-vyala). Other common examples are: the lion-headed (simha-vyala), horse- (ashva-vyala), human- (nir-vyala) and the dog-headed (shvana-vyala) ones.