Origin Story Of Ardhanarishvara
Ardhanarishvara may have been conceived due to references in the vedas of composite beings including Yama-Yami, Vishwaroop, Prajapati and also Agni who was referred to as a “bull who is also a cow.”
Images of Ardhanarishvara began to appear around the 4th century, during the Kushan era, but were much more prominent and effectively perfected during the Gupta period, from the 4th to the 7th century.
What’s even more interesting is the fact that Ardhanarishvara became a prominent figure in Greece around the same time as well. THe Greek author Stobaeus, while on a trip to Syria, learned of Ardhanarishvara.