Prahlada was an ardent devotee of Vishnu as he was able to hear the chants of Narada praising the lord, even while he was in the womb of his mother. Hiranyakashipu was incensed with Prahlada’s unwavering devotion to Vishnu and initiated various attempts to kill him. Prahlada survived all these attempts. Holika, the sister of Hiranyakashipu had a boon that she could not be hurt by fire. Hiranyakashipu placed Prahlada on the lap of Holika as she sat on a lit pyre. Undeterred by this Prahlada prayed to Vishnu and Holika perished since she did not know that her powers were only effective if she entered the fire alone.
This myth has a strong association with the festival of Holi, and even today there is a practice of forming a pyre the night before Holi and setting it alight as a symbolic burning of the demoness Holika. This is known as Holika Dahan and it is not merely a story about the triumph of good over evil. Holika symbolizes the hold of jealously, anger and pride on our behaviour and the importance of vanquishing these to rediscover the Prahlada within us.
Though there are many sculptures of Narasimha disemboweling Hiranyakashipu in Hoysala temples, depiction of Prahlada is comparatively rare. This small frieze in the 13th century Somanathapura temple near Mysore, depicts Prahlada sitting on the pyre unharmed by the fire, praying to Vishnu.