Dikpalas Indra and Agni

Parshvanatha Temple
Jain complex, Khajuraho

Dikpalas, or directional guardians, are stationed around the four corners of many temples. The southeast corner, with guardians Indra (E, photo right) and Agni (SE, photo left), is shown here. Here is the conventional arrangement of the eight guardians:

You might expect that the gods would be aligned to the cardinal points (i.e. Kubera due north, etc.), but in practical temples they are shifted by 22.5 degrees clockwise, as in the diagram above, in order to clear the entrances and to ritually protect the corners.