Here in Orissa, I noticed one thing that, in front of almost all temples there will be statue of lions at both side of main entrance. The shapes and style are varying from temple to temple. Are they symbolizing the guards of temple?
In south India, you can see two frightening statues at the entrance of inner sanctum namely Dwarapalakas – mean Door keepers. (Dwar mean door and palaka mean keepers/guard). I think this lions may also be placed as dwrapalakas to guard the temple.
Or, are these Chinese “Foo dogs”? I don’t know.