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Chalukyan Art in the Deccan

View of a colonnade with the seated Vishnu on Sesha at the farther end.(click on pic. to see larger image)


Dampati, Loving Couple.Vaishnava cave, Badami.(click on pic. to see larger image)

Down south, in the Deccan, the Chalukyan dynasty emerged in the 6th century A.D. and established thier capital at Badami. However, most of the temples attributed to the Chalukyans were located at Aihole. Famous amongst these are the Gaudar temple, the Ladkhan temple (dedicated to Shiva) and the Durga temple. Here a tiered sloping roof surmounting the inner shrine (GarbhaGriha) emerged as a landmark architectural feature for the Hindu temples, called the Shikhara, in addition to the earlier feature of open spaces/pierced stone screens(Jaali) between the exterior columns of the Mandap (main body of the temple). At the edge of Badami, the Chalukyan capital, on a cliff side looming above the lake and town beneath is another remarkable Chalukyan monument. Here, carved into the live rock are four pillared halls (dated about A.D. 578) of which three are Hindu caves and one is a Jain sanctuary. Splendid examples of hard rock disciplined into delicate sculptures! At the Malegitty Shivalaya, a Chalukyan temple close to Badami, the faint influence of the evolving North Indian style begins to appear with the arrival of solidified walls surrounding the Mandap.

In the first half of the seventh century, the opulence of the Chalukyan dynasty attracted attacks from King Harsha from the North and the Pallavas from South, both of which it successfully reversed. But by the middle of the seventh century, a powerful new dynasty arose which not only overthrew the Chalukyans but also established an empire which dominated the Deccan for over two hundred years. 

Pillared hall of an apsidal Temple at Aihole.(click on pic. to see larger image)


Beauty reflected in a mirror. Deccan. Western Chalukya, 12th Century A.D.(click on pic. to see larger image)


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Arts Indian Atelier 1999-2000