chalukya-dynasty

In News: Inscriptions found on an ancient temple at Huligemmana Kolla near Pattadakal in Karnataka indicate that the place might have been the royal burial site of the Chalukya dynasty.

Background:

  • There are eleven temples with lingas and a tower developed during the Chalukya dynasty and another linga without the tower, which has an inscription on it stating that it served as the funerary casket-bearing shrine of Vikramaditya-II. 
  • This inscription claims the spot served as a royal burial site.
  • According to archaeological experts there is a misconception that they portray 12 jyotirlingas (a devotional representation of Lord Shiva). 
  • But in reality, these are the royal graves where the lingas are usually placed on top of a cremation site, a common practice in the Hindu tradition.

About Pattadakkal:

  • It is a complex of 7th and 8th century CE Hindu and Jain temples located in northern Karnataka.
  • There are ten temples here – with Virupaksha temple and Papanatha temple showing fusion styles.
  • The Hindu temples are generally dedicated to Shiva, but elements of Vaishnavism and Shaktism theology and legends are also featured. 
  • The friezes in the Hindu temples display various Vedic and Puranic concepts, depict stories from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Bhagavata Purana, as well as elements of other Hindu texts, such as the Panchatantra.
  • The Jain temple is only dedicated to a single Jina.
  • It is a UNESCO world heritage site.
  • One masterpiece from the group stands out – the Temple of Virupaksha, built c. 740 by Queen Lokamahadevi to commemorate her husband's victory over the kings from the South.

About Chalukya Dynasty:

  • It was an Ancient dynasty who ruled large parts of southern and central India between the 6th and the 12th centuries.
  • During this period, they ruled as three related yet individual dynasties:
    • Badami Chalukyas ruled from the middle of 6th century with the centre of power concentrated in the Vatapi ( Modern Day Badami) region.
    • After the death of Pulakeshin II, the Eastern Chalukyas became an independent kingdom in the eastern Deccan who ruled from Vengi until about the 11th century.
    • The Western Chalukyas ruled from Kalyani (modern Basavakalyan) during 10-12th Century A.D.
  • Art and Architecture
    • They built cave temples depicting both religious and secular themes. 
    • They followed the Vesara style of architecture which is a combination of Dravida and Nagara styles.
    • It is also called the Deccan style or Karnataka Dravida or Chalukyan style.
    • In particular the shape of the superstructure over the sanctum is usually pyramidal in profile, and shorter than the northern shikhara tower. 
    • In plan the walls and superstructure are broadly circular, or a straight-sided cone, though its geometry is based on rotating a square imposed on a circle. 
    • It has rather different decorations and motifs to either. 
    • One common motif is in fact miniature shikharas, often of the bhumija type, showing that the architects were well aware of northern styles.
    • Like the southern vimana superstructure, the Vesara equivalent is strongly divided into storeys or steps, but there are more of them, and the kapota roof motif that is so common in contemporary southern vimanas is less dominant.
    • The mandapa is generally larger than the sanctum and its vimana. 
    • Temples with more than one shrine develop, especially those with three.

These are usually with three entrances off the same mandapa, as at the Chennakesava Temple and Kedareshwara Temple in Karnataka; the two side shrines are at 90° to the central, main one.