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The Mahakuta
Mahakuta
group of temples is located in Mahakuta, a village in the Bagalkot district
Bagalkot district
of Karnataka
Karnataka
state, India. It is an important place of worship for Hindus and the location of a well-known Shaiva monastery. The temples are dated to the 6th or 7th century CE and were constructed by the early kings of the Chalukya dynasty
Chalukya dynasty
of Badami. The dating of the temples is based on the style of architecture which is similar to that of the temples in nearby Aihole[1] and the information in two notable inscriptions in the complex: the Mahakuta
Mahakuta
Pillar inscription dated between 595–602 CE (written in the Sanskrit language and Kannada
Kannada
script);[2] and an inscription of Vinapoti, a concubine of king Vijayaditya, dated between 696–733 CE and written in the Kannada
Kannada
language and script.[3]

Contents

1 Basic plan 2 Inscriptions 3 Gallery 4 See also 5 Notes 6 External links 7 References

Basic plan[edit] The Karnataka
Karnataka
artisans of the 7th century achieved a certain eclectism in their architecture by building south Indian dravida style temples adjacent to north Indian nagara style temples.[4] Further, their dravida and nagara styles were local, indigenous variants and unrelated to the architectural styles that prevailed in modern Tamil Nadu to the south, and Central India
Central India
("Madhyadesha") to the north.[5] They achieved this by combining the basic plan of one style with characteristics of the other. The dravida style temples here have a tiered tower over the shrine which is capped with a dome like structure. The nagara style temples use a curvilinear tower over a shrine which has a square plan, and is capped by a ribbed stone.[4] The development of this hybrid style, achieved by combining the typological features of the two basic architectural styles, is considered a peculiarity of the Karnataka
Karnataka
region and defines the beginnings of the Vesara
Vesara
style of architecture.[6] A natural mountain spring flows within the temple complex and feeds fresh water into a large tank called the Vishnu
Vishnu
Pushkarni ("Lotus pool of god Vishnu") and an ablution tank called Papavinasha Tirtha ("Tank of Ablution"). Among the several shrines in the complex, the Mahakuteshvara temple, built in the dravida style, and the Mallikarjuna temple are the largest. There is a small shrine in the centre of the Vishnu
Vishnu
Pushkarni tank and in it is a Shiva
Shiva
linga (universal symbol of god Shiva) called Panchamukha linga ("five faced linga"), one face for each direction and one on top.[1] Inscriptions[edit] The Mahakuta
Mahakuta
complex has provided historians two important 7th century inscriptions. The Mahakuta Pillar inscription,[7] dated variously between 595–602 CE records a grant made by Durlabhadevi, a queen of Pulakeshin I (the father of king Mangalesha). The queen supplemented an earlier grant with an endowment of ten villages, including Pattadakal
Pattadakal
and Aihole
Aihole
to god Mahkuteshvara Natha. In addition, the inscription provides important information about the Chalukyan lineage, their military expeditions, their conquests and early monuments.[2] The pillar goes by the name Dharma-jayastambha ("Pillar of victory of religion") and is on exhibition at a Bijapur archaeological museum.[3] The other inscription, ascribed to Vinapoti, king Vijayaditya's concubine, is inscribed in the porch of the Mahakuteshvara temple. It describes a grant of rubies and a silver umbrella to the deity Mahakuteshvara in addition to a piece of land.[3] Gallery[edit]

Vishnu
Vishnu
temple with nagara superstructure (left) and a shrine with Kadamba superstructure (right) at Mahakuta

Mahakuteshvara temple (painted white) in the dravida style (rear) and Sangameshvara temple in nagara style (front)

Sangameshvara temple with nagara superstructure at Mahakuta

7th century Kannada
Kannada
inscription of Vinapoti, concubine of Badami Chalukya King Vijayaditya

Sculpture of Ardhanareeshvara (form of the Hindu god Shiva) at the Mahakuta
Mahakuta
temples

Mahakuta
Mahakuta
temple tank

Temple tank in Mahakoota

See also[edit]

Aihole Badami
Badami
Cave Temples Badami
Badami
Chalukya Architecture Banashankari Amma Temple
Banashankari Amma Temple
at Cholachagudd Pattadakal

Notes[edit]

^ a b Cousens (1926), p. 51 ^ a b The Mahakuta Pillar and Its Temples, p. 253, Carol Radcliffe Bolon ^ a b c Cousens (1926), p. 52 ^ a b Sinha (2000), p. 34 ^ Sinha (2000), p. 35 ^ Sinha (2000), p. 38 ^ "The Mahakuta Pillar and Its Temples". 41: 253–268. JSTOR 3249519. 

External links[edit]

Mahakuta
Mahakuta
on Google Maps Relive 6th century at Mahakuta

References[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mahakuta
Mahakuta
group of temples.

Cousens, Henry (1996) [1926]. The Chalukyan Architecture of Kanarese Districts. New Delhi: Archaeological Survey of India. OCLC 37526233.  Sinha, Ajay (2000) [2000]. Imagining Architects: Creativity in the Religious Monuments of India. Delaware: University of Delaware Press. ISBN 978-0-87413-684-5.  "The Mahakuta Pillar and Its Temples, Carol Radcliffe Bolon". Retrieved 2008-08-15.  Karnataka
Karnataka
State Gazetteer 1983.

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Bagalkot
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