Saturday, 31 October 2015


The Dravidian or Pallava style was adopted by the Rashtrakuta Rulers also as can be seen in the famous Kailash Temple at Ellora near Aurangabad (Maharashtra).  There are three groups of rock cut temples in Ellora – Buddhist, Jain and Brahmanical. 

The Rashtrakutas contributed much to the architectural heritage of the Deccan. The splendid rock-cut cave temples at Ellora and Elephanta, located in present day Maharashtra, reflect the Rashtrakuta contributions to art and architecture.
 The Ellora site originally belonged to a complex of 34 Buddhist caves probably created in the first half of the sixth century in rocky areas also occupied by Jain monks whose structural details show Pandyan influence. Cave temples occupied by Hindus only became feasible later.
The Rashtrakutas renovated those Buddhist caves and re-dedicated the rock-cut shrines. Amoghavarsha I espoused Jainism and there are five Jain cave temples at Ellora ascribed to his period. The most extensive and sumptuous of the Rashtrakutas work at Ellora is their creation of the monolithic Kailasanatha temple, a splendid achievement confirming the "Balhara" status as "one among the four principle Kings of the world".The walls of the temple have marvelous sculptures from Hindu mythology including RavanaShivaand Parvathi while the ceilings have paintings.
King Krishna I commissioned the Kailasanath Temple project after the Rashtrakuta rule had spread into South India from the Deccan, using the Dravidian architectural style. Absent of the Shikharas common to the Nagarastyle, the temple had been built on the same lines as the Virupaksha temple at Pattadakal in Karnataka. The achievement at the Kailasanath temple has been considered an architectural consummation of the monolithic rock-cut temple, deserving the title as one of the wonders of the world. Art historians consider the Kailasnatha temple an unrivaled work of rock architecture, a monument that has always excited and astonished travelers.

While some scholars have attributed the architecture at Elephanta to the Kalachuri, others claim that it had been built during the Rashtrakuta period. Some of the sculptures such as Nataraja and Sadashiva excel in beauty and craftmanship even that of the Ellora sculptures. Famous sculptures at Elephanta include Ardhanarishvara and Maheshamurthy. The latter, a three-faced bust of Lord Shiva, stands 25 feet (8 m) tall and is considered one of the finest pieces of sculpture in India. In the world of sculpture, few works of art depicting a divinity have achieved comparable balance. Other famous rock-cut temples in the Maharashtra region include the Dhumer Lena and Dashvatara cave temples in Ellora (famous for its sculptures of Vishnu and Shivaleela) and the Jogeshvari temple near Mumbai.
Kashivishvanatha temple and the Jain Narayana temple at Pattadakal, both UNESCO World Heritage sites constituted their most famous temples in Karnataka.
Other well known temples include the Parameshwara temple at Konnur, Brahmadeva temple at Savadi, theSettavva, Kontigudi II, Jadaragudi, and Ambigeragudi temples at AiholeMallikarjuna temple at Ron, Andhakeshwara temple at Huli,Someshwara temple at Sogal, Jain temples at Lokapura, Navalinga temple at Kuknur, Kumaraswamy temple at Sandur, at Shirival in Gulbarga and the Trikunteshwara temple at Gadag, later expanded by Kalyani Chalukyas.
Archaeological study of those temples show some have the stellar (multigonal) plan later used profusely by the Hoysalas of Belur and Halebidu. One of the richest traditions in Indian architecture took shape in the Deccan during that time and one writer calls it Karnata Dravida style as opposed to traditional Dravida style.

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