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Durga temple of Aihole, Karnataka (7th cent) Vesara style of Architecture

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An 8th century temple dedicated to surya. Its called durg which means fortification and has no relation with the goddess Durga. It contains many sculptures related ot shaivism, vaishnavism and shaktism.

From the source, Photograph of the Durga Temple at Aihole, in the Bijapur District of Northern Karnataka, taken by Thomas Biggs 1855.

From the source, Photograph of the Durga Temple at Aihole, in the Bijapur District of Northern Karnataka, taken by Thomas Biggs 1855.

  • It consists of a rekha-style tower sanctuary with an enclosed porch attached. This tower is simply a larger version of the types found in Gupta Period sanctuaries and the Galaganatha at Pattadakal. Heavy corner quoins in the lotiform amalaka shape mark the successive storeys or bhumis, and the tower is capped by a full amalaka supporting a metal trident of Siva
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  • Despite the fact that the tower is clearly made up of identical repeated storeys that shrink in size as they approach the summit, neither this focus on horizontal division nor the heavily rusticated character of the exterior decoration detracts from the spire's soaring curvilinear profile.
  • The porch is adorned with pierced latticed windows in stone and low reliefs of dancing dwarfs, which are paved with corbelled slabs of heavy masonry.
  • The raised masonry courses framing the corners and separating the faces of the sikhara give the appearance of ribs converging in the crown or amalaka tying the tower together.The shastras carefully describe the precise curvature of these members.The ascension and meeting of these members symbolised for the worshipper the desire and universal incorporation of all in the godhead, and their appearance in an architectural sense gave the greatest impression of verticality to balance the porch's and spire's static horizontal lines.
Durga temple Ahihole

Durga temple Ahihole

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  • A square sanctum (rekha deul) connected to a hall or mandapa (pidha deula/jagmohan) distinguishes the Kalinga style of temple architecture. The pidha deul has a flat or pyramidal roof, while the rekha deul has a curvilinear shikhara topped with an amlaka and kalasha.A shivalinga can be accessed via a vestibule or antarala that connects the sanctum to a small pillared hall in the rekha deul. As viewed from the outside, the sanctum's walls have deeply carved niches with subsidiary gods in the other three directions, creating the central projection known as bhadra.
The location of major art works, Durga temple

The location of major art works, Durga temple

  • The corners, known as karna, are plain, while the middle portion of the wall, known as pratiratha, is carved as a miniature shrine. Vertical wall projections called rahapaja (centre), kanika (corner), and anuradha extend onto the shikhara, while horizontal bands from the basal mouldings (middle).

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