The Art and Architecture of the Chalukyas

The Chalukyas were great patrons of art. They developed the vesara style in the building of structural temples. However, the vesara style reached its culmination only under the Rashtrakutas and the Hoysalas. The structural temples of the Chalukyas exist at Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal. Cave temple architecture was also famous under the Chalukyas. Their cave temples are found in Ajanta, Ellora and Nasik.

chalukyas - cave temple at ajantaThe best specimens of Chalukya paintings can be seen in the Badami cave temple and in the Ajanta caves. The reception given to a Persian embassy by Pulakesin II is depicted in a painting at Ajantha. The Chalukya temples may be divided into two stages. The first stage is represented by the temples at Aihole and Badami. Among the seventy temples found at Aihole, four are important.

 

  • Ladh Khan temple is a low, flat-roofed structure consisting of a pillared hall.
  • Durga temple resembles a Buddha Chaitya.
  • Huchimalligudi temple.
  • The Jain temple at Meguti.

cave temple at BadamiAmong the temples at Badami, the Muktheeswara temple and the Melagutti Sivalaya are notable for their architectural beauty. A group of four rock-cut temples at Badami are marked by high workmanship. The walls and pillared halls are adorned by beautiful images of gods and human beings.

The second stage is represented by the temples at Pattadakal. There are ten temples here, four in the northern style andVirupaksha temple at Pattadakkalthe remaining six in the Dravidian style. The Papanatha temple is the most notable in the northern style. The Sangamesvara temple and the Virupaksha temple are famous for their Dravidian style. The Virupaksha temple is built on the model of the Kailasanatha temple at Kanchipuram. It was built by one of the queens of Vikramaditya II. Sculptors brought from Kanchi were employed in its construction.

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