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by Priyamvadha Dinesh

The essay aims to put forward a critical analysis of
the early chalukyan temples. Sub topics covered will
include the history of chalukyan dynasty, features of
temple architecture and prominent examples.
The chalukyan dynasty was Indian royal dynasty
that ruled large parts of southern and central
India between the 6th and the 12th centuries. During
this period, they ruled as three dynasties, the oldest
of them being the Badami Chalukyas and they
ruled from Vatapi (modern Badami). The Chalukyan
rule marks a symbolic time period in the history of
south India and a golden age for Karnataka. . The
rise of this empire saw the birth of efficient
administration, overseas trade and commerce and the
development of new style of architecture called
"Chalukyan architecture".
Early Chalukyas (Chalukyas of Badami)
With the decline of the Gupta dynasty in the 6th
century, the age of small kingdoms paved way to the
establishment of larger empires in south India. Thus
the Chalukyan dynasty was established by
Pulakeshin I in 543. He along with his descendants
are known as the Chalukyan Badami.
Early temples
Chalukyan dynasty is known for their style of
architecture knows as the Chalukyan architecture.
Under this the Badami style is known as Vesara
which is a combination of various features from the
Nagara and Dravida styles of architecture. The style
mainly originated in Aihole and Badami and was
intricated in Pattadakal and Mahakuta. The
Chalukyan temples can be classified into rock-cut
halls and structural temples. The temples at Aihole
are one of the earliest amongst the existing temples.
They were constructed during 450 AD to 650 AD.
Most of these temples are hindu, but a few are jain.
The style of roofing was simply flat or slightly
sloping mounted by a shikhara. These temples
featured the addition of a pillared assembly hall that
marked an important stage in the evolution of temple
architecture. The most famous of the 70 temples is
the Durga temple. The temples at Badami include
the rock-cut cave temples. These caves have a
similar layout consisting of a pillared verandah,
columned mandapa, and a cella which is a shrine cut
deep in a rock. Three of these temples are vedic and
there is one jain.
Temple architecture reached an important phase
during the Chalukyan rule. Their construction styles
and techniques marked the evolution of temples and
set a foundation for the other styles to grow. The
temples follow a similar style in terms of
components and features. The early Chalukyans
were successful in creating a blend between the two
prominent styles in north and south India equally
prioritizing and retaining the individuality of each of