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Temple Architecture and Art of the Early Chalukyas: Badami, Mahakuta, Aihole, Pattadakal

George Michell (Author) Surendra Kumar (Photography)

The early Chalukyas of Badami (c. 6th-8th centuries) are known to have built a large number of rock-cut and structural temples, scattered over the entire Karnataka. In this south Indian state, their distinctive monuments can be seen in Aihole, Badami, Pattadakal, Mahakuta, and a few other places. By the end of the 6th century, they had also excavated highly impressive rock-cut temples at Badami and Aihole. These Early Chalukyan monuments are of special interest -- for they mark a transition from cutting into rock to free-standing constriction. They are distinctive for their architectural styles as well. In these religious monuments can also be perceived an intermingling of Dravida and Nagara idioms to produce schemes that combine myriad attributes, derived from different traditions. This splendid technical and stylistic variety is further supplemented by local architectural practices, which come to be blended with the more widespread Dravida and Nagara idioms. Apart from all this, these Early Chalukyan temples are remarkable for the sheer beauty of their figural and decorative carvings.

For the first time, perhaps, this book offers a comprehensive study of the Early Chalukya temples from the Central Karnataka region. With prefatory chapters on their historical backdrop, architectural nuances and sculptural art, George Michell meticulously examines both the rock-cut and free-standing temples of Badami, Mahakuta, Aihole, and Pattadakal – together with over a hundred of his measured drawings which, taken from his Ph.D dissertation, present an exhaustive graphic documentation, never attempted before. In addition, the book includes about 200 at-once-engaging photographs, taken by Surendra Kumar – a specialist in panoramic topographic views.

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About the authors

George Michell

George Michell obtained his PhD in the field of early western Chalukya temple architecture from the School of Oriental African Studies, University of London, in 1974. From 1974 to 1977, he directed courses on Asian architecture at the Architectural Association, London, and was the co-editor of Art and Archaeology Research Papers from 1972 to 1982. Since the 1980s, he has co-directed an international team of scholars and students at Vijayanagara, the medieval Hindu site in Karnataka. George Michell has also lectured at universities and museums throughout the USA, Europe, India and Australia. Among his many Publications are The Royal Palaces of India, Islamic Heritage of the Deccan, Architecture of the Islamic World: Its History and Social Meaning and Hindu Art and Architecture.

Surendra Kumar

Footloose for the last three decades in different parts of the world, have used Indian films as a potent tool of cultural diplomacy and organized retrospectives in 10 countries, most recently, three of them at the Gene Siskel Film Center Chicago: retrospective on Raj Kapoor, retrospective on Guru Dutt and a retrospective of contemporary Classics of Indian Cinema. In recent years Surendra Kumar has served as a Minister (Press, Information and Culture) at the High Commission of India in London and Ambassador of India in Mozambique and Libya. He also served as the Consul General of India in Chicago from February 2003. Presently, he is serving as the High Commissioner of India to Kenya in Nairobi.

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Bibliographic information

Title Temple Architecture and Art of the Early Chalukyas: Badami, Mahakuta, Aihole, Pattadakal
Format Hardcover
Date published: 09.07.2014
Edition 1st. ed.
Publisher Niyogi Books
Language: English
isbn 9789383098330
length 256p., Illustrations; Chiefly Colour; Maps; 30cm.