RASHTRAKUTA ARCHITECTURE AND SCULPTURE
contribution of the Rashtrakuta
dynasty which ruled in Karnataka and many other parts of South and central
The rule of Rashtrakutas lasted from 735 A.D. to 982 A.D. and consisted of great monarchs such as Krishna-1, Amoghavarsha Nrupatunga, Krishna-2 and Krishna-3. The kings by and large were very tolerant of other religions and various sects in Hinduism. For instance, out of the 34 rock cut temples found in Ellora, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism have the pride of place in 12, 17 and 5 caves respectively. Even in other places, Shaiva temples and Vashnavite temples are found in abundance. Unfortunately very few temples have survived in Malkhed, the long time capital of the Rashtrakuta kingdom.
most celebrated monument for the glory of Rashtrakuta architecture are present in Ellora, now in
‘DashAvatAra temple, ravan-ka-Khai temple, dhumar lena cave and Rameshvara temple are also well known among the Hindu temples. Indrasabha, Jagannatha sabha and cOTA kailAs are the famous ones among the jaina shrines. Cave nimber 32 is famous for the Yakshi sculpture and the paintings on the ceiling. These caves are well known for the icons of the teerthankaras, yakshas and yakshis.
Buddhist caves at Ellora usually consist of monasteries. They are multi-storeyed buildings carved into the mountain face, including living quarters, sleeping quarters, kitchens, etc. The most famous Buddhist cave is cave number 10. It is known as the "Carpenter's Cave".
The Elephanta caves in an island at a distance of about ten kilometers from Bombay is best known for the huge three-faced icon of Mahadeva.(mahEsha mUrti) The faces represent sadyOjAta, aGOra and tatpuruSa the three forms of Shiva. This is about 25 ft. high. The sculptures of sadAshiva and naTarAja are very well sculpted bass-reliefs . Some of these structures date back to the 5th century A.D. The rock-cut temple is similar to a huge sculpture, through whose corridors and chambers one can walk. It covers an area of about 60000 squrare feet and it consists a main chamber and two lateral ones, courtyards and several subsidiary shrines. There is a mass of natural rock, above the temple. Kalyanasundara, gangAdhara, rAvaNAnugrahamUrty and yOgIshvara are sculpted on the West and East sides of the Northern entrance.
more temples and sculptures built during the regime of the Rashtrakuta kings
are found in the districts of Gulberga, Bijapur, Dharwar and Raichur. A
solitary Jaina basadi stands in a delapidated condition in Malkhed the Capital
of the dynasty. A complex of some fifteen small temples are
found in sirivALa a village in ShApur talluk of
Jainanarayana temple at Pattadakal contains a huge sabhamantap and an eqully
big mukhamantap. Some Jaina temples such as those in rON and AihoLe have small
meditation chambers on either side of the sanctum. The parameshvara temple at
koNNUr and brahmeshvara temple at savaDi have star shaped foundations. Many of
the Rashtrkuta temples are dvikUTa and trikUTa varieties. They have two or
three sanctums and antarALa but they share a single mukha mantapa. Many more
temples scattered around
3. www.art-and-archaeology.com/.../ell20.html ( A number good photographs of Kailasanatha Temple Ellora)
4. sreechandrab.sulekha.com/.../comments.htm (Mahadeva Icon at the Elephanta caves)
5. Video of the caves MTDC site (Video of the Elephanta Caves)
6. Description of Rashtrakutas architecture in the caves (Elephanta caves)
8. ‘Sirival, Its Monuments, Sculptures and Inscriptions’ By C.S. Patil, 2001, Directorate of ARchaeology and Museums
Of Rashtrakuta Art, the
10. ‘Rashtrakuta Art in Karnataka’ by Sindigi Rajashekhara, 1991, Sujatha Publications.
11. ‘The Rashtrakutas of Malkhed: Studies in
History and Art’ By Balakrishnan Raja Gopal, 1994, Mythic Society,
12. ‘The Ellora monoliths: Rashtrakuta
architecture in the