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World Heritage Sites – Pattadakal – Monuments Sangameswara Temple

Sangameswara Temple

Founded by King Vijayaditya around A.D.720 as Vijayeswara temple, this structure remained incomplete despite several building phases (the columned hall is clearly a later addition). On plan, this temple has a sanctum (garbhagriha) housing a linga, a small vestibule (antarala), a sub-shrine each on either side of the vestibule and a hall (mandapa) having massive pillars. A circumambulatory path (pradakshinapatha) surrounds three sides of the garbhagriha, which is lit by three windows in each of the north, west and south sides. The hall seems to have had entrance porches (mukha-mandapa) on north, south and east. Only the western and part of the southern walls of the hall are intact. To the east of the hall is a small plinth housing a Nandi image.

The temple is built on a high plinth with five mouldings. The walls are symmetrically relieved into four projections with niches (devekoshthas) housing sculptures of Vishnu and Siva in various stages of carving. The three intervening recesses have perforated windows. An exquisitely carved frieze of dwarfs (ganas) runs below the eave (kapota). The round-bodied ganas appear struggling, as it were to carry the superstructure. The parapet consists of a string (hara) of architectural elements called karnakutas (square) and salas (oblong) corresponding to the relieved bays below. These elements and the curved linking courses (harantaras) are adorned with kudus with miniature shrines (panjaras) carved in their interior. The superstructure over the sanctum is a perfect example of two tired dravida-vimana repeating certain elements of the parapet and wall below and crowned with a four sided kuta-sikhara with a finial (kalasa).

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