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Sketches of the Mallikarjuna Temple at Srisailam. ‘Sketches at Purnuttum March 1794

Sketches of the Mallikarjuna Temple at Srisailam. ‘Sketches at Purnuttum March 1794

Artist: Anonymous

Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink

Date: 1800

Shelfmark: WD1065

Item number: f.8

Length: 45.6

Width: 28.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Pen-and-ink and watercolour drawing of details from the Mallikarjuna Temple at Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh, from an album of 56 sheets of drawings (60 folios) mainly of miscellaneous architecture and sculpture in the Deccan and S. India, dated 1793-1806. Some drawings are by MacKenzie himself, others by his draftsmen, including C. Ignatio.

The holy site of Srisailam, situated on the banks of the river Krishna, 232 km south of Hyderabad, is one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage sites of the Deccan as it is one of the twelve jyotirlingams in India. In this site Shiva is worshipped in the Mallikarjuna Temple in his form of Lord Mallikarjuna, and Shakti, his consort, as Sri Bharamaramba Devi. The temple (early Sangama period) is surrounded by high enclosure walls with gopura or entrance towers on four sides. Within the enclosure stands the principal temple which is a plain structure from the 14th century with a pyramidal stone tower enshrining the linga in the cella. The temple was enlarged in the 15th century under the patronage of the Vijayanagara kings. Harihara II, who visited Srisailasam in 1405, added the mukhamandapa or pillared hall with three porches; the smaller shrines and columned mandapas or halls date from the 15th-16th centuries. The outer walls of the enclosure, which date from 1456, are richly carved with panels depicting processions of elephants, equestrian and hunting scenes, as well as processions of soldiers, dancing girls, musicians, pilgrims and mythical beasts. Shiva is represented in many scenes under his various aspects.

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