Door frame, Aihole
Artist: Indian draftsman
Medium: Pen and ink on paper
Pen-and-ink and wash drawing of the door frame of the Durga Temple at Aihole, by an Indian draftsman, dated 1853.
This drawing represents the elaborate doorway of the mandapa or hall of the Durga temple, the largest and more elaborate of the temples at Aihole, erected at the end of the seventh century during the Early Chalukya period. The entablature is supported by pilastered jambs elaborately decorated with figurative imagery. At the centre there is the image of Vishnu's vehicle Garuda, the remover of obstacles, holding the naga (snake). Small figures of the Adityas inhabit the miniature pavilions at the top of the entablature. Figures of the river goddesses and and guardians are carved beneath at either side of the doorway.
Aihole was one of the capitals and an important commercial centre of the Early Western Chalukya, a powerful dynasty which ruled the Deccan from the sixth century. Together with the two other capitals of Badami and Pattadakal, the site has preserved many Hindu and Jain temples which belong to a period that goes from the sixth to the 12th centuries, belonging to the Early and Late Chalukya periods and to the Rashtrakuta era. The Durga Temple has an apsidal-ended plan, is elevated on a high plinth and is surrounded by a colonnade. It consists of a sanctuary with a ambulatory passageway, a columned hall and a porch with balcony seating. The sculpture that adorned the temple are among the finest of the Early Chaluky period.