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Great temple of Bobaneswar

Great temple of Bobaneswar

Lithographer: Dibdin, Thomas Colman (1810-1893)

Medium: Lithograph, coloured

Date: 1847

Shelfmark: X472

Item number: Plate 1

Length: 30.5

Width: 40.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Print

This is plate 1 from James Fergusson's 'Ancient Architecture in Hindoostan'. Fergusson wrote of the Lingaraja temple in Bhubaneshwar that there might be more elegant or beautiful temples in India, "but no one that I know of is more imposing in effect or conveys more clearly the idea of solid and lasting grandeur than this". Built in the late 11th century, with dozens of subsidiary shrines, it is the largest and most important of the temples of Bhubaneswar.

Soaring above the cityscape, the sanctuary is surmounted by a 120-foot-high curvilinear tower, called rekha deul, which is divided into vertical bands and capped by an amalaka and a pot finial. The adjoining square mandapa (hall), called pida deul, has as its roof a pyramid of horizontal elements. The walls have niches with fine sculptures of Hindu divinities. Shiva is venerated in the temple in massive linga form.

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