Close view of columns in the Sarasvati Temple, Gadag
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of columns in the Sarasvati Temple at Gadag, taken by Henry Cousens in the 1880s. Gadag is a city in the state of Karnataka with a number of medieval temples that were constructed in the Chalukya period. The temple of Sarasvati is part of the Trikuteshvara temple complex, built around AD 1050. It consists of a sanctuary with a small and a large open hall. The walls of the sanctuary are decorated with pilasters covered by very elaborate miniature temple towers. The open hall has one entrance and its roof incorporates straight sloping eaves. The low parapet wall is reclined outwards and is richly carved. The temple's pillars are remarkable. In the 'Chalukyan Architecture of the Kanarese Districts of 1926', Cousens wrote, "The pillars .... are most beautiful specimens of Chalukya work. The four central ones supporting the beams of the central compartment of the ceiling of the open hall are of one pattern, the rest being in pairs. Each of the central pillars is moulded from the ground to half way up the shaft with the same horizontal mouldings .... The shaft rises from a square with recessed corners to an octagon and thence to the round at the thinnest part of the shaft, near the neck below the capital. The lower member of the capital is a flattened disc surmounted by a larger octagonal member. All the mouldings, up to the capital, are profusely decorated. The facets on the bases .... have well cut little figures but these have been much injured. The little groups on the octagon represent ashtadikpalas which are so often repeated."