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Close view of slab with naga sculpture, Madhukeshvara Temple, Banavasi

Close view of slab with naga sculpture, Madhukeshvara Temple, Banavasi

Photographer: Cousens, Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1885

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(2001)

Item number: 10032001

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of a slab with a naga sculpture from the Madhukeshvara Temple at Banavasi, taken by Henry Cousens in the 1880s. Banavasi is situated in modern day Karnataka. When describing this temple, Henry Cousens reported somewhat dismissively that ''...There is nothing very interesting the buildings themselves...'' The Madhukeshvara Temple is situated in the centre of a walled courtyard and faces east. It incorporates a pillared sanctuary and a large closed hall into its design whilst an open hall built to a stepped plan stands in the midst of the courtyard. There are two other temples in the area, to the north and south-west and these have open halls. Parts of the temples such as the entrance gates to the north and east date to Chalukya times however extensive renovation was undertaken during the Vijayanagara period. The majority of the structure that is still extant dates to this period. This photograph shows ''...An upright slab of black stone upon which is carved, in bold relief, a naga or five-hooded serpent, while round the margin or frame runs a short inscription in letters which seem to belong to the second century A.D. It records the gift of a naga, a tank and a monastery by Mahabhoji Sivakhadanagasiri, the daughter of the great king. The naga was made by Nataka, the pupil of Acharya Idamoraka of the town Samjayanti.'' (Cousens, p. 128).

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