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General view from the north-east of the ruined Meguti Temple, Aihole

General view from the north-east of the ruined Meguti Temple, Aihole

Photographer: Cousens, Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1885

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(1753)

Item number: 10031753

Length: 176

Width: 263

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Jain Meguti Temple at Aihole, taken by Henry Cousens in the 1880s. 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 6th century. Similar to the two other Chalukyan capitals, Badami and Pattadakal, there are many Hindu and Jain temples preserved at Aihole which belong to a period that spans the 6th to the 12th centuries, encompassing the Early and Late Chalukya periods and the Rashtrakuta era. The Meguti temple is situated on the flat top of the hill that dominates the village of Aihole. It is orientated to the north and is one of the few early temples in India with an inscription of the Early Chalukya ruler Pulakeshin II. This dates to 634. It is a long rectangular building facing north with a square shrine surrounded by a passageway. The outer walls are plain and relieved by alternate square projections and recesses with pilastered corners which would have been decorated with sculpture panels. The chamber over the sanctuary is a later addition as well as the porch and the hall or mandapa. There is a seated Jina figure in the sanctuary.

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