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

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

Photographer: Cousens, Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1885

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(1755)

Item number: 10031755

Length: 190

Width: 255

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. It dates to 634. This rectangular temple is incomplete as the outer walls show the recesses and projections in which the carved panels and sculptures would have been incorporated. The superstructure over the sanctuary is not original and the columned porch and the hall are later additions. There is a seated Jina figure in the sanctuary.

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