General view of the Chandramauleshvara Temple, Unkal
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Chandramauleshvara Temple at Unkal, taken by Henry Cousens in the 1880s. Unkal is located in the modern state of Karnataka, three miles north of Hubli. The Chandramauleshvara is a Chalukya temple which has been dated to the 12th century. The temple is of an unusual plan as it incorporates four entrances. It is possible that the shrine was dedicated to Brahma, the four faced deity, the image of whom would have been aligned so that one face looked out of each entrance. A number of statues of his consort, Sarasvati, also make this interpretation seem likely. In the foreground can be seen traces of the foundations of the now-disappeared mandapa or hall. On the outer walls of the temple the decoration consists of miniature temple towers, foliage and icons of the principal deities, Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma.