General view of the Josi Shankara Narayana Temple, Bhatkal
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of Josi Shankara Narayana temple, Bhatkal taken by Henry Cousens in either the 1880s or the 1890s. Bhatkal was a small town when Cousens visited, yet the large numbers of ruined temples found there, suggested to him that it had once been one of the most important religious centres in Maharashtra. Unusually, many of these temples, including the example pictured here, incorporated sloping roofs into their design, similar to temples in Nepal. Cousens tells us in his report written at the time, that the sloping roof was necessary because Bhatkal is located only a few miles from the sea. Coastal rainfall is greater than in the nearby hills and this type of roof would allow more efficient drainage. The Josi Shankara Narayana Temple is a small structure of two joined blocks, each with pyramidal roofs of stone slabs.