Interior of mandapa of Rangaswami Temple, Bankapur
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the interior of the mandapa of the Rangaswami Temple at Bankapur, taken by Henry Cousens in the 1880s. This Chalukya temple, also called Arvattukambada or temple of the sixty columns, is situated to the west of the old fort at Bankapur in modernday Karnataka. Bankapur was important strategically to Vijayanagara kings as the area around it was rich in resources. The town was lost to the forces of the Bijapur sultanate in the 15th century, and the temple appears to have undergone a number of changes at this point. Cousens reports that, "The great pillared hall was converted into a mosque when the fort was held by a Bijapur garrison...The graceful curve of the cornice, which in the photograph looks rather heavy and cumbersome, owing to the camera looking down upon it from high ground, is well worth notice, not only for its outward appearance, but also for the very neat manner in which it is ribbed beneath in imitation of wooden framing."
The mandapa, shown in this photograph, has 52 pillars of dark grey stone and lathe turned. These are divided into horizontal rings of mouldings with sharp edges.