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Kartikeya and Ganesa.

Kartikeya and Ganesa.

Photographer: Oakeley, Richard Banner

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1856

Shelfmark: Photo 959/(46)

Item number: 95946

Genre: Photograph

An albumen print by Richard Banner Oakeley of sculpture at Halebid in Karnataka. Halebid (ancient Dwarasamudra), a small town in the Hassan district, was once the capital of the Hoysala dynasty of the southern Deccan which flourished from about 1100-1350 AD. Invasions by the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th century led to its decline. The Hoysalas were avid temple builders and the site is renowned for the remnants of architecture and sculpture fashioned out of the chloritic schist in the region. The most famous monument here is the twelfth-century Hoysaleswara temple dedicated to Shiva, which was built for an official of Vishnuvardhana (reigned 1108-42). It is an exemplar of the lavish Hoysala style and is encrusted with continuous bands of sculpture, unsurpassed in its detail and vibrancy. This photograph shows the two sons of Shiva and Parvati: on the left, Kartikeya, the god of war, riding on his vehicle the peacock, and on the right, Ganesha the elephant-headed god, mediator between gods and man, on his vehicle the rat.

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