[Interior of the] Small Sar Bahau Temple, [Gwalior]
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the interior of the small Sasbahu temple at Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, taken by an unknown photographer in c.1882, part of the 'Gladstone Collection. The mighty hill fortress of Gwalior in central India has some fine examples of temple architecture. In the eighth century the Pratiharas built the Teli-ka-Mandir, and their 10th-11th century successors, the Kacchapaghatas, erected the two Vaishnava Sasbahu temples. The Sasbahu temples sit on a fortified bluff overlooking the town of Gwalior. 'Sas' meaning mother-in-law and 'bahu' meaning daughter-in-law, were the popular epithets for the temples because one was large (the mother-in-law) and the other was small (the daughter-in-law). A long inscription in the porch of the larger temple indicates that they were begun by King Padmapala (1085–93) and completed in 1093 by his son Mahipala (1093–1105). The smaller temple stands on an ornate platform and consists of a rangamandapa or pillared hall with balcony seating covered with a pyramidal roof, and an open porch. The sanctuary has not been preserved but the doorway, decorated with finely etched foliate decoration is intact. The interior has four highly ornate pillars supporting a circular ceiling adorned with concentric bands of figures and cusped coffers.