Ratha or temple car in the Mukhteshvara Temple, Banavasi
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of rathas or temple cars in front of the Madhukeshvara Temple at Banavasi, taken by Henry Cousens in the 1880s. Banavasi is situated in modern day Karnataka. The Madhukeshvara Temple is situated in the centre of a walled courtyard and faces east. It incorporates a pillared sanctuary and a large closed hall into its design whilst an open hall built to a stepped plan stands in the midst of the courtyard. There are two other temples in the area, to the north and south-west and these have open halls. Parts of the temples, such as the entrance gates to the north and east, date to Chalukya times however extensive renovation was undertaken during Vijayanagara times. The majority of the structure that is still extant dates to this period. This view shows a large temple car, elaborately carved, which was used during the temple festivals to take the images of the gods in procession. Its size can be appreciated from the two Indian figures on top of the wooden-wheeled vehicle.