Sculptures near Teli Mandir, Gwalior Fort
Photographer: Dayal, Deen
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of sculptures near the Teli ka Mandir Temple at Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, taken by Deen Dayal in the 1880s, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views. The town of Gwalior in central India is the site of a magnificent fort, perched on a rocky plateau, which changed hands several times over the centuries. The Teli-ka-Mandir or Oil-pressers temple was probably built in the middle of the eighth century and is the oldest surviving monument in Gwalior Fort. This view shows part of the garden sculpture that was created around the temple when it was reconstructed in 1881-83. The temple is situated in the impressive fort that rises 100 metres above the town of Gwalior. It presents a unique blending of different Indian architectural styles. The rectangular sanctuary is covered by a masonry tower 25 metres high with a barrel-vaulted roof. The niches on the outer walls, which no longer house the sculptures, are covered by gavakshas, arch-like motifs, a North Indian type of decoration. The doorway is decorated with carved figures of river goddesses, amorous couples, foliation motifs and a flying Garuda on the lintel. The temple was probably originally dedicated to an aspect of the Mother Goddess.