Sas-Bahu temple, Gwalior Fort.
Photographer: Dayal, Deen
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the larger Sas-Bahu temple at Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, taken by Deen Dayal in the 1880s, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views in India. Gwalior in central India is the site of a magnificent fort, perched on a rocky plateau, which changed hands several times over the centuries. In the 10th century the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty of Gwalior declined, and this enabled the Kachchhapaghatas, a regional dynasty, to assert power. The Kachchhapaghatas built many monuments, including two temples known as Sas-Bahu (from the Hindi for mother-in-law and daughter-in-law), one small and one large, which were originally dedicated to Vishnu as Padmanatha. The Kachchhapaghatas gave way to the Pariharas, who in turn were removed by the Delhi Sultanate in the early 13th century.
The large Sas-Bahu carries an inscription recording its construction in about 1093. It is damaged and only the entrance mandapa or hall remains. The hall, supported by intricate piers, has an elaborate three-tiered roof, lavish domical ceilings and four small shrines inside at the corners. The whole edifice is decorated with relief sculptures and vegetal patterns.