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Alampur
Situated about 250 km south of Hyderabad, this town has several Saiva temples from the 7th-8th c when it was an important religious settlement within the eastern reaches of the Badami Chalukya empire. This makes the site (called the Nava Brahma Kshetra) the most ancient Hindu complex in Andhra Pradesh. The temples are located within a large fortified area and laid out from north to south, all facing east to the Tungabhadra which flows southward here making its west bank auspicious for temple-building. The site was threatened by the Srisailam project (downstream from here) but a barrage was erected to save the temples. The architecture represents an evolved phase of the Badami Chalukya style and is characterized by curved towers with chaitya motifs, ribbed elements and amalaka finials, wall-niches with elaborate pediments, and large cardinal niches with pierced windows on the sanctuary walls.


Garuda Brahma Temple
This temple is an evolved example with a complete porch fronted by double columns. Wall-niches, though empty, have complex candrasala pediments and basements. The tower has retained its amalaka finial as well as its large gavaksa projection.


Garuda Brahma: Mandapa Window
This pierced stone screen in the porch is decorated with flowers. Its unusual frame is composed of a series of ganas, each standing on one of a set of interconnected lotuses.


Garuda Brahma: Niche Pediment
The pediment is in three tiers each containing niches separated by miniature pilasters. Partial arches flank these tiers with a complete chaitya arch above. Inscribed within this is a similar smaller candrasala. Flying gandharva couples flank this composition. Below another series of niches and pediments are interrupted by three blocks depicting gandharvas and a kneeling elephant.


Garuda Brahma: Base Panels
The base of the wall niches consists of three horizontal moldings. The topmost has a flower-and-chain decoration framed by beads. At the centre is an eave-shaped molding with gavaksas containing flowers. Below this the square ends of 'rafters' have geese and mermaids with foliated tails and monster masks at the ends.


Garuda Brahma: Porch columns
Double columns at the front of the porch have fluted part-polygonal shafts. Square capitals are fashioned as purnaghatas. Stylized brackets above have lotuses on the undersides. The smaller brackets have krittimukhas.


Bala Brahma Temple
This large temple is the only one currently in worship, as denoted by the gold-plated kalasa finial above the amalaka. The remaining tower elements are in the standard late-Chalukya style although the size of the gavaksa projection in front is reduced. The exterior walls of this temple are concealed by a later colonnade (whitewashed) but interesting images are retained inside, including large Dvarapalakas, Siva-Parvati, Ganesa, and a set of Sapta-Matrikas in a chamber beside the ardha-mandapa. The sanctuary entrance is guarded by unusual images of Chamunda.


Swarga Brahma Temple
This evolved and well-preserved temple is the closest to what a complete Alampur temple would have looked like. Its porch has six pillars, two pairs in the front and one on each side, each fluted and with the usual elaborate capitals. An inscription mentions that the temple was built in 7th c by a local feudatory Ela Arasa in honour of (the Badami Chalukyan emperor) Vinayaditya's queen.


Swarga Brahma: East Wall
The main niche to the right of the porch-entrance has an image of Surya (identified by the lotus flowers, boots, cloak and large halo) below an evolved type of candrasala pediment. On either side of this niche are images of Siva. On the left is the Tripura-samhara form where he pursues the asura riding a chariot driven by Brahma. On the right in the Lingodbhava form where he appears out of an infinite lingam. Brahma (left) and Vishnu (right) try to find the ends of the lingam by diving below (Vishnu in Varaha form) or flying above and eventually, acknowledging Siva's superiority, stand as worshippers at the centre.


Swarga Brahma: East Wall
This niche to the left of the porch-entrance has an image of Indra, the dikpala of the east (identified by his vahana the elephant). On each side of this are images of Siva in various forms. On the left he is in the Bhikshatana form where he seduces the wives of rishis (right) while the enraged rishis themselves raise their arm to strike him (left). Above are animals of the forest including Parvati seated on Nandi.


Swarga Brahma: Dvarapalakas
The Siva dvarapalaka stands cross-legged, resting languorously on his club. At the base of the door-frame (left) are images of a river-goddess and her attendant.


Swarga Brahma: Agni
This niche has an image of Agni, guardian of the south-east, recognized by the flames surrounding him. Decorative frames surrounding the niche has naginis at the base. The basement blocks have stories from Krishna's life (Putana scene on the left) and monster masks at the ends.


Swarga Brahma: Yama
Dikpala of the south, Yama is also considered the Lord of Justice and and ruler of the region called Naraka which is considered to be located to the south.


Swarga Brahma: Niritthi
This diety is the guardian of the south-west and is carried by a human vahana.


Swarga Brahma: South Wall
Niches with dikpalas are crowned by complex candrasala pediments and flanked by mithuna couples. Pierced windows to the mandapa are surmounted by smaller pediments. Large pierced screens on the sanctum walls are sheltered by porch projections supported by fluted columns.


Swarga Brahma: Trivikrama
In this cardinal niche on the sanctuary wall, Vishnu in his Trivikrama avatar measures out the universe, one foot on the earth, while the other reaches to the heavens. Below are other episodes of this story, where Vishnu as Vamana receives water from a pot, served by the demon-king Bali.


Swarga Brahma: Amorous couples
Placed on ledges on the wall are elegantly modeled images of men and women (some holding palm trees) wearing diaphanous garments and holding hands or embracing.


Swarga Brahma: Porch column
Porch-pillars on this cardinal niche have the usual fluted shafts and complex capitals with purnaghata motifs. The column brackets have krittimukhas and human faces. A block on the shaft has krittimukhas spouting garlands with supplicants in between.


Swarga Brahma: Siva Dvarapalaka
A dvarapalaka image is placed next to cardinal Nataraja niche on the west. He holds the trisula, sarpa (snake) and an axe in his hands while leaning casually cross-legged on a club. Next to him is a mithuna couple.


Swarga Brahma: Vayu
This image is of Vayu, the dikpala of the north-east, as denoted by his emblem, a flag fluttering in the breeze. The mithuna couples flanking this image are in distinctly amorous positions.


Swarga Brahma: Nataraja
An sixteen-armed image of Siva as Nataraja is placed in the principal niche in the west wall. Accompanying him below are dancers and musicians including Nandi and Ganesa.


Swarga Brahma: Kubera
Dikpala of the north and the God of wealth, Kubera is always shows seated with a mace in his hand (only base exists here). An ornamental halo is carved into the wall behind.


Swarga Brahma: Family
A splendidly modeled couple is shown here, both standing in a serene dvibhanga pose. The woman's hand rests of an image of a child.


Swarga Brahma: Isana
The dikpala of the north-east is a form of Siva as denoted by his vahana (Nandi) and his trisula emblem. Compare with similar image on the Vishva Brahma temple.


Swarga Brahma: Krishnalila Scenes
These base blocks depict various episodes from Krishna's life. On the left after the monster mask, Krishna is shown breaking the arjuna trees and thus freeing Nalakuvera and Manigriva (sons of Kuvera) who were cursed by Narada to be trapped there. Next Krishna is shown breaking the wheels of a cart under which he had been placed, and killing the demon Sakatasura who was concealed in it. In the next panel Krishna and Balarama are shown killing the demon Vatsasura who had taken the guise of a calf and concealed himself in their herd. The last block probably shows Krishna killing Kesin, the horse demon.


Swarga Brahma: North-East
This view shows part of the entrance porch with dvarapalakas and a Nandi image, niches and pierced windows on the walls, as well as part of the sikhara with its sukanasa containing a Nataraja image. More images of Nandi are placed on the corners of the terrace.


Swarga Brahma: Sukanasa
The arched projection on the front of the sikhara is referred to as the sukanasa (nose) in the Silpasastras. This ornate chaitya arch raised on a molded base has scroll offsets on its sides and apex and a figural sculpture at the centre.


Padma Brahma Temple
This temple in reddish sandstone is the latest in the series. The wall niches are evolved and the cardinal niches on the sanctum walls have pillared porch extensions. The tower however was left incomplete.


Padma Brahma: Candrasala
These pediments on the south wall are unusual in being two-storeyed and with single large central and top arches. Compare with pediments on the other temples.


Padma Brahma: Dvarapalaka
Large guardian images are carved on either side of the entrance. They have a fiercer expression than before and clasp their snake-entwined mace rather than gently leaning on it. The wall-niches have distinctly projecting eave and base moldings.


Padma Brahma: North Wall
The cardinal niche on the mandapa wall is within a projecting porch that has four facade columns, each with fluted shafts and purnaghata bases and capitals.


Padma Brahma: Wall Niches
Complicated multi-tier pediments surmount the wall-niches. Finial arches have images of faces or flowers in them. The niches have distinctly projecting eaves that are in some cases supported by detached circular fluted pillars. Pierced-screen windows between the niches have rafter-blocks and small pediments above.


An Entrance Torana
This sandstone entrance portal stands on the path to the enclosure containing the Nava Brahma temples. Portals such as these are rare in Hindu temple complexes, certainly no other examples remain from the Badami Chalukya period. The multifaceted pillars have square blocks at the top with mythological scenes and double-ribbed discs above as capitals. The lintel has blocks with images of dieties on vahanas, probably the Navagrahas.


Torana: Palanquins
Both registers on this panel show bearers carrying simple palanquins. Above this, figures stand on the corners of the square block. In between is a large medallion with a lotus centre.


Torana: Yama
This panel shows a seated pot-bellied diety, probably Yama, with female attendants. Above is another seated figure (Lakulisa, perhaps) on a carved asana.


Torana: Ramayana
These panels have various religious scenes, including worship of the lingam, and perhaps scenes from the Ramayana on the left. Seated figures within arches are placed above.


Taraka Brahma
This temple stands in a large courtyard (now part of a mosque) and is very different from the other Nava Brahma temples, indicating that it is possibly from a later period. The shrine raised on a plinth has no mandapa but is fronted by a large porch with square pillars. The tower is raised on a high square base and seems to have the shala-kuta arrangement of Dravidian temples rather than the ratha and amalaka (sikhara) arrangement of the other Alampur temples. The sukanasa projection in front of the tower is much larger than usual but the image within it is undecipherable.


Taraka Brahma: Tower
The niche on the sanctum wall has curving eave surmounted by a shala pediment. The tower above has shala projections at the centre and square kuta corners.


Mahishamardhini
This elegant eight-armed Durga image is placed in a whitewashed wall-niche. The goddess stands in a dvibhanga pose with one foot on the buffalo-demon holding its tail while she plunges her spear in its neck. Although the scene is violent, the goddess appears serene.


Corner shrine
This shrine occupies one corner of the Bala Brahma temple (spire visible behind). Its tower is in three stories demarcated by horizontal moldings with gavaksa motifs. Spaces between the moldings have diamond and minature shrine shaped designs. Above is an alamaka and well-preserved kalasa finial.


Kumara Brahma
This temple, next to the Araka Brahma, is the oldest temple in this complex but retains both the pillared entrance porch and curved pyramidal sikhara. The exterior walls however dont have the elaborate wall niches seen in later temples.


Kumara Brahma: Porch Pillars
Simple square pillars at the front of the porch are sculpted in low relief. A panel on the shaft shows a group of men and women with luxuriant hairstyles, carved in a style reminiscent of early Buddhist sculpture. Below this is a row of krittimukhas regurgitating pearls, above is a half-lotus medallion. To the left can be seen the pierced screen that flanks the mandapa entrance.


Kumara Brahma: Stone Screens
Pierced windows on the sanctum passageway are tall and narrow. Scrollwork and garlands in shallow relief decorate the panel above and the pilasters on either side.


Kumara Brahma: Tower
An earlier version of the curved sikhara has fewer stories (three) separated by the usual ribbed corner elements. Central (ratha) projections on each face have diminishing triple gavaksas on each horizontal molding. A smaller ribbed amalaka finial has developed but not the large arch-shaped front projection. Verticality is less pronounced compared to later examples.


Alampur Site Museum
This museum maintained by the state archeological office displays several figures and wall and ceiling panels recovered from the flood waters of the Srisailam project. This image shows a 10-armed Mahisamardhini plunging her trisula into the asura emerging from his buffalo disguise. This energetic sculpture shows the goddess with her leg on the reclining figure of the asura.


Museum: Yakshas
These sculpture fragments were next to the Museum entrance. They are probably images of Yakshas or ganas.


Museum: Pierced windows
A window to the museum is from the Chalukyan era but probably unfinished. Complicated circular kalpalatas form the piercings.


Museum: Ceiling Panel
This beautifully preserved ceiling panel has its crisply cut details well-preserved. A seven-hooded Naga king holding lotus buds is shown within a lotus flower framing his serpent tail. The composition is framed by petalled corners and rope and flower borders.


Museum: Lajja Gowri
This finely finished, highly polished image is considered a form of Devi and referred to by various names such as Lajja Gowri, Aditi Uttanapad, Matangi and Renuka. Placed in a square frame, she lies in the birth position, broadly spread out legs with soles turned upward. Hands resting on the knees hold the stalks of small lotus flowers while a large open lotus blossom crowns the figure replacing its head and neck. She wears sarpa arm bands, bangles and a delicate bead necklace. Images of this deity are rare even though her cult grew significantly in the 6th-10th centuries, perhaps with the general rise of Tantrism. Her origins are obscure with myths that refer to her as Matangi, the "outcaste goddess" known for ignoring social rules. Elsewhere, she is called Renuka, an outcaste beheaded by a Kshatriya, who grew a lotus in place of her head. Art-historians have associated her with pre-Aryan goddess cults and also pointed out similarities with the Venus of Willendorf. Although within the museum, a separate room is reserved for this sculpture, which is revered as a fertility goddess by pilgrims visiting the Navabrahma temples.


Museum: Durga
A youthful goddess leans on the buffalo to hold back its bent head and plunges her trisula into its exposed neck. Her lion vahana bites into the buffalo's back.


Museum: Siva
In this image Siva kills the Andhaka demon (top-right corner) by thrusting a spear through his chest. The image of Siva is superbly executed and full of vitality as he slightly arches back and places his foot on a figure to muster the force needed to kill the demon.


Museum: Durga
In this dynamic sculpture the asura emerges from below with a buffalo's head, ready to strike his mace, while Durga calmly grasps his arm and places her foot on his horns to plunge the trisula into his neck. With another arm she draws an arrow from its quiver.


Museum: Cat Panel
A rare image of a cat is sculpted in relief sitting on a lotus in a panel that also contains an inscription.


Museum: Column Panels
These panels show episodes from the Mahishamardhini story. The mahisha demon brothers torment the gods before being defeated by Durga in a battle depicted in the central panel.


Museum: Column Panels
Scenes above show the story of Siva killing the elephant demon, Gajakasura, including the scene (centre) where he holds the skin of the elephant around him. Below is the Narasimha story with the main scene (disembowelling of Hiranyakashipu) at the centre.


Museum: Column Panels
These panels are from the Siva Purana, Andhakasura-vadha above and Tripurantaka-samhara below.


Museum: Column Panels
These seem to be episodes from the epics (Ramayana perhaps). The images on the lower panels are framed by garlands emanating from krittimukha faces.


Museum: Varuna
This four-headed diety standing on a lotus is probably Varuna as identified by his noose, and the ocean waters curling up at his feet. In his other hands he holds a ring and a conch. Please contact me if you can make a definite identification.


Museum: Ceiling Panel
A hooded Naga king at the centre is surrounded by images of the ashta-dikpalas and gandharvas, all framed by lotus petals.


Museum: Ceiling Panel
A large framed Siva Nataraja image is at the centre (with dancers and gandharvas). Ashtadikpalas surround this image.


Vishva Brahma Temple
This temple is the northern-most of the group and is one of the most well-preserved. The entrance frame has river-godesses at the base, Garuda at the lintel, and five miniature pediments above. On either side are double niches with figures missing but candrasala pediments complete.


Vishva Brahma: Tower
The elaborate curved tower is in five storeys, each level demarcated by ribbed corner elements. Tapering ratha projections on each face and their rows of diminishing arched motifs, all emphasize verticality. The projecting ornate arch on the front has an image of Siva as Nataraja.


Vishva Brahma: Trivikrama
This sculpture between niches to the right of the entrance is a ruined depiction, possibly, of Vishnu at Trivikrama.


Vishva Brahma: Dvarapalaka
This exquisitely modeled Siva dvarapalaka has his hair tied up in jewels while ornamental necklaces, girdles, waistbands, and armlets adorn the rest of the figure standing in a dvibhanga pose.


Vishva Brahma: Wall Niches
Niches are to the right of the entrance.


Vishva Brahma: Vishnu
Vishnu on Garuda is flanked by pilaster-frames that have purnaghata motifs at the base and capitals and a krittimukha at the centre.


Vishva Brahma: Wall Niches
The niches to the left of the entrance are surmounted by triangular pediments flanked by flying gandharvas. The space between the niches also has a sculpture above which is a smaller pediment. The bases of the niches have horizontal moldings the lowest of which takes the form of six square panels, representing the ends of wooden rafters, a carry-over from earlier wooden architecture.


Vishva Brahma: Narasimha
Perforated windows are placed between the wall-niches. This screen has flowers on the grill and is framed with scrollwork. Above is an image of Vishnu as Ugra-Narasimha, disembowelling the demon Hiranyakashipu.


Vishva Brahma: Agni
The south-east corner niche has Agni on his vahana (ram). A mithuna couple is placed to the right of the niche.


Vishva Brahma: Base blocks
Here the square blocks at the base of a niche show elephants in various poses, carved in shallow relief.


Vishva Brahma: Siva Dakshinamurti
In this form, Siva faces south and sits beneath a banyan tree and upon a deer throne, and is surrounded by sages who are receiving his instruction.


Vishva Brahma: Candrasala Pediment
The triangular pediment, a characteristic of this style of temple architecture, has a complex decorative scheme. Three storeys of miniature columns are framed by half-arches, with beaded borders, and culminating in a complete arch at the finial. Pairs of flying gandharvas are sculpted on either side. At the base are miniature niches with pediments, separated by columns. At the centre of this composition is a Inside this is a smaller candrasala pediment, whose base in turn has five projecting blocks whose faces are decorated with flowers. To the left of this pediment is a stylized image of a chauri-bearer with a child. This image is also surmounted by a pediment.


Vishva Brahma: Base Panels
The projecting blocks below the niche have monster masks at the ends, and images of Ganesa, worshippers, and geese with foliated tails. Above this is a molding with an arched element at the centre, and at the top is a panel with scrollwork.


Vishva Brahma: Pierced Screen
At the base of the screen are images of monkeys climbing palms trees and of mithuna couples.


Vishva Brahma: South Mandapa Wall
A row of framed niches decorates the south wall.


Vishva Brahma: South Sanctuary Wall
A stone pierced screen at the centre of the wall admits light to the passageway around the sanctuary. The projecting eave above this is now missing, but the basement projection remains.


Vishva Brahma: Wall Niche
Basement blocks here show dwarfs, kinnaras, and elephants, unicorns, and yalis with riders. The pilaster on the left has a mithuna couple, while on the right is a broken image of a leaping yali with rider, trampling a figure.


Vishva Brahma: West Wall
The cardinal niche (ratha) of the west wall has a pierced screen with a 16-armed Siva Nataraja image with supplicans, dancers, and musicians below. Below this image is a horizontal molding with embracing mithuna couples below. Pilasters frame the niche, with purnaghata bases and capitals and krittimukhas at the centre.


Vishva Brahma: Mahisamardhini
This pilaster to the left of the Siva Nataraja panel shows Mahisamardhini astride an enlarged rampant lion, shooting arrows at a supplicating asura.


Vishva Brahma: Stone screen
Basement scenes of this screen have palm trees with monkeys at the top, shalabhanjikas and mithuna couples.


Vishva Brahma: Kubera
The dikpala of the north in a niche that has a projecting eave with gavaksa motifs. The base projection has makaras with decorative tails that meet at the centre. To the left is a pilaster with a mithuna couple and a base panel that has a mermaid with a foliated tail.


Vishva Brahma: North Wall
Large niches (rathas) with complicated candrasala pediments are separated by sculpted pilasters with narrow pediments. At the centre of the sanctuary wall is a large niche with stone pierced screen. The basement has triple horizontal moldings.


Vishva Brahma: Tower
The curved sikhara is five-storeyed, the levels marked by ribbed elements at the corners. A complex pattern of gavaksa motifs fills each level of the projections at the centre (rekha) and sides of each face. The front of the tower has a large horse-shoe-shaped projection. A large ribbed amalaka crowns the composition.


Vishva Brahma: Varaha
This broken image is probably of Varaha trampling the Nagas and rescuing Bhudevi (on his arm). Its position (on the eave of a window to the mandapa wall) is similar to other Dashavatara images on this temple.


Vishva Brahma: Isana
This image is likely to be of Isana, a form of Siva, and guardian of the northeast. When complete, the figure would have been resting on his vahana, the bull. Pilasters flanking the niche have amorous mithuna couples.


Vishva Brahma: Chauri-bearer
This mandapa window has an image of a chauri-bearer in dvibhanga pose, carrying a dish of food.


Vishva Brahma: Unicorns
Base blocks of this empty wall-niche have unusual images of unicorns at the centre and monster-masks at the ends.


Vishva Brahma: Sanctuary entrance
Square pillars inside the temple at the sanctum entrance have chauri-bearers standing on elephants. A ceiling panel above has a large lotus with three rows of petals. Above the Garuda lintel are three miniature shrine-niches surmounted by candrasala pediments and fluted bolster-shaped elements. Between these are projections with images of ganas and dancers, also below arched pediments.


Vishva Brahma: Roof Beam
Complex vegetal scrollwork and a beaded border decorate the rafters inside the mandapa.


Vishva Brahma: Column Capital
These interior columns have seated lions at the base (reminiscent of Pallava architecture), fluted shafts and complex capitals consisting of a square portion with men at the corners holding garlands joined at the sides below krittimukhas. Above this is a ribbed pot-shaped element and at the top are square brackets supporting the rafters. These have purnaghatas carved on faces lotuses carved on the undersides. On the top front and back are large krittimukha faces.


Vira Brahma Temple
This temple just to the south of the Visva Brahma is built of reddish sandstone blocks. The ornamentation is more sparse and more ruined, remains of projections above the entrance possibly indicate a missing porch. River-goddesses and the Siva-dvarapalakas leaning on clubs are carved in low relief. On each side of the entrance are single projecting niches (now empty) frames by pilasters and with complex pediments above.


Vira Brahma: North sanctum wall
Three stone pierced screens separated by pilasters allow light into the sanctum passageway. The basement platform of the temple has alternating projections and niches with miniatures lingas.


Vira Brahma: Wall Niche
The niche has pilasters with the usual purnaghata capital and base but the candrasala pediments are more ornate with multiple miniature candrasalas within the main outside one. Single flying gandharvas flank the pediments. The cornice has a continuous row of small gavaksas while below it is a row of garlands between the niche pediments.


Vira Brahma: North wall
Windows to the sanctum passageway and the mandapa remain. The wall niches are missing but moldings mark their position. Rows of gavaksa elements remain both on the cornice of the temple and its basement platform.


Araka Brahma Temple
This red sandstone temple, just to the south of the Vira Brahma, is largely ruined. Most wall niches are missing as is the tower. A broken Nandi image is placed in front of the entrance, a water spout emanates in front of it. The tower of the Kumara Brahma temple is seen behind.


Sangameshwara Temple
The Kudali Sangameshwara temple, probably constructed by Pulakesi I (540-566 AD), is one of the earliest and grandest of the Badami Chalukyan temples in Andhra Pradesh. Once situated at the confluence of the rivers Krishna and Tungabhadra, the temple was dismantled during the Srisailam project and reconstructed here on the outskirts of Alampur town.


Sangameshwara: East entrance
The entrance is flanked by casually seated (sukhasana) images of the nidhi-purushas or personifications of divine attributes. Next to them are figures of river goddesses. On the right the image of Ganga is missing, replaced by a perforated screen. These vertical panels are surmounted by unusual animal pediments typical of this temple.


Sangameshwara: Enclosure
The temple is raised on a basement platform whose outer edge is raised to form a perimeter wall that surrounds the pradakshinapatha. This is a rare feature in Badami Chalukya temples, though comparable with the Pallava Kailasnatha temple at Kanchipuram. This perimeter wall has several moldings separated by miniature pilasters, and is surmounted by a series of shala roof forms. The south-east corner is developed into a complete shrine with a barrel-vaulted roof.


Sangameshwara: Tower
In the developed Badami Chalukya style, the tower has five levels marked by ribbed elements at the corners. The rekha projections on each side have the usual rows of candrasala motifs. The amalaka is less flattened than the later examples.


Sangameshwara: Enclosure wall
The wall has a series of stepped projections that are carried up to the top, culmintaing in shala roofs with a miniature candrasala at the centre. The projections contain miniature images of figures flanked by miniature pilasters and sheltered by an overhanging eave. Niches between these projections contain water spouts carried by kneeling elephants.


Sangameshwara: Sankha and Yamuna
These images to the left of the entrance show the nidhi-purusha Sankha, Yamuna in an arched tribhanga pose on a makara and caressing a gana. The niche next to this contains an image of a diety, probably Siva.


Sangameshwara: Gaja-Lakshmi
Elephants with fantastic floriate tails lustrate a seated figure of Lakshmi on this pierced window pediment.


Sangameshwara: Makaras
Water gushing out from miniature outlets below a medallion, is received by makaras with gana riders.


Sangameshwara: Hamsas
Geese with decorative tails drink from a double lotus blossom.


Sangameshwara: Nataraja
This cardinal niche on the sanctuary wall shows a lively Nataraja accompanied by dancers and musicians.


Sangameshwara: South Wall
Framed niches on the wall contain images surmounted by candrasala pediments or pierced windows surmounted by animal pairs. The wide eave shelters a continuous row of ganas at the level of the pediments. At the corners of the roof are fantastic makara spouts, some with a human figure in their mouth.


Sangameshwara: Mithuna Panel
Several mithuna couples embrace on this column panel. Above is a part lotus medallion.


Sangameshwara: Interior column
Various panels at the capital of a column in the mandapa. A gana stands on a lotus medallion above. Below mithuna mermaid couples with fantastic tails are surrounded by waves. Women holding flowers are on either side.


Sangameshwara: Siva
Perhaps a dvarapalaka, this broken panel has a figure with matted hair in a dvibhanga pose.



Photos and Text © Amit Guha