Sunday, July 6, 2014
Doddabasappa Temple, Dambal
Dambal near Gadag was a famous ancient town particularly during the period of the Chalukyas of Kalyana (10th to 12th century A.D.). Its original name was Dharmapura or Dharmavolal. Chalukya Vikramaditya’s (VI) queen Lakashmidevi was ruling from this provincial capital. Apart from this, Dambal was also famous for Buddhisam and the cult of Tara Bhagavati.
Dambal is famous for the Shiva temple now known as Doddabasappa temple. Actually it was built in 1124-26 A.D., and it was then known as Ajjamesvara temple, as it was built by an officer Ajjayyanayaka. This temple is unique in the architectural history of the Kalyana Chalukyas because of the satellite plan as against the rectangular plan of the other temples.
Thus it is an exception to that style. It is interesting to note that Hoysala Temples are generally star-shaped and this important future is found in the later Chalukya temple itself. This is the uniqueness of this temple.
The temple consists of a Garbhagriha. Antarala, a Navaranga and two Mukhamandapas facing east and south. The Garbhagriha,Antarala and the frontal Navaranga are stellate or star-shaped from the basement itself. The star-shaped basement has mouldings parallel to each other and runs round. The same contour is continued on the walls of the structure over which are two eave like mouldings which also follow the same star shaped contour.
The walls of this temple are interesting because of the decorative elements such as pilasters and turrets at regular intervals. The horizontal friezes at the basement and the vertical decorative elements of the walls make pleasing combination of a unique nature, and this temple is known for that. Further this star shape is continued in the Shikara in the form of receding tiers up to the top.
Thus this vertical and horizontal combination of star shape at the Sikhara level makes this temple unique and elegant. Thus the vertical tendency adds strength to the building whereas the horizontal string courses intersect the former and produce a pleasing effect, not seen in the other temples of the Kalyana Chalukya period.
someshvara Temple and Japada Bavi
The pillars of the Navaranga and Mukhamandapa are elegant with relief sculptures of gods and goddesses. The moulding above the entrance would have originally contained images of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, the Trinity. This space is empty now. The temple is covered elaborate carvings of creepers, dancers and musicians, and a Mithuna Couple. The entrance Mandapa has three main figures are a five-headed Brahma on his Vahana, the Swan, and two figures of the Sun God Surya. Because of the big Nandi sculpture in the Mukhamandapa, the temple is called by the name Doddabasappa (big bull) temple.