A Chalukyan legacy

A Chalukyan legacy

Bijapur is world-famous for its Adilshahi monuments. The remote villages of Bijapur has many ancient Hindu monuments which are not yet exposed to the travellers. Ruled by many Hindu rulers like Kalyani Chalukyas and Senaru, there many wonderful temples devoted to Hindu gods. Chattaraki is one among them. Referred to in inscriptions as Agrahara Chatturage, Chattaraki is an ancient place and is at a distance of 40 km from Bijapur. This temple is under the care of ASI today.

The Dattatreya Temple here is a very attractive structure built in Chalukyan style. It has a high adhishtana, garbhagriha, ardha mantapa, spacious navaranga and a separate mukhamantapa.

The sanctum is square in shape and also has a square pani peetha with a Harihara figurine of. He is in sambhangi posture, about 1.5 m tall and holds the shanka, chakra, trishul, damaru and karmandala in five hands while his sixth hand rests on his waist.

Commendable art
The entrance to the sanctum is in a typical Chalukyan style and the lintel has a seated figure of Laksmi. The doorway of the ardha mantapa is also in Chalukyan style and has two decorative pillars on either side. The navaranga has four decorative pillars with figures of dwarfs on the upper brackets. At the centre of these pillars is a circular natya mantapa (dance hall). The navaranga has niches and the right one has a composite figure of saptamatrikas. A deep Bhuvaneswari with an inverted lotus forms the canopy of the navaranga. To the left of the hall is an individual sculpture of Ganesha.
The navaranga has three entrances and three mukhamantapas with kakshasana at the front.

The open space in front of the main temple has a separate mukhamantapa constructed on a raised adhishtana.

This mantapa has two entrances with four decorative pillars at the centre and its canopy also has a Bhuvaneswari with an inverted lotus. The outer wall of this temple has decorative images of female figures in attractive dance poses, Vishnu and Vamana in the star-shaped niches.

The expanded walls of the kakshasana of the mukhamantapas have figures of Krishna playing the flute, Kalingamardhana, Krishna and madanikas. There is a spacious prakara around the Temple and the outer wall has an inscription of 13th century A.D. characters describing the Rudra Loka.

An inscription in front of the Hanuman Temple of the town records the death of a hero called Dayadhyara who died during an attack on the tax-exempted Agrahara Chatturage by Kannavalli Mahamandalesvara Govanadevarasa with the help of 12 other leaders during the rule of the Kalyana Chalukyan king Vikramaditya VI. It also refers to several taxes due to the Selara clan of Govanadevarasa.

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