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The East Front of the Durga Temple at Iwullee
26.7 x 37.4 cm (image)
The Royal Collection
Photograph of the Durga Temple at Iwullee, in the Bijapur district of north Karnataka. The name of the temple refers to a fort rather than the goddess and the temple may have been originally dedicated to the sun god. Its apsidal-ended form is derived from earlier Buddhist chaityas or prayer halls. Built on a high plinth, the temple is surrounded by an open colonnade, and its semi-circular sanctum is crowned by a now fragmentary tower. It is decorated with fine sculptures, particularly on its outer piers. Friezes adorn its basement, and the doorway of its mandapa or hall is flanked with elaborate carvings.
Iwullee, situated near the banks of the river Malaprabha like other Chalukyan sites of Badami and Pattadakal, was an important centre of the Early Chalukyas (Chalukyas of Badami) who flourished between c.543 and 757 AD.