Aihole Durga Temple: Dharmachakra carved in a jālandhara (perforated stone window)

Jālandhara with a Dharmachakra pattern installed in a wall surrounding sbhamantapa and garbhagriha of the Durga Temple at Aihole, Karnataka, India

Dharmachakra carved in a jālandhara

Dharmachakra pattern in a jālandhara
The image shows one of the jālandharas (perforated stone windows) installed in the wall surrounding the sabhamantapa and garbhagriha of the Durga Temple at Aihole in Karnataka, India. As you can see, it was cut with a perfect curvature to fit the semi-circular shape of the wall around the garbhagriha (inner sanctum).

Carved into the jālandhara is a wheel, known as the Dharmachakra, a sacred symbol shared by the religions that originated in India, i.e., Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. At the center of the wheel is a beautifully-carved flower with six petals enclosed by a ring. Radiating outwards from this ring to the outer ring are the 12 elegantly-carved spokes.

The jālandhara is a unique element of the Dravida-style architecture and is a common feature in many Chalukya and Hoysala temples. The main purpose of the jālandharas is to provide ventilation and light into the interior. They also improve the aesthetics when the perforations form beautiful patterns.

The jālandhara shown in the image is on the apse part of the inside wall on the northwest side of the pradakshina patha (clockwise circumambulation path).

Here is the list of the jālandharas installed in the clockwise direction:
South Corridor
1. Southeast – Jālandhara carved with the swastika and lotus flower patterns
2. South – Jālandhara with rhombus perforations
3. Southwest – Jālandhara carved with a Dharmachakra (8 spokes)
North Corridor
4. Northwest – Jālandhara carved with a Dharmachakra (12 spokes) – Current image
5. Northeast – Jālandhara with square perforations

Related Pages
Durga Temple at Aihole
Badami, Cave – 1, Cave – 2, Cave – 3, Cave – 4
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Bracket Figures
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Navaranga
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Garbhagriha Outer Wall
Somanathapura Keshava Temple – A Masterpiece of Hoysala Temple Art
Hampi Virupaksha Temple Murals

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