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Aihole Durga Temple: Jālandhara carved with the swastika and lotus flower patterns


Jālandhara with swastika and lotus flower patterns
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. Carved into the stone window are the five swastikas and four lotus flower medallions. The swastika symbol is sacred to religions originated in India, i.e., Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. The other jālandharas have different patterns, some of which are sacred symbols and the others aesthetically pleasing.

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

The jālandhara shown in the image is on the southeast side of the pradakshina patha (clockwise circumambulation path) and is the first one the visitors see on the inside wall when they walk along the corridor of the pradakshina patha. The devakoshta (niche) with the sculpture of Shiva with his vehicle Nandi is next on the wall. As you can see through one of the perforations in the bottom, the Jālandhara with square perforations is on the north side of the wall.

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)
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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