Aihole Durga Temple: Garbhagriha and Sabhamantapa

Sabhamantapa and the garbhagriha of the Durga Temple at Aihole in Karnataka, India

Sabhamantapa and the garbhagriha

Garbhagriha and Sabhamantapa
The door at the far end of the image opens into the garbhagriha (inner sanctum) of the Durga Temple. As you can see, there is just a pedestal on which the principal idol of the temple once stood. Because this idol is missing, nobody is sure to whom this temple was dedicated. Historians believe that it was likely a Surya or Vishnu temple.

There are eight pillars, four on each side, in the main hall in front of the garbhagriha, virtually dividing the hall into three longitudinal aisles and five transverse sections.

The Dravida-style architecture has the following two halls in front of the garbhagriha, antarala (ante-chamber) and sabhamantapa (congregation hall). In this temple, the first transverse section, which is narrower than the other four, in front of the garbhagriha is the antarala, and the rest of the main hall is the sabhamantapa.

An oblong-shaped wall, one side of which is semi-circular, surrounds the garbhagriha and the main hall. The rear wall of the garbhagriha is circular and part of an apse-like structure built by perfectly fitting stones. The design of the temple resembles a Christian Church (sans transepts). Experts believe that it was influenced by the architecture of Buddhist Chitra halls.

Durga Temple Images
Exterior: Front view, Rear view, West side view
Mukhamantapa: Exterior, Interior, Ornate pillar, Mithuna Shilpa, Vidyadhara couple, Romantic couple, Coiled Nagaraja, Matsya Chakra
Interior: Dvārabandha, Sabhamantapa, Garbhagriha
Pradakshina Patha: West facing view, East facing view,
Devakoshtas: Shiva with his vehicle Nandi, Narasimhavatara, Vishnu riding Garuda, Varahavatara, Durga as Mahishasuramardini, Harihara
Jālandharas: Swastika and lotus flower patterns, Rhombus-shaped perforations, Dharmachakra – 8 spokes, Dharmachakra – 12 spokes, 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

Copyright © 2021 by Lawrence Rodrigues. All rights reserved.

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