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Contribution of the Chalukyas

Art and Architecture

Arts were patronized by the state and the people in large proportions. Some of the kings like Someshvara-3 and Jagadeka Malla were writers on their own merit.

“Manasollasa’ or ‘Abhilashitartha Chintamani’ by the King Somesvara III (1129) was a Sanskrit work intended for all sections of society. This is an example of an early encyclopedia in Sanskrit covering many subjects including medicine, magic, veterinary science, valuing of precious stones and pearls, fortifications, painting, music, games, amusements etc.”

Jagadekamalla has written a book named ‘Sangeeta Chuudaamani’ on music. Bilhana, (‘Vikramankadevacharita’) Vijnaneshvara, (‘Mitaaksharaa’) Dayapala (Rupasiddhi) and Vadiraja (‘Yashodharacharita’)  are some of the important writers who wrote in Sanskrit during the regime of Kalyani Chalukyas. Ranna, Nagavarma, Nagavarma-2, Durgasimha, Nagachandra and Nayasena are the major Kannada poets who flourished during this period.


In this age, Architecture and sculpture during this period was not confined to any particular region as was the case with the Badami Chalukyas. It was spread all over Karnataka and beyond.

The Kalyani Chalukyas imbibed many elements from the Badami style. However, they did make a few innovations. Independent buildings were preferred to earlier cave temples. Sandstone was gradually replaced by soapstone.

Star-shaped foundations gave way to rectangular structures and the architects had a liking for right angles.

With the exception of the Basappa temple of Dambala, all these temples have a rectangular base. These and many more innovations which lead to a distinct style which is often called ‘Vesara’. This style is a combination of the ‘Nagara’ and ‘Dravida’ styles  Mukteshvara temple at Chaudadaanapura, the Kasivisvesvara Temple at Lakkundi (Gadag district), the Dodda Basappa Temple at Dambal (Gadag district), the Mallikarjuna Temple at Kuruvatii the Kallesvara Temple at Bagali the Siddhesvara Temple at Haveri (Haveri district.

Mahadeva temple in Itagi is called ‘Devalaya Cakravarti’ (The emperor among temples). The sculptures of this period are not very distinguished and they show a greater degree of craftsmanship than artistry.

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