Lecture 2. Temple Building and the Ideology of Hindu Kingship: the Early Chalukya Example

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Cathleen Cummings

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Patronage of Hindu Temples

In looking at the architecture of the Early Chalukya dynasty, in particular the Virupaksha temple (733-744), it becomes clear that temple-building had become a necessary component of Hindu kingship. Temple building made visible the efficacy and scope of kingship—recalling and reinforcing the king’s power as well as his authority to rule. As temples became necessary to kingship, temples constructed of permanent materials were being built in larger and larger numbers and, eventually, and where possible, on a larger and larger scale. Using the example of especially the Early Chalukya dynasty and the construction of its flagship temple, the Virupaksha temple, this lecture explains how the very idea of “Hindu kingship,” especially as defined in important epic and philosophical texts, was forming and solidifying just as the idea of monumental temple building in stone emerged in the early medieval period (c. 600-900).

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