The temples bore testimony to the brilliant Western Chalukyan sculpture exhibited in the temple architecture of such ancient temple structures. The Dodda Basappa Temple and Kasi Vishveshvara Temple at Gadag District, Kalleshwara Temple and Mallikarjuna Temple, Davengere District, Amritesvara Temple, Dharwad District, Siddhesvara Temple, Haveri District, Mahadeva Temple at Koppal District, all existent in the southern Indian state of Karnataka are marvellous instances of the sculptures which were prevalent during the reign of the Western Chalukyan rulers, prominent in the region of Tungabhadra during the 11th and 12th centuries. Three principal types of sculptures developed under the reign of the Western Chalukyas are figure sculpture, deity sculpture and sculpture of the miniature towers, belonging to the various spectacular temples of that era.
Figure Sculpture of Western Chalukyas
Western Chalukyas introduced a brand new style of figure sculptures over the panels and friezes of temples. The early Chalukya temples boast of the sculptures of the heroes of epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana while the later Chalukya temples are adorned with the sculptures of Hindu deities. Miniature towers were decorated with figurines of dancing girls and holy men, particularly alongside the recesses and the temple niches. Cornices and beams of temples were filled with beautiful bracket idols depicting dancing girls. Elephant figures are more commonly employed as compared the horse and erotic sculptural art has seldom been implemented in Chalukyan temples. The only exception is the Tripurantakesvara Temple, Balligavi which possesses a narrow strip of friezes.
Deity Sculpture of Western Chalukyas
Several temples of Western Chalukyan age included the elaborately sculpted figures of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses, wherein each deity was made in a strikingly different pose, varying from each other, depending on its avatar or incarnation. One of the most excellent masterpieces of Western Chalukyan sculptures is the figurine of Goddess Saraswati, present in the Sarasvati Temple, Gadag District, Karnataka. The string of pearls around the neck of the Hindu Goddess of Wisdom and Learning, as well as the pretty curls of hair falling over Her shoulders portray the exquisite and well-developed form of Western Chalukyan sculpture. A bright diadem of jewels has been represented in the form of magnificent form of sculpture which has been placed behind the head of the deity.
Sculpture of Miniature Towers of Western Chalukyas
Dravidian forms of architecture and 'sekhari' architecture have been utilized to embellish the miniature towers of the temples. Unique sculptural art has been demonstrated through those present in the Amritesvara Temple of Annigeri, equipped with floral lintels on the top, portraying Hindu Gods. The Nannesvara Temple is yet another instance of this form of sculpture. Chiselled type of sculpture is noticed in miniature towers which comprise the existence of dual pilasters. A balustrade or 'vedika', cornice or 'kapota', roof or 'kuta' and floor or 'vyalamala' are the main characteristics of the 11th century miniatures while 'tala' or small tiers are present in the 12th century miniature towers. The temple niches are adorned with the idols of Hindu deities, especially the Kallesvara Temple at Hire Hadagalli.