The monuments of Karnataka depict the saga of its vast history and can be traced back from the Indus Valley Civilization in ancient Karnataka. It also has several monuments of third century BC when most of this province was the part of Nanda Empire and later shifted under the Mauryan Empire of Ashoka's period. Karnataka experienced several monuments in Satvahana dynasty that ruled for four centuries. The decline of this dynasty gave way for the native kingdoms of the state. These native kingdoms such as Kadambas and Western Gangas emerged as an independent power and helped to develop monuments in a separate architectural style. The contribution of the Kadambas in the monuments of Karnataka is precious.
Architecture in Monuments of Karnataka
The most common feature of this style is the Shikara or Kadamba Shikara which is pyramid shaped with a Kalasha at its peak and is similar to the Chalukyan and Pallava style. The famous Madhukeshwara or Lord Shiva temple still exists in Banavasi city, built by the Kadambas in 10th century. The Ganga dynasty contributed the religious monuments to the state. The famous Gomateshwara temple, Jain Basadi's of Shravanabelagola, Kambadahalli and lots of Hindu temples to the districts of south Karnataka are the witness to their rich contributions.
In the later period, other dynasties like Badami Chalukyas, Western Chalukya Empire and Rashtrakuta Empire of Manyakheta contributed to the architecture of Karnataka. The Western Chalukya rulers developed a unique style of architecture that was accepted by the Hoysala art of 12th century. Hoysala dynasty followed the Vesara style of architecture. Then the Harihara and Bukka Raya dynasty in early 14th century established the Vijayanagara Empire and constructed many famous monuments.
The monuments of Karnataka experienced a major shift with the decline of Vijaynagara Empire in 1565. Islamic sultanates took control of the Deccan and constructed monuments in Islamic styles. Later this dynasty was defeated by the Mughals in the late 17th century. These rulers encouraged the Islamic style of building arts. The most famous monument of this period of this style is the Gol Gumbaz. Several monuments were also constructed by the Nizam of Hyderabad in the northern parts of Karnataka, by the Mysore Kingdom in the southern parts, and later by the Britishers during their colonial rule.
Some of the Historical Monuments of Karnataka
Several monuments of Karnataka fall under the list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. They are the famous Pattadakal monuments and Vijaynagara Empire at Hampi. Besides other religious monuments and cave temples have also made to this list.
Group of Monuments at Hampi
Monuments at Hampi are listed among UNESCO World Heritage sites in India. Nestled along the Tungabhadra River, Hampi comprise of ruins from the 14th century that reveal incredible architecture of the Vijayanagara Empire. Hampi was the world's second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing during 1500 CE.
Bidar Fort is a fort named after the city of Bidar where it is situated. Sultan Alla-Ud Din Bahman of the Bahmani Dynasty shifted his capital from Gulbarga to Bidar in 1427 and built his fort along with a number of Islamic monuments. There are over 30 monuments inside Bidar fort.
Chennakeshavasvami Temple is a 12th-century Hindu temple that was commissioned by King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 CE. The temple was built over three generations and took 103 years to finish.
Mysore Palace is a historical palace and the royal residence of the Wadiyar dynasty. Yaduraya built the first palace in wooden construction inside the Old Fort during the 14th century. It was burnt ablaze and constructed multiple times. The current structure was constructed between 1897 and 1912.
Gommateshwara Statue is one among the tallest monolithic statue standing at a height of 58-foot that is visible from a distance of 30 km. It symbolizes the Jain precepts of Peace, Non violence, sacrifice of worldly affairs, and simple living. Dating back to the year 981, it was built during the rule of Ganga dynasty.
Hoysaleswara Temple in Halibedu is a 12th-century Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva. Its construction started around 1121 CE and was complete in 1160 CE.
Badami Cave Temples
Badami Cave Temples are a complex of Hindu and Jain cave temples located in Badami. The caves display Indian rock-cut architecture of Badami Chalukya style, dating back to the early 6th century.
Group of Monuments at Pattadakal
Group of Monuments at Pattadakal are treasures of the bygone days of Karnataka. Built by Chalukyas in the 7th and 8th centuries, the monuments comprise a series of nine Hindu temples as well as a Jain sanctuary.
Belgaum Fort is a 13th-century fort built by Jaya Raya. It has undergone several renovations over the centuries under dynastic rulers of the region.
Gol Gumbaj is the tomb of king Mohammed Adil Shah of Adil Shahi Dynasty. Construction of the tomb was started in 1626 and was completed in 1656. The name is based on "Gol Gumbadh" derived from "Gola Gummata" meaning circular dome.
Kedareshwara Temple was built during 1173-1220 A.D. by Hoysala King Veera Ballala II. Although the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is also a Trikuta temple.
Bijapur Fort has a plethora of historical monuments of architectural importance built during the rule of Adil Shahi dynasty. The fort and a citadel were completed by Yusuf Adil Shah in 1566.
Someshwara Temple is one of the oldest Hindu temples in the country dating back to the Chola period. The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is believed to be 1000 years old and underwent several modifications during the late Vijayanagara Empire.
(Last Updated on : 19-10-2021)
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Monuments of Karnataka