Temple Architecture and Sculpture in Nolambavadi

Cohen, Andrew Lee

     My study is an attempt to explain Nolambavadi art as a relatively autonomous style -- which can be divided into subschools -- but one that has some shared characteristics with neighboring regional styles." It "offers the first comprehensive analysis of the monuments in Nolambavadi constructed during the Nolamba period, mostly during the ninth and tenth centuries. Because the Nolambavadi 'style' lacks homogeneity, I have not attempted to make generalizations applicable to the whole region. . . . In this study, before analyzing Nolambavadi monuments, I . . . address a few issues which are not limited to the study of Nolamba period art, but which are also relevant to other lesser-known periods of south Indian art. At some length I . . . [examine] the methodological approach taken by Sivaramamurti in his brief catalogue on Nolamba sculptures from Hemavati, especially in regard to his usage of 'influences' in art, because it is indicative of what I think is a misguided method of studying regional styles, and because his method has been often repeated." In addition, because "the Nolambas are not well known, even among Indian specialists familiar with south India, chapter 2 is a detailed political history summary."
     Because the central Nolambavadi 'idiom' is the most recognizable of the Nolambavadi 'style,' in Chapter 3 I . . . [supply] a lengthy description of the temples and sculptures in Hemavati and neighboring Nolamba period monuments in central Nolambavadi." These include: Siddesvara Temple, Doddesvara Temple, Akka and Tamgi Shrines, Virupaksa Temple, Mallesvara Temple, Pathasivarama, Pailabanda, Baraguru, Aralaguppe, and some miscellaneous shrines and loose sculptures. The next chapter focuses on eastern Nolambavadi monuments, including "the temples at Nandi and at Avani," the Bhoganandisvara Temple, Arunacalesvara Temple, Laksmanesvara Temple, Bharatesvara and Anjanesvara Temples, and the Mutyalamma Devi. In the fifth chapter, "I argue that the southern Nolambavadi temples at Dharmapuri, or Tagaduru as it is named in epigraphs, are Nolamba period monuments mostly because of historical, or political, considerations." Other shrines discussed here include the Kamaksamma Temple and the Makkikarjuna Temple. Appendixes include the "inscription from the Bhoganadisvara compound, Nandi" and a "geneological chart of the Nolambas.