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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Rashtrakutas contributed heavily to the Deccan's architectural legacy. Discuss (150 words)

    28 Nov, 2022 GS Paper 1 Indian Heritage & Culture


    • Start your answer by briefly introducing Rashtrakutas.
    • Discuss Rashtrakutas role in shaping Deccan architect.
    • Conclude accordingly.


    • The Rashtrakuta Dynasty ruled parts of South India from the 8th to the 10th century CE. At its zenith, their kingdom included the modern state of Karnataka in its entirety along with parts of the current Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
    • It was not only the most powerful polity of the time but also acted as a bridge between north and south India in economic as well as cultural matters.


    • The Impact of Rashtrakuta’s on Deecan Architecture:
      • The Rashtrakutas were instrumental in establishing an aesthetic architectural form now known as the Karnata Dravida style.
      • The stunning Kailasa Temple of Ellora (a rock-cut structure) is the epitome of Rashtrakuta architectural achievement, its key features are as follows:
        • It is the largest of the rock-cut Hindu temples at Ellora Caves in Maharashtra, India, build on Karnata Dravida architectural style.
        • The main shrine, an entry gateway, the Nandi pavilion, and a courtyard with courtyards encircling are the temple's four principal components.
        • The Kailasa temple is an architectural wonder with its amazing sculptures. The sculpture represents the Buffalo monster being slain by the Goddess Durga.
        • Ravana was attempting to move Mount Kailasa, Siva's home, in another sculpture. The walls were also covered with Ramayana images. The Kailasa temple has a more Dravidian aspect.
      • Other key architectural sites:
        • Elephanta Caves:
          • The Elephanta Caves, located on an island, which is known as Sripuri near Mumbai.
          • It was later named for the big Elephant sculpture held.
          • Ellora caves and the Elephanta caves have pots of similarities that demonstrate the continuity of artisans.
          • The elephanta caves' entrance includes enormous dwara-palaka sculptures.
          • On the wall enclosing the prakara around the Sanctum are sculptures of Nataraja, Gangadhara, Ardhanarishvara, Somaskanda, and Trimurti.
        • Navalinga Temple:
          • Amoghavarsha I or his son Krishna II, a ruler of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty, constructed the Navalinga temple complex in the ninth century.
          • Kukkanur is the town where the temple is situated. It is situated in the Koppal district of the Indian state of Karnataka, north of Itagi and east of Gadag.
          • The nine temple clusters in South India were built in the dravidian architectural style. Its name, Navalinga, comes from the presence of a linga, the common representation of Shiva in Hinduism.


    The Rashtrakuta Dynasty came to an end, but their impact remained. The parts of their kingdom were annexed by the later Cholas and other dynasties, but their system of government and several other cultural practices were also followed by the subsequent empires.

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