Early Chalukya Landscapes: temples and beyond | Department of History

Early Chalukya Landscapes: temples and beyond

Virtual Talk: Bengaluru Historian’s Society

March 7, 2021

Dr Hemanth Kadambi, Assistant Professor of Archaeology, Department of History, gave a virtual talk at  Early Chalukya Landscapes: Temples and Beyond for  Bengaluru Historians' Society on March 7, 2021.

Abstract of the talk:

The Early Chalukyas, also known as the Badami Chalukyas (ca. 550-750 CE) are a celebrated dynasty of Karnataka. This is a result of a long tradition of research in architecture, art and epigraphy related to this ruling house centered in North Karnataka (Cousens 1926; Michell 1975; Padigar 2010; Ramesh 1984; Soundararajan 2009; Tartakov 1997; Bolon 1997). Archaeological investigations were undertaken by A. Sundara (Sundara 1975) and S.R. Rao during the 1960s-1970s (Rao 1978). These established the relative chronology of a pre-Chalukyan presence (Settar 1979) and, specifically established the relative chronology of temple architecture at the Early Chalukyan sites in the Malaprabha valley (Rao 1972). Subsequently, in the mid-2000s, targeted excavations were conducted at the site of Bachinagudda village, near Pattadakal (Sundara 2008) which yielded materials once again from a pre-Chalukya context. However, apart from the temples and the epigraphs of the Early Chalukyas, not much is known of the material lives of people in the Chalukyan landscapes. In order to investigate this, I conducted a systematic archaeological survey that resulted in documenting surface pottery at the site of Aihole, along with other archaeological features, that attest to the presence of a fairly large resident population. Along with their daily activities, my research suggests a complex relationship between the Early Chalukya ruling elites and non-ruling classes. In this paper I outline this research and its results. I also outline plans for further research into the archaeology of this period and region.

Hemanth Kadambi has a Ph.D. in Anthropological Archaeology from the University of Michigan’s Museum of Anthropological Archaeology. He has extensive archaeological experience having done archaeological surveys and excavations in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, United States of America and Mexico. He has published some of his research as book chapters and is working on preparing a monograph on the same. He has recently co-edited a volume titled Ancient India: identities, boundaries, and cultural practices (Manipal Universal Press, 2019).