Cities of Victory: The Afterlife of Chalukya Architecture at Vijayanagara and Bijapur – Bangalore

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, architectural historians were quick to recognize the stunning qualities of the distinctive temples associated with the Chalukyas of Kalyana (997-1200). But what about inhabitants of the Deccan in the long centuries after the collapse of the Chalukya state? How did they understand and interact with these monuments left by the bygone dynasty?

This talk will present evidence pointing to the occurrence of a ‘Chalukya Revival’ in the sixteenth century, as rulers of competing, would-be imperial powers reused Chalukya building components, and in some cases even entire structures, in their own architectural projects. In part, the attraction was aesthetic, but more importantly, it stemmed from the imperial associations of the Chalukyas as the last great dynasty to have ruled the entirety of the Deccan. This positive and active reception of Chalukya architecture was shared alike by the ‘Adil Shahi rulers of the sultanate of Bijapur, and the Aravidu rulers of Vijayanagara.



Phillip B. Wagoner

Phillip B. Wagoner is a professor of Art History and Archaeology at the Wesleyan University, Connecticut, USA. His research focuses on the cultural history of the Deccan region of South India, primarily in the late medieval and early modern periods (1200-1600). His primary interest is in the historical interactions between the region’s established Indic culture and the Persianate culture that arrived when the Delhi Sultanate annexed the region in the early fourteenth century. Dr. Wagoner’s authored books include Tidings of the King: a Translation and Ethnohistorical Analysis of the Rayavacakamu (University of Hawai’i Press, 1993), Power, Memory, Architecture: Contested Sites on India’s Deccan Plateau, 1300-1600 (Oxford:New Delhi, co-authored with Richard M. Eaton) and Heritage of the Kakatiyas (DHF-Jaico, 2018).


National Gallery of Modern Art
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