"Shiva's Waterfront Temples" by Subhashini Kaligotla

Shiva's Waterfront Temples Architects and Their Audiences in Medieval India Subhashini Kaligotla

Publication date:
26 Apr 2022
Yale University Press
288 pages: 254 x 203mm
134 color + 24 b-w illus.
Sales territories:


This handsomely illustrated volume explores the medieval Deccani temple complexes at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pattadakal, with careful attention to their makers.

The vibrant red sandstone temples of India’s Deccan Plateau, such as the Pattadakal temple cluster, have attracted visitors since the eighth century or earlier. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the coronation place of the Chalukya dynasty, Pattadakal and its neighboring sites are of major historical importance. In Shiva’s Waterfront Temples, Subhashini Kaligotla situates these buildings in the cosmopolitan milieu of Deccan India and considers how their makers and awestruck visitors would have seen them in their day. Kaligotla reconstructs how architects and builders approached the sites, including their use of ornamentation, responsiveness to courtly values such as pleasure and play, and ingenious juxtaposition of the first millennium’s Nagara and Dravida aesthetics, a blend largely unique to Deccan plateau architecture. With over 130 color illustrations, this original book elucidates the Deccan’s special place in the lexicon of medieval South Asian architecture.

Subhashini Kaligotla is assistant professor of Indian and South Asian art and architecture at Yale University.

Shiva’s Waterfront Temples raises important new questions at the cutting edge of Indian art historical research and explores them with impressive erudition, creativity, and thoughtful curiosity.”—Richard Davis, Bard College

“Kaligotla’s compelling critique of the traditional, geography-based categories used to define Indian architecture allows for a better understanding of the ingenuity exhibited by medieval Decanni architects.”—Robert DeCaroli, George Mason University