Sultan Mohamed Shah’s tomb, Bejapore (Bijapur)

This 19th-century engraving of the tomb of Mohamed Adil Shah, the 7th ruler of Bijapur, Karnataka,  was drawn by S. Prout, a British artist, after a sketch by R. Elliot, a Royal Navy officer. After the Bahmani kingdoms  (1347-1526 A.D)  fell apart, the Adil Shah dynasty of Bijapur rose to prominence as the most potent… Read more »

“You can’t visit Hampi in a day”

Respected art historian of the Vijayanagara empire, Dr (Sr) Anila Verghese illustrates what makes the art and architecture of the era unique. Through objects from the Sarmaya collection, she points us in the direction of secrets and stories hidden in plain sight at Hampi

Rama and Lakshmana going to the Jungle

This shadow puppet of Rama and his brother Lakshmana is a Togalu Gombeyatta puppet, a shadow puppet tradition of Karnataka, India. It translates to the dance of leather puppets, with ‘Togalu’ meaning leather, ‘Gombe’ meaning a doll or a puppet and ‘atta’ meaning dance.  Southern Indian shadow play is known to be the oldest in the… Read more »

Pagodas at Maugry with a distant view of Sewandroog

Sewandoorg (Savandurga) is a prominent hill in Karnataka. It was fortified in 1543 by an officer of the Vijayanagara kings. It was then acquired by the chief of Bangalore in 1570, with whom it remained until it was taken by Mysore in 1728. During Lord Cornwallis’ exploits in 1791, it was captured by the British.… Read more »

East view of Seringapatam

The walled city of Seringapatam or Srirangapatnam as it is renowned today was the capital of Mysore, under the Muslim rulers Haidar Ali (c.1722 – 1782) and his eldest son, Tipu Sultan (1753 -1799). The fortress was built near the Kaveri river and named after the ancient Hindu temple of Sri Ranganatha Swami, located at… Read more »


This map is of Bijapur (Now, Vijayapura), an erstwhile melting pot of cultures, and the capital of the Bijapur Sultanate in the Deccan region of India (presently part of the state of Karnataka). Once called the Palmyra of the Deccan, Bijapur was described by Henry Cousens as a place with ‘Palaces, arches, tombs, cisterns, gateways,… Read more »

Detached building in the Court, Belloor (Chennakeshava Temple, Belur)

This photograph from the ‘Architecture in Dharwar and Mysore’ was taken by  Dr. A.C.B.Neill in 1856. Pictured are the incomplete facets of the adhisthana (temple base) and the bhitti (wall) of the temple.  The Chennakeshava Temple complex in Belur consists of several smaller shrines and monuments constructed by several kings over the centuries. According to James Fergusson, it was… Read more »

Detail, Temple at Belloor (Chennakeshava Temple, Belur)

This photograph from the ‘Architecture in Dharwar and Mysore’ was taken by  Dr. A.C.B.Neill in 1856. Pictured here is the outer wall of the pillared hall of the temple.  The photographer has finely captured the carved rows and niches of the adhisthana (temple base), jali vatayana (netted wall), and the pilasters on the bhitti (body/wall) of the temple. The adhisthana (temple… Read more »

Temple, Belloor (Chennakeshava Temple, Belur)

This photograph from the ‘Architecture in Dharwar and Mysore’ was taken by  Dr. A.C.B.Neill in 1856.  The temple identified here is the Chennakeshava temple in Belur, Karnataka. The photograph shows the entrance to the temple flanked by small subordinating shrines on either side of the stairway. The topmost structure consists of five devakoshtas (niches) with divinities inside. … Read more »

Jain Temple, Guduk (Doddabasappa Temple, Gadag)

This photograph from the ‘Architecture in Dharwar and Mysore’ was taken by photographer Dr. William Henry Pigou in 1856. The temple identified here is the Chalukyan Doddabasappa temple built in the 12th century and is located 20kms away from Gadag city in Karnataka.  Incorrectly captioned as a Jain temple by the photographer/publisher, the temple is dedicated… Read more »

Vinayaditya, Hoysala Dynasty, Gold Pagoda

The Hoysalas are perhaps best known for the beautiful works of architecture and sculpture they left behind. A Kannadiga empire that ruled areas of southern Deccan and the Cauvery valley between the 11th and 14th centuries CE, their origins have been traced to a group of hill-dwellers hailing from the region near present-day Halebid. Legend… Read more »

Gol Gumbad, Bijapoor

A keen amateur photographer and a member of the Bombay Photographic Society in 1854, Colonel Thomas H Biggs actually had a pretty serious day job. He joined as an officer of the Bombay Artillery in 1841 and was later made captain. In 1855, the Bombay government commissioned him to document the architectural and archaeological sites… Read more »

Darya Daulat Bagh, Tipu’s Summer Palace

This is one of the interiors of Tipu Sultan’s summer palace situated in Seringapatnam called Dariya Daulat Bagh. The image shows a pillared collonade, and a double storied interior – a arched walkway surmounted by a balconied upper floor.

Srirangapatna; Palace of Tipu Sultan

This is a Johnson and Henderson image showing the Dariya Daulat Bagh built by Tipu Sultan in his capital city of Seringapatnam, Karnataka. It is a low wooden structure with a collonaded porch around it, and was used by Tipu Sultan as his summer palace.

Srirangapatam; The Mosque of Tipu Sultan

This is the Jami Masjid built in 1728 by Tipu Sultan in his capital of Seringapatnam. The mosque is characterised by two octagonal minarets that are double storied and crowned by domes.