Pratihara Style of Architecture
A valuable statue of Shiva that was stolen from a temple in Rajasthan 22 years ago and smuggled to Britain was finally repatriated to India . The four-foot statue is a rare and brilliant depiction of Shiva in the late 9th century Prathihara-style of Rajasthan.
• The Gurjara-Pratiharas or simply, the Pratiharas, ruled much of northern India from the mid-8th to 11th century CE.
• They held their sway over western and northern India.
• This dynasty saw its fortunes rising under Nagabhata I who successfully defeated Arab invaders.
• Bhoja or MihiraBhoja was the most well-known king of this dynasty.
• The Pratiharas were known chiefly for their patronage of art, sculpture and temple-building, and for their continuous warfare with contemporary powers like the Palas of eastern India and the Rashtrakuta Dynasty of southern India.
The most important groups of architectural works generally credited to the early Pratiharas are at Osian andRoda in Gujrat.
The early works at Osian have five-bay mulaprasadas with porch and open hall but no vestibule or ambulatory and several have five-shrine complexes (pancha-yatana).
Most of the works at Roda have five-bay mulaprasadas without ambulatory, like the temples at Osian, but they generally have only a porch.
Dedicated to a Shakti cult, the Teli-ka-Mandir at Gwalior consists of an elevated rectangular mulaprasada and a double oblong shikhara and a closed portico.
The Ghateshwara at Baroli has a Phamsana, portico with parapets and miniature Latina shikharas at the corners.
Gyaraspur Temple is more advanced in plan, with ambulatory as well as vestibule and closed hall with balconies and porch.
Someshwara Temple is distinguished by the octagonal arrangement of the many-faceted pillars which define the central space of its hall. It also has one of the earliest-known seven-bay mulaprasadas.
Vishnu Temple is notable for the Samvarana roof of its hall - one of the earliest known examples of the type, clearly revealing its evolution from the Phamsana form.