Pratihara style of architecture

A rare late ninth century stone statue of Lord Shiva, which was stolen from a temple in Rajasthan and smuggled to the UK, will be returned to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Key facts:

  • The stone Nataraj/Natesha murti, in “chatura pose with jatamakuta and trinetra” and almost four-feet-tall, is a rare depiction of Lord Shiva in the Prathihara style.
  • It is a rare sandstone idol.
  • It is originally from the Ghateswara Temple at Baroli, Rajasthan.

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Pratihara empire:

The Gurjara-Pratiharas, also known as the Pratihara Empire, ruled much of Northern India from the mid-7th to the 11th century.

They were instrumental in containing Arab armies moving east of the Indus River.

Nagabhata I defeated the Arab army under Junaid and Tamin during the Caliphate campaigns in India.

Architecture:

Gurjara-Pratihara are known for their sculptures, carved panels and open pavilion style temples.

The greatest development of their style of temple building was at Khajuraho, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sources: the Hindu.

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