With reference to the Virupaksha Temple, consider the following statements:
1. This temple is largest of monuments built by the Chalukyas of Badami
2. It is known as the earliest example of a pillar based structure in temple architecture
Which among the above statements is / are correct?

Answer: [C] Both 1 & 2

The legacy of the Chalukyas of Badami is in the form of monuments at Aihole, Badami, Pattadakal and Mahakuta in Karnataka and Alampur of Andhra  Pradesh. The earliest monument is the rock cut Ravana Phadi Cave. Then, we have the Badami Cave Temples, which are a collection of four caves, three Brahmanical and one Jaina (Parshwavanath). Then, there is a fifth natural Buddhist cave also in Badami. These represent a mix of Nagara and Dravida style of temple architecture.

The largest monument of Chalukyas of Badami was the Virupaksha Temple, Hampi, which was later improvised in the Vijayanagar empire. This temple is special because it has a Panchayat hall kind of design with 12 pillars. This was earliest experiment for a pillar based structures in the temple architecture.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module