Documentation of Panchalinga Nageshvara Temple, Begur

The Panchalinga Nageshvara Temple, Begur was identified for the documentation study by the second semester students of BMS College of Architecture for the academic year 2017-2018. The study was conducted during the period from February 2018 to June 2018 by a group of students.

The Panchalinga Nageshvara Temple is located in Begur which is a part of the Bangalore Urban district. The Panchalinga Nageshvara Temple was one of the temples identified by INTACH Bangalore as a heritage structure which needed documentation. The Panchalinga Nageshvara Temple at Begur has different type of pillars as well as multiple shikharas of varying forms. There are several Viragals (herostones) found in and around the temple with Old Kannada inscriptions on them from the Western Ganga period. The herostones have also been studied. They are extremely relevant as they give important information on the temple as well as details about various historical events.

Permission was taken from the Archaeological Survey of India before documentation work commenced. The students had a workshop with resource persons from INTACH about how to carry out a documentation of a heritage building. They were made familiar with the different methods which can be used to take building measurements. They were given training on the site on how to use measuring tape, using a plumb bob for measuring verticality, using water line level etc. They were also given a guest lecture on the use of theodolite and GIS which can be used for heritage documentation.

A background study on the history of the Panchalinga Nageshvara Temple was conducted where the structure was identified as belonging to the Western Ganga dynasty with historical overlayering of the Chola and Vijayanagara period. A study was done on the characteristics of Western Ganga and Chola period architecture and the various elements were identified and studied in the building which corresponded to these two periods. Several visits were made to the site during which measurements of the site and the buildings were taken. These were later converted into manual drawings in the studios. The drawings were checked for any mistakes and further site visits were undertaken to rectify the drawing and fill in the gaps. The manual drawings were then converted into autocad drawings. Study was undertaken to understand the forms of different shikharas and analyse the influence of other architectural styles like Pallava and Chalukas on the temple form. Study was also conducted on the various kind of sculptural and other detail work found in the temple including the ceiling panels.

The detailed study of the temple was carried out with respect to the location, context, history, architectural influences with respect to different time periods, architectural elements such as shikharas, pillars, wall treatment, fenestration , sculptural and relief details, construction techniques and material study in the form of measured drawings and sketches.

The entire study of the Panchalinga Nageshvara Temple has been documented in order to conserve the rich and untouched heritage precinct in Begur.