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Report with photographs of the repairs executed to some of the principal temples at Bhubanasvar and caves in the Khandagiri and Udaigiri Hills, Orissa, India, between 1898 and 1903 by M.H. Arnott, M. Inst. C.E., Executive Engineer, Bengal Public Works

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y3022W

Scope and Contents

Rectangular folio volume containing reports and silver prints of architecture before and after repair. Most measure either approximately 290 x 240 mm or 240 x 190 mm, with letterpress captions beneath. The prints showing the temples before repair were taken in 1892. Photographs by Marmaduke Henry Arnott.

Restoration of the Bhubanesvar temples and Khandagiri Caves.
The temples were constructed during the Kesari dynasty (AD 473-1131) and represent the Indo-Aryan style at its purest as well as being, in Fergusson's view 'perhaps the finest example of a purely Hindu temple in India' (Fergusson 1910). The buildings are in the form of a 'porch' area with a vimana, or tapering tower, beyond, the whole covered in intricate and detailed carving. The buildings are largely astylar although some later examples have pillars in the porches added to the temples. This is surprising in view of the fact that the caves of Udaigiri and Khadagiri show an extensive use of pillars. Bhubanesvar was visited by the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, Sir John Woodburn, in 1898 and he ordered estimates for the repair of the four principal temples of Bramesvar, Rajarani, Muktesvar and Purusramesvar. This work was carried out 1899-1901. Restoration work was also made possible on the Lingraj Temple by private donations. After a second visit in December 1900 Woodburn ordered the repair of the subsidiary temples near Nuktesvar, including that of Sidesvar and the four smaller temples in the compound of Bramesvar. This work was fully completed in 1902. Meanwhile in December 1899 the Government of Bengal requested estimates from the Public Works Department for the repairing of all temples, tanks, caves, etc., in the Puri district. Choice of the most significant was made by Dr Bloch, Archaeological Surveyor to the Government of Bengal and this work was also finished in 1902. A final visit by Woodburn in the August of that year led to the restoration of a further two temples just outside the Bramesvar (Brahmeshvara) compound.


  • Creation: 1892 - 1903


Conditions Governing Access

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Biographical / Historical

Marmaduke Henry Arnott was educated at the Royal Indian Engineering College, Cooper's Hill and appointed to the Public Works Department, Bengal in September 1881. He was promoted Executive Engineer in March 1894 and Superintending Engineer in December 1908. He was transferred to Bihar and Orissa in April 1912 and retired in July 1913.


1 volume(s) (47 images in 1 volume)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

The condition of the prints ranges from poor to fair.

Existence and Location of Copies

This collection is available on microfiche: South Asia, fiche number 53-54.


The full citation for this publication is: Arnott, Marmaduke Henry (1903), Report with photographs of the repairs executed to some of the principal temples at Bhubanesvar and caves in the Khandagiri and Udaigiri hills, Orissa, India: between 1898 and 1903, London: Waterlow. For further information on the architectural significance of the site see: Fergusson, James (1910), History of Indian and Eastern architecture, vol. 2, London: John Murray.


This collection level description was entered by SG using information from the original typescript catalogue.


Arnott, Marmaduke Henry, fl 1881-1913

Includes index.
2004-03-09 14:03:55+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

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