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3AR2: History of architecture-I

• North-Indian (Nagara) & Jain Temple Architecture
– Nagara style architecture
• Factor that led to the need for a temple as a built form.
• Salient features of the religion, its philosophy and methods of worship.
• Evolution and growth of north- Indian or Nagara style temple architecture.
– Jain temple Architecture- evolution of Jain temple architecture and its distinct
architectural language and growth with reference to socio-economic, political and
religious factors.
– Examples: Udaigiri (near Sanchi), Gupta temple at Tigawa, Lingaraj temple at
Bhubhaneshwar, Sun temple at Modhera, Sun temple at konark, Kandheriya Mhadev
temple at Khajuraho, Chenna Keshava temple at Belur & Somnathpur, Chaumukh
temple at Ranakpur, Dilwara temple at Mount Abu
North Indian Art and Architecture
• North India went through political fragmentation and unification in
cyclical manner.
• Identity creation through Art and architecture. Ideas about themselves
and region they were ruling.
• Religious identities – consciously favouring one religios sect.
• Legitimisation – consecration, abhishek ie linking king with temples.
• Brahamans legimitasing ruling kings.
• Temple – ritualistic as well as social and public structure ( like adding
mandaps for ceremonies) – kings perform rituals involving darshan, puja,
• Aided by literature – codified prescription regarding religious construction
and iconography – Shilpshahtra (craft) , Vastushahtra (architecture).
• Regionalisation due to local artisans
Vastu-purusa mandala
• A myth explains the symbolic diagram (mandala): the gods in seeking to
impose order on chaos, forced the primeval man, Purusa, into a square grid,
the vastu-purusa mandala, whose basic unit is the square pada

• Hindu temple is the dwelling of the gods. It is based on the grid systems of
64 (8x8) and 81 (9x9) squares.

• Square is the prefect shape for the ground plan.

• Priests perform ritual of consecrations which connect between sexual rites

and fertility in Hindu architecture.
Vastu-purusa mandala
Various projections
The rituals in Hinduism

 1. The Location and Structure of the Temple •Temples are found
deliberately at a place where
the positive energy - magnetic
and electric wave
conveyances of north/south
post push.

•The idol of God is set in the

core center of the temple,
known as “Garbhagriha” or
“Moolasthanam”- place
where earth’s magnetic waves
are discovered to be most
 2. Removing Your Footwear before Entering Temple

•Temples, contains pure

vibrations of magnetic and
electric fields with positive
•the floor at the centre of
the temple were good
conductors of these
positive vibrations allowing
them to pass through our
feet to the body
 3. Ringing the Temple Bell When You  4. Lighting Camphor In Front Of
Enter the Temple – Hearing Sense Idol – Sight Sense Activated

• produce a sound, it creates a

unity in the Left and Right parts
of our brains.
• sharp and enduring sound
which lasts for minimum of 7
seconds in echo mode.
• The duration of echo is good
enough to activate all the seven
healing centres in our body. • The inner sanctity is usually dark
• This results in emptying our and the immediate seeing of
brain from all negative light after praying activates the
thoughts. sight sense.
 5. Put Your Hands over the 6. Offering Flowers to God At The
Camphor Flames and Then Touch Temple – Smell Sense Activated
Eyes – Touch Sense Activated

•rose petals, jasmine, marigold based

•hands over the camphor to make on different factors, amongst them
your hands warm and then you touch fragrance is most important.
your eyes with your warm hands- •The fragrance of the flower,
touch sense is active. camphor and instance sticks all
together have the strong essence to
keep your smell sense active and
pleasant giving calmness to the mind.
7. Drinking Theertham – Taste  8. Doing Pradakshina around the
Sense Activated Garbhagriha/Moolasthanam

•drink theertham ideally from a silver or • walk around the idol inside the
a copper vessel. The water used for Garbhagirha, the inner most chamber of
theertham usually would contain Tulsi temple in clockwise direction for nine
leaves dipped in water and must be times.
stored at least for eight hours in the • absorb all positive vibrations from
copper vessel, activate the taste sense. garbhgriha once your five senses are
 9. Applying Tilak/Kumkum Given By
the Temple Priest

•On the forehead, between the two

eyebrows, is a spot that is considered
as a major nerve point in human body
since ancient times.
•The Tilak is believed to prevent the
loss of “energy”, the red ‘kumkum’
between the eyebrows - retain energy
in the human body and control the
various levels of concentration.
•Agnya-chakra are automatically
pressed. This also facilitates the blood
supply to the face muscles.
Temple architecture
• Began and reached at climax during Gupta period
• The gupta period is described as classic-degree of perfection
• Perfect balance and harmony of all elements in style and
• Earlier developments
• A circular brick and timber shrine of the Mauryan period of 3rd
century B.C., was excavated at Bairat District of Jaipur,
•  Temple 40' at Sanchi, has a similar plan, it was a stone temple
on an apsidal plan enclosed by an ambulatory, and raised on a
high, rectangular scale, approached by two flights of steps from
diagonally opposite sides. The super-structure was possibly built
of wood, and has disappeared.
• This is a little structure built of huge almost boulder-like blocks of
stones. The temple consists of a simple square cell
the garbhagriha or sanctum sanctorum, in front of which there
is a covered verandah, a portico, which consists of four heavy
pillars supporting a stone roof. The pillars as well as the entire
structure is as simple
• didn’t take the climate into consideration and did not provide
gargoyles to allow the rain water to run off the roof. The entire
structure is heavy, bulky and clumsy. Probably, this was
constructed near about 300 to 350 A.D.
• the earliest structural temple still standing in its original
condition is the one constructed at Aihole in Karnataka.
• There are five stages of temple architectural development
1st stage

• Square temple
• Flat roof temple
• Shallow pillared approach
• Temple constructed on low
• Ex-temple no-17 at Sanchi
• Kankalidevi temple, Tigwa, MP.
2nd stage

• Square temple
• Flat roof temple
• Higher platform
• Covered ambulatory passage around
The garbhgriha (santum santorum)
• 2 storied temples are found
• Ex-Parbati temple at Nachna
3rd stage
• Square temple
• Concept of shikhar introduced
• Low and square shikhar
• Pillar approach
• Higher platform continued
• Introduction of panchayatan style-main shrine+4
subsidiary shrines
• Main shrine-rectangular shape
• Crucified ground plan
• Precursor to nagara style
• Ex-Dashavatar temple-deogarh,UP
• Durga temple-Ahihole,karnataka
4th stage

• Rectangular temple
• Shikhar
• Higher platform
• Panchayatan style
• Ex-Ter temple-
5th stage

• Circular temple with shallow

rectangular projections at
four cardinal faces
• Ex-Maniar matha-
Styles of temples

• The Shilpashastra recognizes three styles along

with a geographical distribution of each.
1. Nagara style - northern region
2. Dravida style -southern region
3. Vesara style - region between the vindhyas and
the krishna
Nagara style
Nagara style
• Crucified ground plan
• Square/rectangular temple
• garbhgriha
• Panchayatan style
• Each vertical plane was divided in three
vertical walls-3 ratha-used to do
• Absence of tank(tank was the main
feature of Dravidian style)
• Pillared approach
• Shikhara gradually curving inwards-
curvilinear tower (shikhara)
• Developed regionally.
Three subschools

1. Odisha school
2. Chandella school/Khajuraho school
3. Solanki school - maru-gurjar school
(1)Odisha school
• Time period - 8th to 13th century
• Part of nagara school. All features of nagara style are
• Exterior walls are beautifully carved and Interior walls
are plain
• No use of pillars
• technical innovation - Use of iron girders - the roof
was partly supported by these iron girders.
• The Shikhara in this Odisha style is called - Deul
• Mandapa (assembly hall) is called – Jagmohan
• Ground plan of main temple - Square
• They have boundary walls
• Ex-Lingraja temple,Bhuvneshwar
• Konark temple,Rajarani temple
(2)Chandella school / Khajuraho school
• Integrated carvings on both interior
and exterior walls
• Temple stands on higher terrace
• Temple has main three elements
1. Garbhgriha
2. Mandap
3. Portico
• theme of sculpture - erotic themes
taken from Kamasutra.
• Impression of mountain range from
• Panchayatan style
• Ex-kandaria mahadeo temple
(3)Solanki school/maru gurjar style
• Branch of later chalukyas
• Not fundamentally different from khajuraho
• Main feature - minute and lovely decorativeness
• The ceilings are carved to give the impression of a true
• Arch – like effect but no true arch was employed.
• Mostly of sandstone
• Grey to black basaltic stone
• Lavish carving on both sides of the walls and sculpture work
• Walls of central shrine devoid of carving.
• Civic type of monuments
• Ex- delwara, vastupal, vimala and tejpala jain temples at
mt. abu,rajasthan, Jayastambh at chittor
Gupta temple, Tigawa
• The temple has a sanctum and an open portico
supported on four pillars.
• The facade owes its character entirely to the design of
its pillars.
• The pillars form the main elements of its frontage and
each consists of (1)a massive abacus surmounted by a
device of lions, (2) a capital resembling a broad Vase
(inverted lotus), (3) a short shaft of many sides and (4)
a plain square pedestal.
• The pillar is a descendant of the Vishnu column at
Besnagar of five centuries earlier, and the lion motif is
of Ashoka’s monoliths
Gupta temple, Tigawa

• The Tigawa temple’s doorway to the cella,

with Yakshini motif reminds of the Buddhist
torana, but is transmuted in the Gupta
temple to suit Brahmanical text
• In the earlier compositions a dryad
embraces a tree but here it has become an
allegory of the holy waters of the Jamuna
and Ganga with a river goddess standing on
a tortoise on one side symbolizing the
Jamuna and a similar figure standing on a
crocodile or a makara on the other
representing the Ganges.
Lingraja temple,Bhuvneshwar
• The temples were unique, as the mandapa was given
its own pyramidical roof that had to be harmonized
with the rising shikhara of the garbha-griha (which the
Orissans call rekha deul).
• As the “king” of the Bhubaneshwar temples, the
Lingaraja Temple (ca. 1100) was distinguished not only
by its size but also by the presence of a row of three
• These jagmohans
• a primary jagmohan,
• a nat-mandir (“dance hall”),
• a bhogmandapa (“collective ritual performance
• These were about the same size, though Each has a
distinctive plan suited to its function.
Lingraja temple,Bhuvneshwar
• The jagmohan has a fully
articulated exterior, making
it a shrine in itself.
• The natmandir is airy and
open so that its activities
could be seen and heard in
the surroundings.
• The bhog-mandapa
duplicates the jagmohan and
was probably added later to
facilitate rituals by larger
groups that could not access
the innermost shrine.
Lingraja temple,Bhuvneshwar
• The Lingaraja’s 37.5-meter-high rekha
deul, which dominates the silhouette,
has a distinctive profile, first rising
almost vertically and then, only toward
the top, curving inward, before
yielding to a recessed neck that
supports a wide amalaka resting on the
backs of lions (an indication of royal
• The Lingaraja sits in the middle of a
quadrangular compound dotted with
numerous small subsidiary shrines that
were added over time to the main
sequence in order to increase its
Sun temple, Konark
• A new phase in Orissan history was ushered in by the Gangas, who, unlike their Shaivite
predecessors, preferred the Vaishnavite religion.
• Under them, the Jagannath Temple in Puri (1174), the Sun Temple at Konarak (1258), and
the Ananta Vasudeva in Bhubaneshwar (1278) were built.
• The Ananta and the Jagannath temples are similar to the earlier Lingaraja Temple, with a
sequence of three mandapas leading up to the main shrine, or deul.
• The Sun Temple, however, assumes the single mandapa model of the Brihadeshwara
Temple but magnifies it into a gigantic building.
• Whereas the mandapa survived intact into the modern era, the temple collapsed.
Sun temple, Konark
• The giant stone chariot carries the sun in its daily path
across the sky.
• Twelve pairs of wheels, one for each month, were
carved into the base and were accompanied by seven
horses (three on the north, four on the south), one for
each day of the week.
• The wheels, each more than 3 meters in diameter, had
eight major and minor spokes, each with their own
astrological significance.
• When seen from the side at some distance, the temple
seems on the verge of movement.
• The mandapa has three sets of horizontal moldings in
typical Orissan style, and the deul (now lost) was of the
traditional vertical expression.
• It sits in the middle of a large compound measuring
180 by 220m
Kandheriya mahadeo temple, Khajuraho

• This Temple sits on a high platform that it

shares with another smaller temple, the
Jagdambi, dedicated to the goddess Parvati.
• There are no corner shrines, so the profile of
the Khandariya and is silhouetted against the
sky without distraction.
• At 30 meters, including the 4m high platform
on which it rests, the Khandariya rises higher
than all the other temples.
• but its strength lies not in its size, but in the
quality of its architecture.
• The effect is particularly spectacular in the circumambulation route, where the light
coming from a high source casts dark shadows between the folds of the sculptures, bringing
them into sharp relief.
Kandheriya mahadeo temple, Khajuraho

• The slight widening at the base, the strong horizontal

protrusions of the porches, and the tightly bound
faceting at the intersection of the shikhara and the
mandapa make for an extraordinarily powerful
• Because of their height, the porches give the visitor a
sense of elevation above the quotidian. The interior of
the sanctuary, however, is appropriately deep and dark,
like a cave.
• the Khandariya temple is lit by large openings located
well above eye level.
• The openings are furnished with platforms and steps
for attendants and musicians.
Kandheriya mahadeo temple, Khajuraho
• The kandariya Mahadev Shrine is 102 ft 3inch in
length, 66 ft in width, and 101 ft 9 inch in height.
• Its profile is designed to represent the rhythms
of a jagged mountain range, both in its outlines
and in the composition of its parts.
• The recessed ceiling of the temple are height of
ingenuity an arch. Skills. The ceiling above the
four central pillars, with eight cusped circles, is
particularly impressive.
• The scultures on walls, pillars, railings depicts the
contemporary material cuture as well as spritual
beliefs of people.
• Many sculptures were derived from real life esp
the love making scenes, but many derived from
popular legends
Modhera sun temple
• the Solankis, were among the
most zealous temple builders
amongst Rajputs who ruled in
Rajasthan and Gujarat.
• The Solanki royal temple,
dedicated to Surya, or the
sun, was made from golden
sandstone in a tripartite axial
Modhera sun temple
Modhera sun temple

• Standing on the western edge of the tank and looking eastward toward the main
temple, the view seems to be of one building composed of the steps leading upward
to the mandapa.
• But the conical top belongs to the shrine in the distance, and the entrance of the
mandapa is actually the torana in the foreground.
Adinath temple, Ranakpur
• In the initial years, many Jain temples were made adjoining the Buddhist temples
following the Buddhist rock-cut style.
• However, in later years Jains started building temple-cities on hills based on the
concept of 'mountains of immortality’
• In later years when Jains discovered the concept of mountains of immortality , they
proceeded to deviate from Hindu and Buddhist sites and build on their own.
• An important aspect to be noted is that Hindus and Buddhists built temples, Jains
built temple-cities on hills.
• To put it in their own words, they
"ornamented these holy hills with a
crown of eternal Arhat chaityas
(tabernacles of saints) shining with the
splendor of jewels.“
Adinath temple, Ranakpur
• Central Main Shrine is
called "Mula-prasada,“ its
interior is "Garbagriha"
(sanctum), its main statue is
• In the type of
Chaturumukha (four-faced)
four "Ranga-mandapas"(A,
assembly hall) in front of
four portals of the main
• Each Ranga-mandapa
connects with three storyed
"Meghanada-mandapa" (B,
high hall) in front.
Adinath temple, Ranakpur
• Having four "Mahadara-prasada" (two-
faced-shrine) diagonally in four
directions of the main shrine, the
temple type is "Panchayatana" (five-
• In addition to this, there are two
"Bhadra-prasada" east and west sides,
making the total composition much
more intricate.
• A line of "Deva-kulika" (small shrine)
along "Bhamati" (cloister) surround the
whole complex. All these shrines hold
a statue of Tirthankara or Jina (four in
Chaturmukha, two in Mahadara-
prasada), there are more than 100
statues in total.
Adinath temple, Ranakpur
• The Adinatha Temple of Ranakpur is also named
Dharma Vihara temple after its builder.
• The temple is very large. It stands on a basement of
60m x 62m which is like a stronghold.
• On the top of a flight of stairs at the central
entrance, there is a three-storied "Balanaka“
(entrance hall), which has a dome roof.
Adinath temple, Ranakpur
• A large number of columns are carved • At a space that penetrates through two to
elaborately, and it is said that no two three stories, various heights of domes are
pillars are alike in design. placed, and their ceilings have sculptures
that are unbelievably intricate.
Adinath temple, Ranakpur
• Light is abundantly coming inside through gaps
between ceilings and from courtyards, highlighting
the intertwined spaces and fine carvings all around.
• The splendor of the space is so pure as the entire
temple from the floors to the ceilings is made of
white marble. It also might be described as the
realization of the Pure Land.
Depaka, the architect of the
Adinatha Temple,

Tirthankara’s Facing four directions

western Rangamandapa
Dilwara temple, Mt Abu
The Dilwara temples of India are located about 2½km from Mount Abu,
Rajasthan's only hill station.
• These Jain temples were built by Vastupal Tejpal, a Jain laymen between
the 11th and 13th centuries AD and are world famous for their stunning
use of marble.
• The five legendary marble temples of Dilwara are a sacred pilgrimage
place of the Jains.
• Although each temple has symmetrical plan, there is no axis that runs
through this group of temples as a whole.
• The mandapas of the mini-shrines were joined to form a cloister.
• Into the residual space between the quadrangle and the temple, the
architects inserted a pavilion held up by highly ornate columns of lavish
sculptural detail.
• The temples, of local white arasa marble, are carved as if made of wood.
Dilwara temple, Mt Abu
• Some consider them to be one of the most beautiful Jain
pilgrimage sitesin the world.
• The marble temples have an opulent entranceway, the
simplicity in architecture reflecting Jain values like honesty and
• The temples are in the midst of a range of forested hills. A high
wallshrouds the temple complex.
• Although the Jains built some beautiful temples at other places
in Rajasthan, some believe that none come close to these in
terms ofarchitectural perfection.
• The ornamental detail spreading over the minutely carved
ceilings, doorways, pillars and panels is simply marvelous.
Dilwara temple, Mt Abu

There are five temples in all, each with

its own unique identity.
1. Vimal Vasahi, dedicated to the first
Jain Tirthankara, Rishabha.
2. Luna Vasahi, dedicated to the 22nd
Jain Tirthankara, Neminatha.
3. Pithalhar, dedicated to the first Jain
Tirthankar, Rishabha.
4. Parshvanath, dedicated to the 23rd
Jain Tirthankara, Parshvanatha.
5. Mahavir Swami, dedicated to the last
Jain Tirthankara, Mahavira.
Dilwara temple, Mt Abu
1. Vimal Vasahi Temple- Adi Nath or Lord Rishabdev
• The Rang mandap is a grand hall supported by 12
decorated pillars and nicely carved out arches with
a breathtaking central dome.
• On the pillars are carved female figurines playing
musical instruments and 16 Vidhyadevis, or the
goddesses of knowledge, each one holding her
own symbol.
• The Nav chowki is a collection of nine rectangular
ceilings, each one containing beautiful carvings of
different designs supported on ornate pillars.
• The Gudh mandap is a simple hall once you step
inside its heavily decorated doorway.
Dilwara temple, Mt Abu
2. Luna Vasahi Temple - Lord Neminath
• This magnificent temple was built in 1230 by two brothers -
Vastupal and Tejpal both ministers of a Virdhaval, the
Vaghela ruler of Gujarat.
• The main hall or Rang mandap features a central dome from
which hang a big ornamental pendent featuring elaborate
• Arranged in a circular band are 72 figures of Tirthankars in
sitting posture and just below this band are 360 small figures
of Jain monks in another circular band.
• The Hathishala or elephant cell features 10 beautiful marble
elephants neatly polished and realistically modelled.
• Each of the nine ceilings here seems to exceed the others in
beauty and grace. The Gudh mandap features a black marble
idol of the 22nd tirthankar Neminatha.
Dilwara temple, Mt Abu
2. Pittalhar Temple 4. Mahaveer Swami Temple
• A massive metal statue of the first • This is a small structure constructed in
tirthankara, Rishabha Dev (Adinath), cast 1582 and dedicated to LordMahavira.
in five metals, is installed in the temple. • being small it is a marvelous temple with
The main metal used in this statue is carvings on its walls.
'Pital’ (brass), hence the name 'Pittalhar'. • There are pictures on the upper wall of
• The Shrine consists of a main the porch painted in 1764 by the artists
Garbhagriha, Gudh mandap and of sirohi
Navchowki. It seems that the
construction of Rangmandap and the
corridor was left unfinished.
• In Gudh Mandap on one side, a big
marble PanchTirthi sculpture of Adinath
is installed.
Dilwara temple, Mt Abu
5. Parshvanatha Temple
• This temple, dedicated to Lord Parshvanath, was built by Mandlik and his family in 1458-
• It consists of a three storied building, the tallest of all the shrines at Dilwara. On all the
four faces of the sanctum on the ground floor are four big mandaps.
• The outer walls of the sanctum
comprise beautiful sculptures in
gray sandstone, depicting Dikpals,
Vidhyadevis, Yakshinis,
Shalabhanjikas and other
decorative sculptures comparable
to the ones in Khajuraho and
Dravid school of temple architecture

• Functions
1) Religious matter
2) Administrative centres
3) Control of vast areas of land
Features of dravida school
• Single vimaan on main shrine
• Shikhara octagonal shape on vimaan
• Pillared wall
• Presence of tank
• Huge gopuram-gateway
• Sculptures of dwarpal instead of ganga/mithuna
of nagara school
• Dravidian architecture – developed dynastically
• Dravidian style was initiated by pallavas and
flourished by cholas
• Ex- gangeykondacholapuram by rajendra-1
• Brihadeswara temple at tanjore,tamilnadu
Four styles of Dravidian architecture

1) Pallava art
2) Chola art
3) Nayaka art
4) Vijayanagar art
(1)Pallava school of art
• Around 600 A.D.
• Dravidian temple architecture started by pallavas
• Developed in 4 phases
1) Mahendra varman-600-625 A.D.
• The word mandap was used instead of temple
• No real temple structure
• Ex-adivaraha cave,Durga cave-
mahishsurmardini,panchpandava cave
2) Narsimhan varman
• Decoration in rock cut caves.
• Mandapas now became rathas
• 7 rathas in one cave
• Largest ratha-dharmraja,smallest ratha-draupadi
• Dharmaraja ratha was the precursor of the Dravidian style
3) Rajsimhan varman
• Real structural temples
• Open air carving in relief on a rock surface
• Sculpture – different from gupta sculpture
• More oval face,higher cheek bones,great slenderness
and freer movements of the forms.
• Exellency in animal representation
• Later structural temples made of masonry and stone.
• Ex- kailashnath temple at Kanchipuram-3 parts-
sanctum with pyramedial tower, mandapa and
rectangular courtyard-for subsidiary shrines
• shore temple, mahabalipuram
4) Nandivarman
• Started the concept of small temples
• Confined all the features of Dravidian style
(2)Chola school of architecture
• 10-11th centuries
• Revived the pallava heritage with fresh approach
• The vimaana dominates the whole structure.
• 2 beautiful creations-Brihadeswara temple at
• Gangeykonda cholapuram
• Brihadeswara temple - dedicated to shiva
• Huge lingam
• A massive monolithic bull (2nd biggest,1st at lepakshi)
• On the square forming the topmost tier is poised a
huge rounded cupola of a single stone, the shadow of
which never falls on the ground.-unique achievement
• Immense gopuram
(3)Vijaynagar school of architecture
• Around 16th century. Hampi was the capital.
• Important ruler-krishnadevraya-Built temples,pillared
mandapas,gopurams-called as rayagopurams
• More larger gopuram and High enclose walls
• More decoration-perticular design-supernatural horse
• Secular buildings were built.for ex-lotus mahal
• Vitthalswamy temple
• Amman shrine and kalyana gopuram
• Centraal raised platform surrounded by rows of carved pillars-
open pavallion
• Ex-hall of dance at lepakshi
• Festival hall at Vellore
• Virabhadra temple,Lepakshi-three figures share four legs
• Nandi near lepakshi
• Seated ‘Ugra narsimha’
(4)Nayaka school of architecture
• Around 17th century
• Dominant in Madurai region
• The nayakas rose on the fall of the vijaynagara empire
• Continued the artistic traditions of vijayanagara empire
• Most famous - meenakshi-sundareswara temple at Madurai
• By thirumalai nayak
• Temple complex has 2 shrines-1st-shiva as sundareswara
2nd-his wife in the form of goddess meenakshi
• Every space is filled with surface carvings.
• large tank-surrounded by steps and a pillared portico
• Prominent feature-development of prakaram-roofed embulatory
passageways-to connect various parts of the temples
• Most famous prakaram of this period-at rameswaram
Rathas and shore temple, Mahabalipuram
• Contemporary with the Chalukyas, with whom they had frequent commerce, the Pallavas are one of
the most distinguished dynasties of the South.
• The second Pallava ruler, Narasimhavarman II, built at Mamallapuram not only one of India’s largest
port cities of the time but also a series of monuments that form something of a petrified stone city
on the coast.

Shore temple, Mahabalipuram Rathas temple

Rathas temple, Mahabalipuram
• The Five Rathas are a group of five
miniaturized stone temples accompanied by
life-size sculptures of a bull, an elephant, and
a lion.
• Four of the temples are carved out of a single,
large piece of rock.
• It is unclear why they were made.
• They may have been an experimental study of
typological possibilities or displays of
sculptural prowess in stone intended to rival
woodwork. Draupadi Rath, Arjun Rath, Bhim
• Miniaturization is, in fact, a persistent theme Rath, Nakul-sahadev rath
in Hindu temple design
• Every temple is a thought of as a miniature of
the Hindu cosmic order.
Rathas temple, Mahabalipuram

Dharmaraja Rath- Section

Shore temple, Mahabalipuram
• The temple is actually an amalgam of three
. different shrines
• The main shrine is dedicated to Shiva and faces
• The second shrine, with a smaller shikhara, is
also dedicated to Shiva, but faces west.
• Between the two, attached to the back wall of
the smaller Shiva shrine and entered from the
east, is a small third shrine with no super
structural presence, dedicated to the reclining
• The Vishnu shrine, probably the oldest on the
site, is on axis with the larger Shiva shrine,
although there is no direct communication
between the two.
Shore temple, Mahabalipuram
• The entrance is through a gateway or gopuram, covered by a transverse barrel vault.
although most of the exterior arrangements of the temple have eroded, there are
indications that water may have been channeled into pools in the temple and may
indeed have also entered into the Vishnu shrine which would have been appropriate,
since the reclining Vishnu figure is described in hindu culture as lying in the
primordial ocean.
Shore temple, Mahabalipuram
• . The shikharas are similar to those of the nearby
Five Rathas, with a strict pyramidal outline and a
pilastered wall.
• The individual tiers of the Shore Temple’s
shikharas have been kept distinct and separate,
with the deep overhanging eaves casting dark
shadows without blurring the levels.
• Both shikharas resolve themselves into octagonal
capstones with long finials.
• Most later Hindu temples, dedicated to more than one deity, are lined up hierarchically or
organized radially around a dominant center.
• The Shore Temple’s biaxial configuration of the two Shiva shrines, which are separated
and yet linked by the small Vishnu shrine, represents an effort to balance the multiple
competing liturgical requirements.
Temple town of Srirangam
Temple town of Srirangam
 Srirangam (formerly Vellithirumutha gramam) is an
island and a part of city of Tiruchirapalli, Tamilnadu,
 It is bound by Kaveri river on one side and the Kaveri
distributary Kollidam on the other side.
 Srirangam is home to significant population of
Srivaishnavites followers of Lord Vishnu.
The temple complex is the biggest functioning Hindu
temple in the world as it covers an area of about
631,000 sq m (6,790,000 sq ft) with a perimeter of 4 km
(10,710 sq ft). The still largest Angkor wat being the
largest exisiting temple.
 The temple complex is 156 acres (0.63 sq km) in
Temple town of Srirangam
• The complex is composed
of 7 concentric walled
sections and 21 magnificent
towers or gopuram.
• The gopuram of the temple
is called the Rajagopuram
and is 236 feet (72m) tall, is
the tallest in Asia.
• It also consists of 39
pavilions, 50 shrines, a hall
of thousand pillars and
several small water bodies
• The Srirangam temple
complex follows Dravidian
style of architecture.
Temple town of Srirangam
• There are 21 gopurams among which is the
towering 236 feet Rajagopuram (shrine of the main
gateway). The structure of the rajagopuram
remained incomplete at the base 17m high for
400years. It was consecrated on 25th march 1987
after a span of 8 years. The dimensions at the base
of the gopuram is 166ft x 97ft, while at the top is
98ft x 32ft. Befitting the enormous dimensions of
the structure , everyone of the 13 glistening copper
‘kalasams’ atop the tower weighs 135kg and
measures 3.12m (height) and 1.56m (diameter).

The main gopuram

Temple town of Srirangam
Temple town of Srirangam
 The hall of 1000 pillars (actually 953) is a fine example of a
planned theatre-like structure and opposite to it is “sesha
mandapa” with its intricacy in sculpture, is a delight.
 The hall is made of granite .
The pillar consists of wildly rearing horses bearing riders on
their backs and trampling with their hoofs upon the heads of
rampant tigers.
 A free standing shrine inside the hall contains a large seated
figure of garuda; the eagle headed god faces the north
towards the principal sanctum.
 The hall is celebrated for the leaping animals carved on to
the piers at its northern ends.
Temple town of Srirangam

Swarga Vasam
Vesara style
Durga temple, Aihole
• 'Durga temple' is one among the most
prominent temple at Aihole.
• This temple has a straight front and a
rounded apse, resembling the Buddhist
Durga temple, Aihole

• A unique element of this temple is the

circumambulatory provision inside the
temple (corridor around the shrine
that continues to the Mandapa).

• The outer walls of the temple have

intricately carved figures of Narasimha,
Mahishasuramardini, Varaha, Vishnu, etc .
• Pierced windows are provided with
pleasing patterns to allow light into the
• The shikhara seems to be influenced from
the North Indian style of architecture.
Majestic Door Frame

Durga temple,
Window Pattern

Narasimha The Corridor Surya Deva with His Consorts Varaha

Ladkhan temple
• The Ladh Khan and Durga temples at
Aihole are the best specimens of the
Chalukyan architecture.
• "Lad Khan temple" in Aihole is
considered to be one of the earliest
temples in India. It was built around
450 AD.
• It has a primitive air about it with a
cave like appearance noticeable
especially in the massive pillars with
bracket capitals and the flat roofs.
• It has no sign of a shikhara.
• Based on a wooden construction design , the square and rectangular plan has a steep
roof, which is an adaptation of wooden styles in stone. The temple is approached by a
porch with square pillars.
Ladkhan temple
• It consists of a shrine with Mandapa in
front of it.
• The God worshipped here is Lord
• The windows were filled up with lattice
work in the northern style.
• On the outer walls of the temple to the
north, south and east are pierced
windows to receive light from outside.
• Originally, this temple was intended to
be dedicated to Lord Vishnu, but now
it houses a Shiva Linga.
• There is a shrine on the roof and three
sides have idols of Vishnu, Surya and
Devi .
Chenna Keshava temple, Belur & Somnathpur
• In southern India, after the Cholas’ decline late in the 12th century,
the Hoysalas declared their independence.
• They built about ninety temples from the late 12th to the mid-14th
• The important ones are at the two Hoysala capitals, Belur and
Halebid, & Somnathpur.
Chenna Keshava temple, Somnathpur

• Enclosed by a low
quadrangle with an
entrance gate to the east,
the temple sits on a low-
stepped platform that
follows its outline.
• Three star-shaped shrines,
each with its own pre-
chamber, open onto a
square court elongated
toward the east to form a
colonnaded mandapa.
Chenna Keshava temple, Somnathpur

• Since each shrine is surmounted by a low superstructure

and the mandapa is flat, the Kesava Temple does not have
a dramatic skyline like those of the Chandella temples at
• On closer examination, the plan and the detailing of the
temple, however, are surpassed by none.
Chenna Keshava temple, Somnathpur

• Since each shrine is surmounted by a low superstructure

and the mandapa is flat, the Kesava Temple does not have
a dramatic skyline like those of the Chandella temples at
• On closer examination, the plan and the detailing of the
temple, however, are surpassed by none.
Chenna Keshava temple, Somnathpur
• The Hoysala architects built with a hard, black schist
that, though difficult to work with, could sustain deep
cuts and take on a fine polish.
Chenna Keshava temple, Somnathpur
• With multiple tiers of deeply
excoriated circular bands, columns
seem to pulsate and swirl in space,
as if they had just been removed
from the wheel.
• Although most have been carved
over, many of the columns have
been left unadorned, which
imparts to them an almost
modern, mechanical quality,
something rarely found in Hindu
Chenna Keshava temple, Belur

The Chennakeshava Temple, originally called

Vijayanarayana Temple, was built on the banks
of the Yagachi River in Belur, by the Hoysala
Empire King Vishnuvardhana.
Chenna Keshava temple, Belur

the Chennakesava temple

is at the centre, facing east,
and is flanked by the Kappe
Channigraya temple on its
right, and a small
Sowmyanayaki (form of the
goddess Lakshmi) temple
set slightly back.
Chenna Keshava temple, Belur

main entrance to the complex is

Shrine outer wall with friezes on vertical
crowned by a Rajagopura
sections below eves
(superstructure over entrance)
Chenna Keshava temple, Belur

Garuda (eagle) sthambha

Chenna Keshava temple, Belur

• The mantapa here was originally an open one. A visitor would have been able to see the
ornate pillars of the open mantapa from the platform.
• The open mantapa was converted into a closed one after about fifty years, during the
Hoysala rule.
Chenna Keshava temple, Belur

Ornate lathe turned pillars in mantapa, a Ornate doorjamb, lintel and guardians (Jaya
standard Hoysala idiom and Vijaya) of the shrine of the Hindu god
Chenna Keshava temple, Belur

Miniature shrines with

Bhumija style superstructure
at entrance
Chenna Keshava temple, Belur

Miniature shrines with

Bhumija style superstructure
at entrance