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TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE OF INDIA

NAGARA STYLE- NORTH INDIA

Nagara temples have two distinct features :

  • In plan, the temple is a square with a number of graduated projections in the middle of each side giving a cruciform shape with a number of re-entrant angles on each side.
  • In elevation, a Sikhara, i.e., tower gradually inclines inwards in a convex curve.

PRATHIHARAS- UJJAIN (8TH - 9TH CENTURIES AD)

  • Mahakaleshwar temple, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of India,
  • Kal Bhairava temple finds a mention in the Skanda Purana, and
  • Mangalnath temple, regarded as the birthplace of Mars, according to the Matsya Purana.

PALAS- BENGAL AND BIHAR (8th  -13TH CENTURIES AD)

  • flourished in Bengal and Bihar under the Pala and the Sena rulers.
  • Nalanda was its most active centre, whose influence was spread to Nepal, Myanmar and even Indonesia.  

CHANDELAS- BUNDELKHAND (10TH -11TH  CEN AD)

  • Khajuraho justly famous for their graceful contours and erotic sculptures.
  • These 22 temples (out of the original 85) are regarded as one of the world's greatest artistic wonders. 
  • Khajuraho Temples were built within a short period of hundred years from 950-1050 A.D.
  • Kendriya Mahadev temple is the largest and most beautiful of the Khajuraho Temples.   
  • Shiva Temple at Visvanath and Vishnu Temple at Chaturbhunj are other important temples at Khajuraho.

DRAVIDIAN STYLE  - SOUTH INDIA

Dravidian style temples consist almost invariably of the four following parts:

  • The principal part, the temple itself, is called the Vimana (or Vimanam).
  • It is always square in plan and surmounted by a pyramidal roof of one or more stories; it contains the cell where the image of the god is placed.
  • The porches or Mandapas, which always cover and precede the door leading to the cell.
  • Gate-pyramids or Gopurams, which are the principal features in the quadrangular enclosures that surround the more notable temples.
  • Pillared halls or Chaultris—properly Chawadis -- used for various purposes, and which are the invariable accompaniments of these temples.

VESARA STYLE  - DECCAN

  • Vesara is a combination of NAGARA & DRAVIDIAN temple styles.
  • Hoysala temples at Belur, Halebidu and Somnathpura are supreme examples of this style.

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