The carriage of the Sun-God is drawn by seven splendidly carved horses straining their necks to pull the massive chariot. The extraordinary dynamism and mobility of these sculptured animal figures are striking to a degree. Today, this superb edifice lies in ruins, the jagamohan or assembly-hall being the only part which is still intact enough to testify to the past glory of the temple. Not all of the splendid fragments are in their original position. Much of the imposing appearance and vitality of the structure is to be attributed to the pyramidal roof with its three tiers and sculptured groups of figures. The sculpture which embellishes the immense outer surfaces of this architectural masterpiece is no less exquisite in its luxuriance and unrestricted invention than the vast structure itself. The exterior has been chiseled and molded either into abstract designs, or fantastic human and animal forms, and every motif and subject known to the Indian mind has been called into play.
Module 2 indian temple architecture
INDIAN TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE Dr. Binumol Tom Professor, Department of Architecture, College of Engineering, Trivandrum
• The Hindu temple Temple Architecture of architecture developed over two thousand India years.• The architectural evolution of the indian temples took place within the rigid frameworks derived entirely from religious thoughtfulness.• Therefore the architect was bound to keep to the ancient primary dimensions and strict configurations, which remained unaltered over the period of time.
The architectural elements and decorative details in the temple had their origin in the early wood, timber and thatch buildings.It had persisted for centuries in one form or another in the stone structures even though the original purpose and context was lost. This can be studied from the horseshoe shaped window.The origin of this type of window can be traced from the chaitya arch doorway first at the Lomash Rishi cave in the Barabar Hills used in the 3rd century BC.It was transformed later into a dormer window known as a gavaksha and eventually it was used strictly as the decorative design of interlaced forms seen on the towers of medieval temples.
• The architect and sculptor were given a plenty of freedom in the ornamentation and decoration of the temples.• This resulted in an overwhelming riches of architectural elements, sculptural forms and decorative ebullience that is the characteristic feature of Indian temple architecture has few analogues in the aesthetic manifestation of the whole world.
The distinct architectural styles of temple construction of the north India and the south India was the result of the broad geographical, climatic, ethnic, racial, historical and linguistic differences resulted, from early on, in.The Vastu Shastras, the ancient canonical texts on architecture, classify temples into three different orders: the Nagara or the Indo-Aryan or Northern style, the Dravida or the Southern style and the Vesara or Mixed style of temple architecture.There are also definite regional styles in peripheral areas like Bengal, Kerala and the Himalayan areas.
• In the early years, when the temple building had just begun, the shape of their superstructures can distinguish the two styles.• The most significant difference between the later northern and southern styles are the gateways.• The shikhara in the north Indian temples remained the most prominent component of the temple and the gateway was ordinarily unassuming.• In the south Indian temples, the enclosure walls were built around the whole complex.• Elaborate and often magnificent gateways called gopurams were ideally set along the east-west and north-south axes of these walls, which led the devotees into the sacred courtyard.• Less obvious differences between the two main temple types include the ground plan; the selection and positioning of stone-carved deities on the outside walls and the interior, and the range of decorative elements that are sometimes so numerous as to almost obscure the underlying architecture.
Examples• The best examples of the north Indian style of temple architecture are the Khajuraho Group of temples, Sun temple, Konark, Surya temple, Modhera, Gujarat and Ossian temple, Ossian, Gujarat.• The finest examples of Dravidian style are temples of Tanjore, Madurai, Mahabalipuram, Badami, Pattadakal and Kanchipuram.
Parts of a Hindu temple• Garbha-griha, which contains the main deity of the temple. It has a tower called a vimana over it.• The ardha-mandapa and maha-mandapa are in front of the garbha-griha (inner sanctum).• The gopurams are entrance towers.• The veranda next to the inside walls of the pradakshina path.• Tanks and wells, which are either sacred or for bathing purposes.• Subsidiary deities and shrines dedicated to minor gods.
North-Central Indian temples of KhajurahoThe temples at Khajuraho, built by the Chandella rulers circa 1000 AD are at the pinnacle of the Nagari architectural style.900 AD to 1100 ADThe Nagari style has several distinct features, all of which are clearly manifested in the temples at Khajuraho.
Panchayantana Temple• Five shrined complex – Main shrine at the centre and four subsidiary shrines on the four corners of the large platform.
Architectural Features -Khajuraho• 1000 AD• High terraces• Flight of steps – 10 to 12 ft• Unity of composition• Cella, mandapa and the entrance vestibule are the parts of a harmonious whole• Shikharas – Architectural materpieces• Vertical axis• Top piece – Amalaka or capstone in perfect rhythm with the curvilinear outline of the shikhara• Kalasa on top
Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, Khajuraho• Largest and loftiest in the Khajuraho group• 109t X 60ft• Height of it shikhara is 116ft 6 inches• Mandapa size – 25 ft X 25 ft• No enclosure walls• Erected on platform (Jagatis) which are large enough to perform pradhakshina• Garbhagriha, antharala, mahamandapa, mandapa and arthamandapa present
Khajuraho group of temples• The temples have been built from granite or sandstone, the two chief rocks found in this area upon raised platforms.• The platforms themselves stand on solid rock masses that are one of the oldest rocks on this earth.
The Kendariya Mahadeo temple is the finest example in Indo-Aryan temple style because of its attainment of unity in design of its components such as mandapas.• It becomes a composite design in plan and exterior profile.• It results into overall jagged profile of mostly revered Kailash.• The raised platform on which the temples stands in itself becomes dominant feature of the composition.• The great flight of steps gives one a sense of arrival in higher ritualistic sense also.
• The sculptures are exquisite.• They show the daily lives of the kings (hunting etc), the deities in their various forms, the beautiful apsarases in their elegant and enticing postures and other royal motifs like lions and elephants.
Eastern Indian temples of Orissa• Under the ancient name of Kalinga, Orissa was the seat of great empires as far back as 300 B.C.• as the most remarkable examples of architectural achievement in all of Asia.• Although Orissa presents a fairly large variety of styles in temple building, it has nevertheless a characteristic architectural genius.• Its temples have been described as one of the most compact and homogeneous architectural groups in India.• In these the Indo-Aryan style of architecture may be seen at its best and purest.
Eastern Indian temples of Orissa• The design which flourished in eastern Indian state of Orissa and Northern Andhra Pradesh are called Kalinga style of architecture.• The style consists of three distinct type of temples namely Rekha Deula, Pidha Deula and Khakhara Deula.• Deula means "Temple" in the local language. The former two are associated with Vishnu, Surya and Shiva temple while the third is mainly with Chamunda and Durga temples.• The Rekha deula and Khakhara deula houses the sanctum sanctorum while the Pidha Deula constitutes outer dancing and offering halls.• The prominent examples of Rekha Deula are Lingaraj Temple of Bhubaneswar and Jagannath Temple of Puri.• The Konark Sun Temple is a living example of Pidha Deula.
• The temple-building movement in Orissa, which reached its peak of excellence in the 10th and 11th centuries, stretches from roughly 650 A.D. to 1200 A.D. and illustrates more coherently than any other similar movement the growth and development of the Nagara style of architecture.• In general, all Orissan temples follow a common structural plan.• A typical temple consists of two apartments.• The deul, corresponding to the southern vimana, is the cubical inner apartment which enshrines the image, and is surmounted by a tower.• In front of this is the antarala or porch called the jaganmohan which is usually square-shaped and has a pyramidal roof.• Occasionally, one or two more mandapas, such as the natmandir and the bhogmandir, can be found in front of the jaganmohan, but these, where they exist, are almost without exception were superimposed on top of the original plan.
• Bhubaneswar has the richest profusion of temples and is known as the temple town of Orissa, not only because of the large number of temples found there, but also because it is the home of the famous Lingaraja temple.• The city of Bhubaneswar is believed to have been created by Yayati, founder of the Kesari dynasty of Orissa.• The striking concentration of temples in Bhubaneswar is partly accounted for by the fact that the city was the seat of powerful religions.• The sacred lake of Bhubaneswar was once encircled by 7,000 shrines, of which only 500 now survive in different stages of dilapidation.
Lingaraja temple• The great Lingaraja temple, believed to have been built around 1000 A.D.• It stands in a cluster of sixty-five smaller shrines in a spacious compound meausring 520 feet by 465 feet and its mighty tower (the vimana) dominates the landscape for miles around.• Constructed without mortar, this tower is 127 feet high and is divided into vertical sections.• The angles of the recesses are filled in with miniature vimanas and on the top, are figures representing a lion crushing an elephant.
Lingaraja temple• Initially it consisted of a cella and a mandapa• Cella – 56ft square and rises about 140 ft• Mandapa is rectangular
Mukteshwar Temple• Little Architectural Gem• Deul and Jagmohan• Length – 45ft, width – 25ft, shikhara height – 35ft• Heavy ornamentation and interesting carving• Shikhara – well proportioned• Entrance – Torana – ssemicircular arch carried by two pillars
Sun Temple, Konark• Sun God – in ruins today• Greatest achievement in Orissan architecture• Temple conceived as the eternal sun god travelling in a ratha (chariot) – the chariot of time.• High plinth• 12 no; of 10ft diameter wheels (6 on either side)• Drawn by a team of 7 horses• Upper part of the ratha – Deul and Jagmohan• Path on the plinth for parikarma• 3 subsidiary shrines on S, W and N
Sun Temple, Konark• Main entry – wide flight of steps in East• Height of the tall Deul – shikhara – about 225ft• Cella – 25ft X25 ft• Jagmohan – 100ft X 100ft, ht – 100ft – cubical mass• Temple is full of sculptures of erotic nature• Temple stands in the centre of a large enclosure – 860 ft X 540 ft• Dwajasthamba nd Nat mandir in front• Stone – good variety of laterite• Mortarless work
Sun Temple, Konark• The natmandir and the bhogmandir were detached structures, all enclosed within a courtyard measuring 865 ft. by 540 ft.• The sculptures executed in hard stone to ensure their preservation, display an exuberance of mood and appearance rarely encountered elsewhere.• The technique also varies from designs carved with minute precision to vigorous groups modeled on a massive scale.• Much of the relief work on the outer walls of the temple at Konark -- as of certain other temples in Orissa --has an obviously erotic import.• This is indicative of the emergence of a phase in Hinduism known as Tantrism, the mithuna ritual of which is depicted in the carvings of this temple as well as of the temples in Mathura and Khajuraho.• According to Tantric thought, all human experience – which by implication also includes experience connected with carnal desire – has a value, for it is only through experience that man can attain the stage of self-immolation.
Chalukyan styleis the distinctive style of ornamented architecture that evolved during the rule of the Western Chalukya Empire in the Tungabhadra region of central Karnataka, India, during the 11th and 12th centuries.The centre of cultural and temple-building activity lay in the Tungabhadra region, where large medieval workshops built numerous monuments.These monuments, regional variants of pre- existing dravida (South Indian) temples, defined the Karnata dravida tradition.Temples of all sizes built by the Chalukyan architects during this era remain today as examples of the architectural style.
• The Chalukyan style originated in Aihole around A.D. 450 and was perfected in the neighbouring villages of Badami and Pattadakal (all in Bagalkot district of Karnataka).• Chalukyan artists experimented with different styles, blended the Indo-Aryan Nagara and Dravidian styles, and evolved their own distinctive style.• One can see magnificent examples of their earliest works in Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal.• These certainly are not the earliest temples.• Temples were constructed centuries before the 4th and 5th century A.D., but with wood and bricks and have not survived.
• The surviving Western Chalukya monuments are temples built in the Shaiva, Vaishnava, and Jain religious traditions.• None of the military, civil, or courtly architecture has survived; being built of mud, brick and wood, such structures may not have withstood repeated invasions.
Chalukyan temples fall into two categories —• the first being temples with a common mantapa (a colonnaded hall) and two shrines (known as dvikuta), and• the second being temples with one mantapa and a single shrine (ekakuta).• Both kinds of temples have two or more entrances giving access to the main hall. This format differs from both the designs of the northern Indian temples, which have a small closed mantapa leading to the shrine and the southern Indian temples which generally have a large, open, columned mantapa.
• The Chalukyan architects retained features from both northern and southern styles.• However, in the overall arrangement of the main temple and of the subsidiary shrines, they inclined towards the northern style and tended to build one main shrine with four minor shrines, making the structure a panchayatna or five-shrined complex.• Chalukyan temples were, almost always, built facing the east.• The Sanctum (cella) is connected by a vestibule (ardha mantapa or ante-chamber) to the closed mantapa (also called the navaranga), which is connected to the open mantapa.• Occasionally there can be two or more open mantapas. In Shaiva temples, directly opposite the sanctum and opposite the closed mantapa is the nandi mantapa, which enshrines a large image of Nandi, the bull attendant of Shiva. The shrine usually has no pradakshina.
• The pillars that support the roof of the mantapa are monolithic shafts from the base up to the neck of the capital. Therefore, the height of the mantapa and the overall size of the temple were limited by the length of the stone shafts that the architects were able to obtain from the quarries.• The height of the temple was also constrained by the weight of the superstructure on the walls and, since Chalukyan architects did not use mortar, by the use of dry masonry and bonding stones without clamps or cementing material.• The absence of mortar allows some ventilation in the innermost parts of the temple through the porous masonry used in the walls and ceilings.• The modest amount of light entering the temples comes into the open halls from all directions, while the very subdued illumination in the inner closed mantapa comes only through its open doorway.• The vestibule receives even less light, making it necessary to have some form of artificial lighting (usually, oil lamps) even during the day. This artificial source of light perhaps adds "mystery" to the image of the deity worshipped in the sanctum.
A typical Western Chalukya temple may be examined from three aspects —• the basic floor plan,• the architectural articulation, and• the figure sculptures.• The basic floor plan is defined by the size of the shrine, the size of the sanctum, the distribution of the building mass, and by the pradakshina (path for circumambulation), if there is one.
• Architectural articulation refers to the ornamental components that give shape to the outer wall of the shrine.• These include projections, recesses, and representations that can produce a variety of patterns and outlines, either stepped, stellate (star-shaped), or square.• If stepped (also called "stepped diamond of projecting corners"), these components form five or seven projections on each side of the shrine, where all but the central one are projecting corners (projections with two full faces created by two recesses, left and right, that are at right angles with each other).
• If square (also called "square with simple projections"), these components form three or five projections on a side, only two of which are projecting corners. Stellate patterns form star points which are normally 8-, 16-, or 32- pointed and are sub- divided into interrupted and uninterrupted stellate components.
• Figure sculptures are miniature representations that stand by themselves, including architectural components on pilasters, buildings, sculptures, and complete towers.• They are generally categorised as "figure sculpture" or "other decorative features".• On occasion, rich figure sculpture can obscure the articulation of a shrine, when representations of gods, goddesses, and mythical figures are in abundance.
To look at some of these evolutionary features, it may be noted that thethe temples had flat or slightly sloping roofs and they were surmounted by small ‘shikhara’s.A pillared hall (mandapa) was a later addition.Features such as ‘sukanaasi’, ‘garbhagriha’, ‘mukha mandapa’ and ‘pradakshina patha’ (Circumambulatory path) which became default features at a later date are conspicuous by their absence in some of these early Chalukyan temples.Durga temple at Ihole is an exception.
Papanath temple, Pattadakkal• 7th century temple• Last example of a Southern shrine adorned with a shikhara
Hoysala style• The merging of the Dravidian and North Indian styles created a temple that is unique, so much so that it is often classified as the Hoysala style.
The Star in Plan• To add to its distinctiveness, the Hoysala temple in plan composed of numerous cellas or garbha-grihas served by a common mandapa.• The plan of each of these cellas was a star.• The departure from the accepted square form of the temple is understandable when we analyze the plan and see that it is made up of a grid of rotating squares.• The resulting outline thus emerges as a star.• The mandapa remained a square, though it was now distinguished by circular columns, the shafts of which had been lathed and thus acquired a number of parallel knife-edges.
Somnathpur Temple• The Somnathpur Temple is said to be the finest example of Hoysala Architecture and was built in 1268 under the Hoysala king Narasimha III.• It is built using chloritic chist (Soapstone).• The architect/sculptor was Ruvari Malithamma who has kindly left his signatures for easy identification.• It is also symmetrical in its design, it has 3 shrines, each of which are equally important, having intricate carvings.
Somnathpur Temple• There is a high outer compound that surrounds the temple and a Lamp Pillar on the grounds outside, it could also be a Garuda Stumbha (Column) since it is the mount of Vishnu and this is a Vishnu temple.• Once inside there is a lengthy inscription carved in kannada on an enormous tablet that describes the origins of the temple.• There is a covered walk way all around the temple, which is closed and currently held up by steel supports and apparently under restoration. There are huge lathe carved pillars that hold up the structures inside the temple itself.• There are 3 deities inside all are forms of Vishnu. There are no Shivaite statutes here.
Somnathpur Temple• Though built around a single shrine, the temple has all the distinguishing features of the Hoysala style - a pillared mandapa, bell-shaped towers and above all the star-shaped plan.• The gaps between the outer pillars were covered with a jaali meant to provide privacy for the Brahmins, and especially the highly seductive dancing of the devdasis.
Dravidian culture - Rock cut productions under Pallavas• The Pallavas were instrumental in the transition from rock-cut architecture to stone temples.• The earliest examples of Pallava constructions are rock-cut temples dating from 610–690 CE and structural temples between 690–900 CE.• The greatest accomplishments of the Pallava architecture are the rock-cut temples at Mahabalipuram.
Dravidian culture• There are excavated pillared halls and monolithic shrines known as rathas in Mahabalipuram.• Early temples were mostly dedicated to Shiva.• The Kailasanatha temple inKanchipuram and the Shore Temple built by Narasimhavarman II, rock cut temple in Mahendravadi by Mahendravarman are fine examples of the Pallava style temples.
Dravidian culture• The five ratha temples commonly known as the Pancha Rathas or five chariots stand majestically on the southernmost extreme of Mahabalipuram.• Built by the Pallava ruler Narsimha Varman 1 (AD 630- 68) alias Mamalla in the 7th and 8th centuries, each temple is a monolith, carved out of a single rock.• The temples which are different icautiously cut out from a huge rock, sloping from south to northn forms, plans and elevations were.• These individual rathas are named after the Pandava brothers Yudhistara (Dharmaraja), Arjuna, Bhima, Nakula & Sahadeva of the Epic Mahabharata and their wife Draupadi.
Dravidian culture• Besides these rathas, the sculpture of an elephant (the vehicle of Indra), lion (the vehicle of Durga) and Nandi bull (the vehicle of Shiva) are structurally displayed.• Though these temples are named after the Pandava brothers, they are not in any way related to Mahabharata.• While the Dharmaraja, Arjuna and Draupadi rathas are square on plan, the Bhima ratha is rectangular and Nakula Sahadeva ratha apsidal.
Shore Temple, MahabalipuramThe Shore Temple is a five-storeyed structural Hindu temple rather than rock-cut as are the other monuments at the site.It is the earliest important structural temple in Southern India.Its pyramidal structure is 60 ft high and sits on a 50 ft square platform.There is a small temple in front which was the original porch It is made out of finely cut local granite.Recent excavations have revealed new structures here under the sand
• The temple is a combination of three shrines.• The main shrine is dedicated to Shiva as is the smaller second shrine.• A small third shrine, between the two, is dedicated to a reclining Vishnu and may have had water channeled into the temple, entering the Vishnu shrine.• The two Shiva shrines are orthogonal in configuration.• The entrance is through a transverse barrel vault gopuram.• The two shikharas have a pyramidal outline, each individual tier is distinct with overhanging eaves that cast dark shadows.• The outer wall of the shrine to Vishnu and the inner side of the boundary wall are extensively sculptured and topped by large sculptures of Nandi• The temples outer walls are divided by plasters into bays, the lower part being carved into a series of rearing lions.
Dravidian cultureDravidian Order - Brihadishwara Temple, Tanjore
• Brihadeshwara temple - through the gate to the courtyard where the 60 meter tower, a feast of Dravidian architecture towers into the sky dwarfing the landscape offers a glimpse into the mind of the once invincible imperial Cholas.• Built in 11th century by Rajaraja I, it established the power of the Cholas.• Granite blocks were brought for the temple from a distance of 50 km.• The tower or vimana soars to height of 60.96 metres and the stone cupola at the top weighs 81.284 tonnes.• Long plinths were used to put the stones in place.
• The temple complex is divided into a number of concentric quadrangular enclosures contained by high masonary walls.• It is one of the few temples in Tamil Nadu to have four entrances facing four directions.• Vishwantha Nayaka allegedly redesigned the city of Madurai in accordance with the principles laid down by Shilpa Shastras relevant to urban planning.• The city was laid out in the shape of square with a series of concentric streets originating from the temple.• These squares continue to retain their traditional names, Aadi, Chittirai, Avani-moola and Masi streets, corresponding to Tamil month names.[• Ancient Tamil classics mention that the temple was the center of the city and the streets happened to be radiating out like lotus and its petals.• The temple prakarams (outer precincts of a temple) and streets accommodate an elobrate festival calendar in which dramatic processions circumabulate the shrines at varying distances from the centre.• The complex is in a compound of 45 acres (180,000 m2)
• Designed as a series of concentric courtyards or PRAKARMAS• Outermost circle – edifices of a practical nature than spiritual such as account ofices, dormitories for pilgrims, kitchens, shops, maintenance workshops etc. and parking for wooden festive chariots• Inner prakarmas – pavilions or devotional songs and story telling, bathing tanks for ritual ablutions and guest houses• Innermost courts – kitchen for brahmins, pavilions or dancing girls and treasury• Actual cella – open only to priests
• Hall of thousand pillars – 985 pillars, 240ft X250ft• Soaring gopurams – 150ft (48m) high gopuram