. Located about 18 km east of Yogyakarta, it is somewhat overshadowed by the even more awe-inspiring Borobudur situated just next door. The two sites are quite different in style though, with Prambanan being a collection of tall and pointed Hindu temples, instead of the single large Buddhist stupa of Borobudur. The two sites are quite different in style though, with Prambanan being a collection of tall and pointed Hindu temples, instead of the single large Buddhist stupa of Borobudur.
Peruvudaiyar Kovil, which is also famous as Brihadeeswarar Temple, Rajarajeswaram and RajaRajeshwara Temple, is located at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu state of India. It is one Hindu temple, which they dedicate towards Lord Shiva. It is one luminous example of major heights, which Cholas achieves within Tamil architecture. This temple is one tribute and one reflection of power of its supporter Raja Raja Chola I. this temple remains as India’s largest and Indian architecture’s one of greatest glories. It is also a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site as “Great Living Chola Temples”.
The original temple was built by Kulasekara Pandya, but the entire credit for making the temple as splendid as it is today goes to the Nayaks. The Nayaks ruled Madurai from the 16th to the 18th century and left a majestic imprint of their rule in the Meenakshi - Sundareswarar Temple. Especially impressive are the 12 gopuras. Their soaring towers rise from solid granite bases, and are covered with stucco figures of dieties, mythical animals and monsters painted in vivid colours
The closed rangamandapa, which has four doorways, was built before the sixteenth century. During the fifteenth century, the granite portion of the northern 'gopura' is also constructed and the flat pilasters on it are typical of the pre-sixteenth century 'gopuras'. During the reign of Devaraya II, the Virupaksha temple was elaborated in fairly large and luxuriant way. According to a late sixteenth-century literary work, the 'Narasimhapuranam', 'Prolunganti Tippa', a commander of Devaraya II, added a gopura to the temple of Virupaksha at Hampi. Presently the temple has three gopuras: a large outer eastern one, a small inner east and a northern one. The inner east gopura was said to be constructed by Krishnadevaraya, but the present outer east gate is, on stylistic grounds, evidently not a fifteenth-century structure. The east gopura is the leading way to the courtyard of the Virupaksha Temple.
http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/architecture/ancient-architecture.htmIntro: (Ancient C.A.) Ancient Chinese architecture is a miniature of the long-standing history and culture of China. It is obviously characterized by the region, nationality and times. Ancient Chinese architecture, which has distinctive features in single building, building complex and architectural art, is an outstanding example of the ancient oriental architectures.
Flexible Structure The ancient buildings use wood as chief material. And the components are mainly columns, beams, and purlins, which are connected by tenons and mortises. As a result, the wooden structure is quite flexible.
Wonderful & Elegant Appearance: The ancient Chinese architectures are greatly praised for the elegant profile and varied structure, for example, the overhanging eaves, upward roof corners, and different shapes of roofs. Regular Layout -In China, buildings such as palaces, temples and folk houses are basically in a combined complex. The building complex can be divided into buildings centered on different courtyards and then into single rooms. -So the buildings look symmetrical on the left and right sides. Such layout of ancient Chinese architectures has reflected the aesthetic standard of harmony and symmetry in ancient China. Gorgeous Ornaments: Architects in ancient China pay special attention to the ornaments either from a whole or in a specific part. They use different colors or paintings according to the particular need or local customs. Some buildings use multiple colors to make strong contrast. Others use soften color to make it simple but elegant. Besides the stress on the colors, ancient buildings attach the same weight on decorations, furnishings inside and ornament outside. Carved beams, painted rafters, various patterns, inscribed boards, couplets hung on the pillars, and wall paintings are used to add to the colorful and beautiful style. Stone lions, screen walls, ornamental columns, as well as flowers are used in the outside of a building to make ornaments.
Emphasis on Symmetry: It connotes a sense of grandeur; which now applies to everything.
Certain colors/numbers: In traditional Chinese architecture reflected the belief in a type of immanence, where the nature of something could be wholly contained in its own form, without reference to a momentary belief.
The Great Wall of the Ming (created during the Ming Dynasty) is, not only because of the ambitious character of the undertaking but also the perfection of its construction, an absolute masterpiece. The only work built by human hands on this planet that can be seen from the moon, the Wall constitutes, on the vast scale of a continent, a perfect example of architecture integrated into the landscape. This complex and diachronic cultural property is an outstanding and unique example of a military architectural ensemble which served a single strategic purpose for 2000 years, but whose construction history illustrates successive advances in defence techniques and adaptation to changing political contexts.
Despite having many different garden and architectural styles, the Summer Palace is harmonious and visually pleasing.
Located about 50 kilometres from Beijing, it contains the tombs of the 13 of the 16 Emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) as well as a number of tombs of concubines and eunuchs. Construction started in 1409 and ended when the Ming Dynasty collapsed in 1644.
To represent the supreme power of the emperor given from God, and the place where he lived being the center of the world, all the gates, palace and other structures of the Forbidden City were arranged about the north-south central axis of old Beijing. For security the Forbidden City is enclosed by a 10-meter-high defensive wall, which has a circumference of 3, 430 meters. At each corner of the Forbidden City, there stands a magnificent watchtower, which was heavily guarded in the past. Around the city there is a moat as the first line of defense. The Forbidden City covers an area of about 72 hectares (178 acres) with a total floor space of approximately 150,000 square meters (1,600,000 square feet). It consists of 90 palaces and courtyards, 980 buildings and 8,704 rooms.
Constructed between 1406 and 1420 during the reign of the Ming dynasty Emperor Yongle (who was also responsible for the construction of the Forbidden City) The Temple of Heaven was originally known as the Temple of Heaven and Earth, but this was changed during the reign of Ming Emperor JiaJing (1522-1567), who built separate complexes for the earth, sun and moon. the Temple of Heaven is 4 times larger than the Forbidden City.The main structures in the Temple of Heaven lie along the south-north axis as with all temples in China. The Temple of Heaven is 4 times larger than the Forbidden City.The main structures in the Temple of Heaven lie along the south-north axis as with all temples in China. The most striking building in the Temple of Heaven is the tall, circular Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. Its location was determined by the emperor’s Fengshui masters as the exact point where heaven and Earth met. Seen from above, all the temple halls round and the base square, shapes also respectively symbolizing the heaven and earth. The wooden pillars support the ceiling without any nails or cement.
It was said that after that addition came the saying-'Saving a life exceeds building a seven-storied pagoda'.
Externally it looks like a square cone, simple but grand and it is a masterpiece of Buddhist construction. Built of brick, its structure is very firm.
On the walls are engraved fine statues of Buddha by the renowned artist Yan Liben of the Tang Dynasty
As for the reason why it is called Big Wild Goose Pagoda, there is a legend. According to ancient stories of Buddhists, there were two branches, for one of which eating meat was not a taboo. One day, they couldn't find meat to buy. Upon seeing a group of big wild geese flying by, a monk said to himself: 'Today we have no meat. I hope the merciful Bodhisattva will give us some.' At that very moment, the leading wild goose broke its wings and fell to the ground. All the monks were startled and believed that Bodhisattva showed his spirit to order them to be more pious. They established a pagoda where the wild goose fell and stopped eating meat.
Asian architecture [hindu & china] - Art Appreciation
[Hindu & Chinese Architecture]
Angkor is a vast temple complex in Cambodia
featuring the magnificent remains of several
capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to
the 15th century AD. These include the famous
Angkor Wat temple, the world’s largest single
religious monument, and the Bayon temple (at
Angkor Thom) with its multitude of massive
stone faces. During it’s long history Angkor
went through many changes in religion
converting between Hinduism to Buddhism
Prambanan is the largest and
most beautiful Hindu temple
complex in Indonesia.
Situated on a large rock, Tanah Lot is
one of the most famous Hindu temples
in Bali, and probably the most
photographed. The Tanah Lot temple
has been a part of Balinese mythology
for centuries. The temple is one of 7 sea
temples, each within eyesight of the
next, to form a chain along the south-
western coast of Bali.
The City of 1000 Temples, Kanchipuram
is one of the oldest cities in South India,
and known for its ancient Hindu temples
and silk sarees. The city contains several
big temples like the Varadharaja
Perumal Temple for Lord Vishnu and the
Ekambaranatha Temple which is one of
the five forms of abodes of Lord Siva.
The Brihadeeswarar Temple, located in
Thanjavur, India, was built by the Chola
king Rajaraja I in the 11th century. The
world’s first complete granite temple,
Brihadishwara is a brilliant example of
the Dravidian style of temple
architecture. The temple tower is 66
meters (216 feet) high making it one of
the tallest temples in the world.
-The enormous temple complex is
dedicated to Shiva, known here as
Sundareshvara and his consort Parvati or
-The temple complex is within a high-
walled enclosure, at the core of which
are the two sanctums for meenakshi and
Sundareshwara, surrounded by a number
of smaller shrines and grand pillared halls.
The architecture of Virupaksha temple
was so integrated that the original pre-
Vijayanagara temple must have been
enclosed by the building of a closed
circumambulatory passage and one or
more antechambers as well as an open,
pillared passage on the three sides of the
Presently the temple has three gopuras: a
large outer eastern one, a small inner east
and a northern one.
•Gradual improvement of technique on timber structure buildings
•Rammed earth construction
•Glazing tiles and building with stones
Primitive – Han Dynasty
•output and quality of bricks and tiles are improved
•techniques on timber structure are also improved
Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties:
•application of bricks - more popular
•advancement in baking glazes
•proportion of the building components fell into fixed pattern
Sui and Tang Dynasties:
• scale of the buildings is generally smaller than that in Tang Dynasty
• more beautiful and rich in diversity
• Tibetan Buddhist temples and Islamic mosques were built
• Production of bricks increased
• Quality and quantity of glaze tiles had exceeded the past's
• Official buildings were highly standardized
Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties
•Traditional Chinese style blended with Western architectural characteristics
1840s (Opium war)
•Architectural styles were pared down - buildings looked sparse (Solid grey blocks and simple
•Returning to the Ancient's Period - Buildings with large roof
•New Communist Bldgs Period - Big Ten Buildings for National Celebration(constructed in 1959)
exemplified the combination designs of Stalinist architecture, traditional Chinese architecture and
1949 (People's Rep. Of China - Established)
•new architectural styles began to develop (combines older styles plus new invented elements)
1) Cave dwellings
2) Nest dwellings
3) Houses built and raised above the ground on bamboo poles
4) Architectural Techniques (Mortise and tenon joints)
5) Earthenware roof tiles and plaster were used
6) The Great Wall of China
7) Buddhist Pagodas
8) Use of brick walls, glazing, & sculpture
9) More elegant and intricate styles
10) Traditional Chinese Architecture peak
• Flexible Structure:
Dougong - unique design only found in
China; a system of brackets inserted between
the top of a column and a crossbeam
The Eave of the Ancient Palace in the
• Wonderful and Elegant Appearance:
The unique outside has not only fit and satisfied the practical
functional need of building, but also exhibited its wonderful
appearance. It is a good model of a combination of practicality
• Regular Layout:
Most of the buildings strictly follow the axis-centered principle with
• Gorgeous Ornaments:
Meticulous attention is given to ornaments either from a whole or a
• Traditionally: emphasis on width of the buildings;
Modern: emphasis in height and depth
• Emphasis on symmetry
• The use of certain color, numbers of the cardinal directions
• The Great Wall of China is a series of
stone and earthen fortifications built
by a number of emperors to protect
the northern borders against
• Situated 13 Km northwest of central
Beijing, the Summer Palace is one of the
largest, (2.9 Sq Km) best preserved, and
most interesting royal gardens in the
• Although it is called a palace it is not in
fact a single building but includes scores
of buildings, such as temples, halls,
pavilions and towers.
• The Ming Tombs cover an area of 80
square kilometres, situated in a
valley bordered on three sides by
the Yanshan Mountains.
• Situated in the heart of Beijing, the
Forbidden City is the world's largest
palace complex. It has lavishly
decorated ceremonial halls and royal
palaces. All the gates, palace and
other structures of the Forbidden City
were arranged about the north-south
central axis of old Beijing
• Temple of Heaven is not a single
building but a complex located in
the southern end of central Beijing.
• The temple was used by the
emperor to make offerings to the
heaven and to prey for a good
• First built to a height of 60 meters
(197 feet) with five stories, it is now
64.5 meters (211.6 feet) high with an
additional two stories.