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Dravidian Architecture

HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE II-UNIT 4

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Dravidian Architecture

  1. 1. UNIT IV TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE - SOUTHERN INDIA Brief history of South India relation between Bhakti period and temple architecture of temple towns Dravidian Order - evolution and form of gopuram Rock cut productions under Pallavas: Shore temple, Mahabalipuram and Kailasanatha temple,Kanchipuram Chola Architecture: Nartamalai, Brihadeeswara, Gangai,onda Cholapuram and Darasuram temples temple gateways of Madurai and Chidambaram - temple towns: Madurai, Srirangam and Kanchipuram Hoysala architecture: Belur and Halebid
  2. 2. A temple consisted of -- Vimanas, Gopurams, Mantapams and Chaultries.The parts of the temple followed the rituals The Vimana was the central plot, the land on which the temple is built. And it was generally a square-large area, where the main idol was placed. A vast gateway, which led to different parts of the temple with pillars the length of its path, was known as the Mantapam-the porch. The “Koil” cannot be pictured without the quadrangular beautifully decorated towers, with the Kalasham on top. This tapering Gopuram is divided into many storeys and is decorated with sculptures and paintings, of the respective temple’s deity or instances from Hindu Mythology. The premier Vaishnava temple in Srirangam, Tamilnadu-The SriRangam Koil has the tallest Hindu Gopuram in the world. Chaultries or vast pillard halls were also a part of most large temples and they were used to perform Yagnas, weddings or even dance/music performances in front of the king. The entire temple revolves around the main deity. The stone or bronze idol of this deity resides in the innermost room of the Sanctum Sanctorum, the ‘GharbhaGriha’ which literally means the ‘house like a womb’, where only priests are allowed. With a skilfully decorated entrance and a surrounding circumambulatory path, this GharbhaGriha is the square-room of peace and equilibrium. And the front porch usually has a big metallic bell that hangs from the ceiling. Devotees entering and leaving the porch ring this bell to declare their arrival and departure.
  3. 3. south Indian temples (12th century onwards) were surrounded by series of concentric protective walls called the prakaras. Towers erected over the entrance gateways of these walls are known as Gopuras or Gopurams. These towers can go over fifty meters tall ( 100 – 150 Feet tall) A Gopura is generally constructed with a massive stone base and a superstructure of brick and pilaster. Gopura is rectangular in plan and topped by a barrel-vault roof crowned with a row of finials. It differs from the Vimana over the central shrine in that it need not necessarily be square-based. the Gopura too resembles a Mandala; With sculptures and carvings of Yalis and mythical animals located in the outer enclosure. Humans and divine beings are in the inner enclosures. The peak of the Gopura, the Kalasha, is at the centre of the Mandala These sculptures follow a variety of themes derived from the Hindu mythology, particularly those associated with the presiding deity of the temple where the gopuram is located.
  4. 4. Symbolically, the Gopura or the entrance to the temple represent the feet of the deity. A devotes bows at the feet of the Lord at the entrance as he steps into the temple and proceeds towards the sanctum, leaving behind the world of contradictions. the crest of the Gopuram has the same significance of representing the central Brahmasthan which is the energy field of any building. This energy field in three dimension is taken to the top level of the gopuram and this confers spiritual benefits to the visitors of the temple. In the Sri Rangam temple the seven concentric prakara walls are said to represent the seven layers of matter-earth, water, fire, air, either, mind and intelligence-that envelop the consciousness of the living entities in the material world.
  5. 5. With the increasing threat from invading armies, the temple cities found it expedient to erect a series of protective walls to safeguard and defend their temples, palaces and cities. The Gopuras constructed on the gateways leading from one enclosure to the next, initially, served as watch towers for defense. Among the finest examples are the Sundara Pandya Gopura of the Jambukesvara temple at Tiruchchirappalli, the Gopuras of the great Shiva temple at Chidambaram and the Gopuras of the Meenakshi temple at Madurai. Meenakshi temple has twelve impressive Gopuras over the three tier Prakara walls. The outer four towers are nine -storied with heights ranging from 161 feet to 170 feet. Sri Ranganatha temple at Sri Rangam, which has seven enclosure walls and as many as twenty-one Gopuras, the seventh, the outer most enclosure encloses an area of about six hundred acres. The angle of slope from the vertical is 25˚ Width of the apex was ½ of the base
  6. 6. Parts of the temple common in most temples in south sanctum sanctorum is the PRADAKSHINAPATHA, which is a circumambulatory passage for devotees. In front of the Garbha Griha is the MUKHA MANTAPA, also called ARDHA MANTAPA, which is normally used for keeping articles of worship. ANTARALA is the narrow passage, which connects GARBHA GRIHA and MUKA MANTAPA to the hall called MANTAPA This the place where religious discourses or the recitation of mythological verses takes place. All temples have a DHVAJASTAMBHA or flag post in front of the MANTAPA. On top of this is the LANCHANA or insignia of the deity. For example in Vishnu temples it is GARUDA. Near the DHVAJASTAMBHA is the BALIPEEDA, which is a pedestal for sacrificial offering. High walls called PRAKARA are built on the perimeter of the temple complex and in the main entrance is the GOPURAM, which is the main gate with a high tower.
  7. 7. DIFFERENT PHASES IN DRAVIDIAN ARCHITECTURE The Dravidian style/ Southern style of architecture can be classified into the following periods 1. Pallavan Style 600AD – 900AD 2. Chola Style 900AD – 1150AD 3. Pandya Style 1100AD – 1350AD 4. Vijayanagara Style 1350AD – 1565AD 5. Nayak/Madura Style 1600 AD onwards • The Dravidian Style of architecture can be categorized as a distinct Evolution in Temple architecture through the various phases • There is a marked evolution in the planning of the temple and the architectural treatment • Complexity in planning due to the complexity in the rituals arose by the 12th c. AD (Pandya) Broadly the classifications would be as follows: Pallavan - Rock cut and Structural Temples Chola - Development of the Vimana (Shikhara), Walled enclosures Gopurams Pandya - Evolution of the Gopuram – number, height, embellishment High walls for enclosure for security( Muslim invasion) Vijayanagara - Addition of Mandapas, Secondary halls and Gopurams Nayaks - Temple cities, addition of Gopurams to existing temples
  8. 8. GENESIS OF DRAVIDIAN STYLE UNDER THE PALLAVAS 600 AD – 900 AD There were two phases of architecture under the Pallavas 1st Phase- Rock cut •Mahendra Group 610 – 640 AD Mandapas/ Pillared halls •Mamalla Group 640 – 690 AD Rathas and Mandapas (Narasimhavarma) 2nd Phase- Structural •Rajasimha group 690 – 800 AD Temples •Nandivarman group 800 – 900 AD Temples Mandapas Rathas 1. Excavated Monolith 2. Open pavilion Shrine/ Temple chariot 3. Simple columned hall with Series of shrines which is an one or more cellas at the rear exact copy in granite of a structural prototype
  9. 9. Bhakthi Movement influences - 7th and 12th century Bhakti meant undivided devotion to only one god, the most famous being – Shiva and Vishnu. The Bhakti temples, which started as minute shrines, evolved and slowly grew into edifices like the rock cut temples built by the Pallavas. The Bhakti movement even spread to the north during late medieval ages, though the north was under the Islamic rule, the Bhakti movement tried to preserve Hinduism. There were 63 Shaiva Nayanmars and 12 Vaishnavite Alvars – They were the saints who disregarded the austerities preached by the jains and the Buddhists. They disregarded the rigidities of the caste and carried their message of love and personal devotion to god as a means of salvation to various parts of south India by using local languages Shankaracharya, Ramanujam, Madhavacharya,, Saint Janabai, Gangasati, Meerabai Kabir was one of the earliest and most influential Bhakthi saints in north India who supported Hindu-Muslim unity
  10. 10. The Metaphysical Architecture of the Temple The basic plan of a Hindu temple is an expression of sacred geometry where the temple is visualized as a grand mandala. By sacred geometry we mean a science which has as its purpose the accurate laying out of the temple ground plan in relation to the cardinal directions and the heavens. Characteristically, a mandala is a sacred shape consisting of the intersection of a circle and a square. The square shape is symbolic of earth, signifying the four directions which bind and define it. (four castes; the four Vedas etc.). Similarly, the circle is logically the perfect metaphor for heaven since it is a perfect shape, without beginning or end, signifying timelessness and eternity, a characteristically divine attribute. It was Jayavarman II (c. AD800 to AD850) who introduced the cult of devaraja into Cambodia, establishing the king as a representative of the Hindu god Siva. From this time temples were being built to honor both the god and the king. During the next two reigns, the practice of each new king building his own temple which became his tomb on his death, was firmly established.
  11. 11. 1ST PHASE OF PALLAVAN ARCHITECTURE – 610 – 690 AD MANDAPAS - Mahabalipuram There were a total of 10 mandapas at Mahabalipuram Features: •Similar proportions to earlier Mandapas •Width 25’ •Height-15’ – 20’ ; Depth 25’ •Pillars height 9’ ; Dia-1’- 2’ •Cells rectangular- 5’ -10’ side •Shallow porticoes •Architectural treatment and sculptures combining with architecture. •Façade contains- roll cornice decorated with KUDUS, above this a parapet or attic member formed of miniature shrines, a long one alternating with a short one •The executor was primarily a sculptor Basement was so planned and executed to provide a long and narrow receptacle for water for ablutions •Pillars are the main contributions of this period •Beginning of the Pallava order of column •Eg. Varaha, Krishna, Mahishasuramandapa, Adivaraha Krishna Mandapam Varaha Mandapam Sculptures depicting Mythological stories
  12. 12. 1ST PHASE OF PALLAVAN ARCHITECTURE – 610 – 690 AD EVOLUTION OF PALLAVAN ORDER •The early pillars were the rudimentary type of beam and bracket •This was modified to a sophisticated design of the capital and the shaft •Finally the introduction of an element- lion •This figure was incorporated into the lower portion of the shaft and later at the capital •This lion symbolized the ruling dynasty – Simhavishnu •Sq. shaft where the middle third is chamfered into an octagon ht. 7’0” ,The dia of the column – 1’0”-2’0”
  13. 13. PALAGAI – wide abacus IDAIE- Lotus Form KUMBHA – Melon Capital TADI – Refined Necking KALASA – Inverted Lotus SIMHA-LION STAMBHAM PARTS OF DRAVIDIAN ORDER The principal elements in the façade of the Mamallapuram group is the lion pillar which rests on the animals head The crude block bracket is obvious in early examples, later gets more refined and graceful A natural leonine figure – a deviation from a grotesque horned lion in the mandapas Fluted banded shaft- Stambham
  14. 14. Mahabalipuram temples are cave temples also known as mandapas. rock-cut cave temples are sanctuaries or temples covered with bas-reliefs. The earliest period of use of these caves as sanctuaries can be traced to the Buddhist and Jain periods. They were excavated on rock faces which were cut and then carved using chisels and iron mallets. Of the eleven mandapas or cave temples seen in Mahabalipuram, the most notable are the Varaha Cave Temple, Krishna Cave Temple, Tiger Cave Temple, Panchapandava Cave Temple, and the Mahishasuramardini mandapa. cave temples existed prior to the 7th century, which were predominantly Buddhist, the first free standing rock cut temples were built by the Pallava Kings in Tamil Nadu. NASIK VIHARA PANDAVA CAVES
  15. 15. VARAHA CAVES TIGER CAVES THIRUMURTHI CAVES PANCHAPANDAVA CAVES
  16. 16. EVOLUTION OF PALLAVAN ORDER
  17. 17. 1ST PHASE OF PALLAVAN ARCHITECTURE – 610 – 690 AD RATHAS - Mahabalipuram N •Seven pagodas exist, reproduced from wooden examples •Beam heads, rafters, purlins, all transferred into rock •Exteriors are completed and interiors are incomplete •Unknown purpose of execution •Small Structures a maximum 42’ long 35’ wide 40’ high •Derived from the chaitya hall and viharas •Acted as a prototype for later temples
  18. 18. In first phase we come across ‘RATHAS and MANTAPAS.’ RATHAS •RATHAS are small shrines carved out of a monolithic rock. In •general Ratha is known as chariot used for carrying the image of the deity during religious procession. •But here in pallava style it commonly refers to a monolithic shrine which contains all the essential features of a temple including domed storey to shikhara.
  19. 19. 1ST PHASE OF PALLAVAN ARCHITECTURE – 610 – 690 AD RATHAS - Mahabalipuram Draupadi Ratha: Smallest among the group dedicated to Durga Simplest and the most finished A cell or Pansala square in plan The shape of the roof – concave pyramidal roof-indicates it was a copy of the thatched structure – portable shrine The base is supported by figures of animals, a lion alternating with an elephant The corner ridges were decorated with delicate carvings with volutes There are niches containing high relief carvings of the Durga Arjuna Ratha: Stepped pyramid structure decorate with Kudus The square details at the cornes are termed as Stupis and the oblong ones in the façade Shalas Square in plan 5m High relief sculptures on external walls between pilasters
  20. 20. 1ST PHASE OF PALLAVAN ARCHITECTURE – 610 – 690 AD RATHAS - Mahabalipuram Bhima Ratha: Reproduces the Chaitya mode Keel or Barrel vaulted roof with a Chaitya Gable end The structure is 2 stories high The front portico consists of 4 columns Prototype for the Gopuram of later temples with the oblong plan, diminishing stories, keel roof with pinnacles and gable end The gable end of the roof is ornamented with a central symbol similar to the stupa Depicts a prayer hall with curved barge boards taking the place of the vaulted roof. Decorative brackets simulate the ribs of the vault Sahadeva Nakula Ratha: The Ratha is based on ‘Chaitya Hall’ of Buddhist temple with an apsidal end on the south side and double pillared portico on the north side. Its plinth measures 5.5m 3.35m and rises to a ht of 5m in four tiers. The roof is elaborately carved.
  21. 21. 1ST PHASE OF PALLAVAN ARCHITECTURE – 610 – 690 AD RATHAS - Mahabalipuram Dharmaraja Ratha: Dedicated to Shiva Largest of the 5 rathas Square in plan 10m Consists of 3 stories the last of which is 13m high No internal space other than galleries with columns at the entrance It is a large scale version of Arjuna Ratha with a larger no. of miniature edifices carved in the roof There are 12 square Stupis at the corners and 24 Shalas on the sides- kudu Stupi Shala Kudu Ganesh Ratha: Dedicated to Shiva. Lion ornamenting a pier in the façade. 2 Lion pillars in the portico Aedicule on either side with carved sculptures 3 stories with the keel roof - Prototype for the Gopuram •In elevation it has 2 parts •Square portion with pillared verandah below •Paramedical shikara/tower formed by converted cells •Strongly moulded stylobate ( Base) •Turreted roof
  22. 22. 1ST PHASE OF PALLAVAN ARCHITECTURE – 610 – 690 AD RELIEF - Mahabalipuram
  23. 23. 2ND PHASE OF PALLAVAN ARCHITECTURE – 690 - 900 AD STRUCTURAL TEMPLES SHORE TEMPLE – Mahabalipuram •The Shore Temple was constructed in 700 AD by Narasimha Varma II Rajasimha •Constructed of dressed Granite •The complex consists of 2 shrines dedicated to Shiva and 1 shrine dedicated to Vishnu •Located near the shore of Mamallapuram the temple was constructed with the intention of the cella facing the east so that the first rays of the sun would illuminate the shrine •Among the breakers stood a stone pillar to act as a light house •This concept led to the different arrangement of the parts in the layout N Planning: •The placement of the cella in the east left no space for the mandapas, forecourts and gateway •These were hence placed in the rear of the shrine •The central structure is surrounded by a massive enclosure wall, with the entry on the western side of the courtyard •The layout was further complicated by the addition of 2 shrines added asymmetrically on the west
  24. 24. 2ND PHASE OF PALLAVAN ARCHITECTURE – 690 - 900 AD SHORE TEMPLE - Mahabalipuram The addition of the shrine on the west with the smaller spire gives the impression that it is the main entrance The 2 supplementary shrines have converted the Shore temple into an unconventional double towered monument Verticality of the temple accentuated with a slender monolithic stupi The central building seems to be a development off the Rathas with a difference in the treatment Details: •Square lower storey •Pyramidal tower in diminishing tiers •Change in the shape of the tower seeming to rid of the vihara •Rhythmic, buoyant composition than the rathas giving the temple a lightness and soaring quality •Appearance of a pilaster- rampant lion as a relief found wherever a structural form with an ornament was required •The lion pillar with the Dravidian capital projects at every angle and is also introduced at intervals around the lower part of the entire structure •As the style progressed the leogriff motif is frequently used •Identifying symbol of the Pallavan period
  25. 25. 2ND PHASE OF PALLAVAN ARCHITECTURE – 690 - 900 AD SHORE TEMPLE - Mahabalipuram Water Chambers: •Surrounded by an outer rectangular enclosure •Portions of the ground floor of the enclosure consisted of a system of shallow cisterns which could be flooded on certain occasions •The space could hence be resolved into a water temple •Some of the conduits and receptacles can be traced •The water was fed into the system by means of canal and conveyed by sluices •Overflow was carried through the rear of the shrine to the sea Enclosure: •Surrounding wall had a parapet and coping with figures of kneeling bulls •Bold projecting lion pilasters on exterior wall •Entrance through a richly ornamented doorway on the western side Leading to a corridor on one side
  26. 26. Kailasanatha temple - kanchipuram
  27. 27. The temple has retained the Pallava architecture in its original stylized form with influence of the later styles developed by the Chola Dynasty and Vijayanagara Emperors It is of stone built architecture unlike the rock cut architecture built into hallowed caves or carved into rock outcrops as in Mahabalipuram. The tall gopuram (tower) is to the left and the temple complex is to the right. The temple's foundations are made of granite, which could withstand the weight of the temple, while the super structure including the carvings are all made of sandstone. Initially, only the main sanctuary existed with pyramidal vimana and a detached mandapa(main hall) The temple complex is complete in all respects as it has garbagriha (sanctum sanctorum), antarala (inner enclosure), mandapa, a high compound wall, and an entrance gate, the gopuram.The mandapa, which was initially detached, was made part of the main shrine by interposing an ardhamantapa(smaller hall). The pillars of the mandapa have the repetitive features of mythical lion mounts. The structure has a simple layout. with a tower or shikara at the center of the complex. The shikara of the temple, above the main shrine (sanctum sanctorum), is square in plan and rises up in a curvilinear style or pyramidal shape. The tower has many levels rising proportionately. the top of this tower, there is a small roof in the shape of a dome. The pillar elements with mythical animal shapes (lions on the base) are extra features in Pallava style.
  28. 28. At the entrance, the gopuram walls are plastered. Its entrance wall has eight small shrines and a gopura, precursor to the main gopura. At some later stage, the mandapa and the sanctuary were joined by an intermediate hall called the ardhamantapa, which is reported to have marred the beauty of the temple to some extent. The temple is enclosed within walls in a rectangular layout. The outstanding feature of sculptures is the profusion of depiction of the erect lions projecting out in several directions. There are two sculptures of Shiva here which are seen holding the Veena] (musical string instrument) in the hand. There is a lot of difference between the Veena found in the said sculptures and the present day A circumambulatory passage, with a symbolic meaning is situated along the compound wall. In order to make the circumambulation, there is a narrow entry passage which devotees must crawl through. Seven steps must be climbed in order to reach the passage. Passing through the narrow passage is indicative of passage through life. After the circumambulation, the exit is through a pit or another narrow passage symbolic of death.[7][16] It is believed that making the circumambulation round the various deities would usher the same blessings as visiting paradise.
  29. 29. CHOLA ARCHITECTURE – 900 - 1150 AD The capital of the Chola dynasty was the city of Thanjavur from 836 – 1267 AD The great temple of Thanjavur was founded by Rajaraja I The Cholas ruled the Deccan and emerged victorious among many other kingdoms such as Pallavas, Pandyas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas They advanced as far as Bengal, Sri Lanka, Java, Sumatra and had trade links as far as Indonesia Their military and economic power was reflected in the grand architectural productions under this period at Thanjavur, Gangaikondacholapuram, Dharasuram and Tribhuvanam Gangaikondacholapuram Temple 1014-1044 AD Airateswara Temple-Darasuram 1146-1173 AD Kambahareswara Temple- Tribhuvanam (Kumbakonam) 1178- 1218
  30. 30. CHOLA ARCHITECTURE – 900 - 1150 AD Early Temples Typical Features: •The temples are of modest proportions •Built entirely of stone •Egs. At Pudukottai- Sundareswara at Tirukattalai, Vijayalaya at Nartamalai •These show the Dravidian style in its formative stages •Use of well dressed granite •Pallavan influence observed in the vimana - similar to the rathas •Similarities to the Chalukyan in shape of the domical finial of the shikhara, which is similar to bldgs at Patadakkal •Treatment- simplification of the exteriors compared to the Pallavas with elimination of the details •Absence of the lion motif and pillar •The capital is modified to by addition of a neck moulding padmabandham and the pot kalasa. The Palagai is expanded to combine the Idaie underneath
  31. 31. CHOLA ARCHITECTURE Brihadeeswara Temple Thanjavur – 1000 AD The Brihadeeswara Temple at Tanjavur was constructed around 1000 AD The largest, highest and most ambitious project at its time – a landmark in the evolution of South Indian Architecture Superb architectural treatment and Proportions The main structure is 180’ long above which is the tower 190’ high Planning: Dedicated to Shiva Surrounded by 2 walled precincts The first one measures 270m x 140 m consisting of a high wall running along the banks of the river Kaveri The 2nd wall consists of a portico with a double row of pillars, measures 150m x 75m The Temple is entered through The perimeter wall forms a rectangular cloister which could be divided into 2 squares The center of the 1st square contains the Nandi Pavilion and the 2nd contains the Cella Over the cella is the main Gopuram 60m high and 15m at its base
  32. 32. Plan The Garbagriha is a mere 5m square surrounded by a thick wall with a narrow corridor Axial planning The main cella is preceded by 2 hypostyle halls and a narrow vestibule Entered through a pillared portico on the west
  33. 33. CHOLA ARCHITECTURE Brihadeeswara Temple Thanjavur – 1000 AD Components of Vimana: The main Vimana is a huge solid block on the western end consisting of 3 parts: 1. Square vertical base 2. Tall tapering body 3. Domical finial Vertical base: Square of 82’ rising to a ht. of 50’ The square vertical base rises for 2 stories to accommodate the Linga which was increased in ht. An upper gallery was hence added creating a 2nd storey, with the 2 levels of the tower receiving the same treatment Pyramidal portion: 13 diminishing stories until the width of the apex is 1/3 base Cupola: On the square platform stands the cupola, the inward curve of the neck breaking the rigid outlines of the composition
  34. 34. The hollow interior of the vimana, a view from below. Built of interlocking stones without any binding material, the vimana has not developed a crack or tilted even a few centimetres in all these years despite six earthquakes. A similar view of the hollow interior of the gopuram of Rajarajan Tiruvaasal. The basic unit of the temple's layout, was taken from the main deity, the linga itself. The inner sanctum, the height of the vimana, the intermediate space between the vimana and the cloistered enclosure and the distance to the two gateways were all proportionate to the linga in a remarkable way. For instance, the height of the vimana is exactly twice the width of the outer base of the adhistana (plinth) of the sanctum. “The mathematical calculations were advanced to a great extent at the time of Rajaraja Chola.”
  35. 35. CHOLA ARCHITECTURE Brihadeeswara Temple Thanjavur – 1000 AD Architectural treatment: Vertical face: The wall is divided into 2 stories by means of an overhanging cornice which is the only horizontal member Contains pilasters and niches with sculptures In the middle of each recess is a figure subject The mastery of the sculptors is seen in the Dvarapalas which stand guard at the gate The entire periphery of the temple base consists of mythical animals – lions Pyramidal roof: The surfaces are adorned with the horizontal lines of the diminishing tiers The Cupola at the summit is contrasted with the niches on all the 4 sides
  36. 36. CHOLA ARCHITECTURE Brihadeeswara Temple Thanjavur – 1000 AD
  37. 37. The key inscription on the base of the vimana where Rajaraja Chola says he built the stone temple and records the gifts that he, his sister, his queens and others gave the temple. Pichard called the vimana an “architectural audacity”.
  38. 38. Brihadeeswarar Temple has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the list of ‘Great Living Chola Temples’. An approximate of 130,000 tons of granite was used in the formation of this temple. The holy shrine has a temple tower (vimana) that is built at a height of 216 feet. Being the tallest in the world, it symbolizes Mount Peru. ‘Gopuras’ or the two gateways are located at the eastern entrance of the temple. The temple’s entrance has a large statue of Nandi (sacred bull) that measures about 16 feet in length and 13 feet in height. This statue has been carved out of a single stone. ‘Kumbam’ is the topmost component of the holy shrine and weighs about 60 tons. It has been also carved out from a single granite stone. A huge idol of Lord Shiva with three eyes is present inside the temple along with the 108 dance forms or ‘karmas’. The exterior part on the other end is decorated with sculptures. There are 250 lingams in the entire temple compound. This famous sanctuary is made up of a pillared hall and an assembly hall which is known as mandapas and many sub-shrines.
  39. 39. The inner part of the mandapas is highly significant and is divided into various categories with the help of sculptures and pilasters. Being one of the rarest temples in India, the idols of ‘Ashta- dikpaalakas’ or guardians of directions can be found here. The six feet effigies of Agni, Varuna, Indra, Yama, Isana, Kubera and Nirriti are placed in a separate temple. Being a masterpiece in itself, the shadow of the tower over the gateway of the shrine never falls on the ground, more significantly in the premises of the temple. The altar situated at the entrance of this holy shrine has two idols of Lord Ganesha. When a person taps on any one of the idols, a sound occurs that travels towards the other idol slanting through the stone at one end and the metal to another. There are many pillars of the temple that produce such musical sounds.
  40. 40. CHOLA ARCHITECTURE Brihadeeswara Temple Thanjavur – 1000 AD The double portico of 450 m perimeter running all around the structure contains 252 lingas in black stone arranged under corbelled vaults carried on 400 pillars all around The wall behind the portico is beautifully painted
  41. 41. PANDYA ARCHITECTURE – 1100 – 1350 AD The Genesis of the Gopurams of Dravidian Style After the Cholas- architecture was at its peak with the concentration being on the Vimana Changes during the Pandya period: Vimana ceased to be the centre of concentration The supplementary and outlying portions were developed Reasons were sentimental- do not touch God Walls were built/Pylons were the centre of concentration for architecture Became the main feature of South Indian Temples Derivation of the Cow gate- City gate- Temple gate- Gopuram
  42. 42. Considerable political changes were taking place. The most threatening force was from the north -conquering hordes of Islam. This threat made the Pandya rulers hurriedly throw up makeshift battlements around their cities and the heart of their towns -the temples. This called for modifying the Temple to a Fortress which was unacceptable The solution was hence to raise the gates of the fortress to the level of architecture. This was the genesis of the famous gopurams, or entrance gateways of the temple cities of the south. The towers, or the gopurams for which this temple is known, are visible from a distance. No less than 12gopurams or towers adorn this temple and the 4 outer ones tower to a height of over 160 feet. Surrounding the Shiva and Meenakshi temples is a huge prakaram with imposing 9 tiered gopurams, in each of the 4 cardinal directions. The tallest of these is the southern tower, rising to a height of 170 feet. There are thus a total of 12 gopurams, two gold plated vimaanams (crowning the sancta) and several mandapams with carved pillars within the Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple complex.  
  43. 43. The idol of Shri Meenakshi Amman is made of greenish black stone. The Swayambhu Lingas are believed to be the representations of Lord Shiva that have risen from the ground by themselves. Lord Shiva performs the different forms of Cosmic Dance. The Porthamarai Kulam, meaning the “Pond with the Golden Lotus” is the name given to the sacred Temple Tank. It is believed that the tank was initially created by Lord Shiva himself when he thrust his Trishul into the Earth on request from Nandi. Meenakshi Temple is an architectural wonder. The imposing 14 Gopurams of the Temple Complex are awe inspiring and intricately carved. The numerous Mandapas of the Temple like the Thousand Pillars Mandapam, tell us stories about Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati sculpted out of rock. A unique fact that can be observed about the placement of shrines is that the shrine of Lord Sundareshwara is exactly one-fourth of the total area of the temple. The shrine of Goddess Meenakshi is exactly one-fourth of the area of Lord Sundareshwara’s shrine. This might indicate that in the earlier times, Lord Shiva was given ritualistic importance over Goddess Meenakshi.
  44. 44. PANDYA ARCHITECTURE – 1100 – 1350 AD The Genesis of the Gopurams of Dravidian Style
  45. 45. the Gopura too resembles a Mandala; With sculptures and carvings of Yalis and mythical animals located in the outer enclosure. Humans and divine beings are in the inner enclosures. The peak of the Gopura, the Kalasha, is at the centre of the Mandala
  46. 46. Differences between Vimana and Gopuram: Shikhara ,a Sanskrit  word  translating  literally  to  "mountain  peak",  refers to the rising tower in the Hindu temple architecture of North  India . In South India, the equivalent term for "shikhara" is "vimana". There  existed  two types as to the form of the Gopuram with  respect to the appearance and the surface treatment PANDYA ARCHITECTURE – 1100 – 1350 AD The Genesis of the Gopurams of Dravidian Style               Type 2               Type 1
  47. 47. First type: • Straight sloping sides • Firm and rigid contours • Geometric form where the treatment is architectural • Pillars and pilasters were used Second type: more ornate • Curved and concave sides • Creating an upward sweep • Surface treatment is of Florid nature  • Figure subjects predominate • Every portion is plastered thick with images  • The roof is spectacular with cornuted gables  • The ridge line breaks into a row of tall pinnacles forming a climax to the fretted and  pullulating mass below
  48. 48. The sanctity of Vimanas was not in any manner affected by its diminished size. While the sculptures on the outer Gopuras could house secular and even erotic themes, the Vimana had to be austere and carry only the prescribed divinities associated with the mula- bhera in the sanctum.  The Vimana is verily the representation or the outer visible form of the murthi that resides within it; and is revered as such. It represents the glory (vaibhava) of the deity who resides within it. The Gopura on the other  hand does not usually command an equal status. While the temple complex is designed as a Mandala with the sanctum at its heart (Brahma – sthana); the sanctum along with the Vimana atop is itself regarded a Mandala. The image is located in the mid-point of the sanctum which is designed as a square; that is,  where its diagonals intersect each other. This point is elevated, in a three dimensional projection, and rendered as the sthupi or the central point of the Vimana. The Kalasha is installed at this point. In order to appreciate the Mandala configuration of the Vimana, one could take its top- elevation; that is, take an aerial view from directly above the Vimana The sthupi , the central point , the needle of the Vimana being  the  bindu of its Mandala  configuration.
  49. 49.  Gopura is generally constructed with a massive stone base and a superstructure of brick and pilaster. It is rectangular in plan and topped by a barrel-vault roof crowned with a row of  finials.  It differs from the Vimanam in that it need not necessarily be square-based. Above that  rectangular base a pyramidal structure covered with brightly colored plethora of sculpture is  raised to a great height.  A Gopura has to be towering and massive. In the ancient times, the cities all over South India could be discerned from afar by the distinctive  shape of their Gopuras dominating the skyline. When viewed from top, the Gopura too resembles a Mandala;  With the Goblins, Yalis, mythical animals and other beings located in the outer enclosure .The humans and the divine beings are in the inner enclosures. The peak of the Gopura, the Kalasha is at the centre of the Mandala Symbolically, the Gopura  and the entrance to the temple represent the feet of the deity.  A devotes bows at the at the entrance, the feet of the Lord, as he steps into the temple and  proceeds towards the sanctum, leaving behind the world of contradictions.
  50. 50. PANDYA  ARCHITECTURE – 1100 – 1350 AD Surface Decoration: •Most of the Pandya Gopurams are of the architectural type simple  and conventional due to the early period of evolution Dravidian Order: •Pillars and capital saw two changes •The Idaie or flower motif was given a scalloped edge- foliated and  exquisite appearance •Alteration of the Bracket overhanging the bracket into a moulded  pendent or a drop •The Palagai was altered in proportion •Abacus 2” thick,  4’ 6” feet dia
  51. 51. NAYAK  ARCHITECTURE – 1600 AD onwards Evolution of the Temple- Complexity in Plan due to Complexity in Ritual The muslims started moving south which led to the shifting of the capital south at Madurai The architecture flourished principally under the rule of Tirumalai Nayak 1623 – 1659 The Madura Style as it is also known as was a revival of the Pandya style of architecture The expansion of the temples corresponded to the expansion of the temple ritual : The forms and ceremonies became more elaborate leading to the arrangement of buildings for  the activities The increase in the structural form was due to the wider powers given to the deity
  52. 52. NAYAK  ARCHITECTURE – 1600 AD onwards Evolution of the Temple- Complexity in Plan due to Complexity in Ritual INNER AREAS :  • Consisted of flat roofed courts, one enclosed within the other • This normally covered a fairly large rectangular space • Within the inner of the 2 courts is the sanctum, the cupolas of which covered in gilt  projects out through the flat roofs acting as the focal center • There is a guarded seclusion to the inner area OUTER AREAS: • Concentric series of open courtyards known as ‘Prakarams’ • Enclosed within high walls, open to sky as they are too large to be roofed • Provide space for secular buildings connected with the ceremonies EXPANSION OR GROWTH OF TEMPLES: 1. Inner Areas or Cella: Wholly covered and sancrosanct • The Cella and the Portico form the sanctum – origin of temple • Cella was enclosed within another flat roofed hall to protect the original sanctuary  and to emphasize the sacredness • Pillared aisles were added entrance through a small gopuram in front on the east • Later the covered court was enclosed within a similar structure, division of the  concentric corridors by means of pillars and pavilions • 2 entrances on the E and W with a larger gopuram than the previous enclosure
  53. 53. 2. Outer Areas: • The entire composition was enclosed within a rectangle by means of a high wall • The remaining space was left to provide a wide open courtyard or Prakaram • The enclosure was entered by Gopurams, one on the E and W • The Gopuram on the E was the principal doorway and largest • Various structures were erected inside  - pillared halls or Mandapas and subsidiary  shrines • Semi religious buildings such as granaries, store rooms for ceremonial supplies • Later concentric rectangles were added contained within higher enclosing walls leaving  another open space between the inner and the outer perimeters • 4 entrances adorned the four walls in the center at the cardinal points • Each consisted of a Gopuram larger than the previous one within the outermost  enclosure 2 large important structures were built- Thousand Pillared Hypostyle hall and  a Square Tank of water for ablutions, lined with steps and surrounded by an arcade • This formed the basis for temple layouts but layer temples were sometimes  disproportionately enlarged – Srirangam which has 7 concentric rectangular enclosures  the whole resembling a town.  Concept of Temples: Spiritual nor Architectural The Gopurams induce a feeling of awe and majesty, leading to progressive halls, smaller and dimmer than the previous, till the mystery of the Cella or darkened shrine to feel the presence of God
  54. 54. NAYAK  ARCHITECTURE – 1600 AD onwards Evolution of the Temple- Complexity in Plan due to Complexity in Ritual Elements of Temple: 1. Gopuram in the exterior • Characteristic of the southern style • Most of them are 1st  class Gopurams –  • 150’ high to 200’ • 16 stories • central doorway 25’ high on longer side • Forms a corridor through the gopuram • Rooms on either side for guardian and the door keeper • One of these rooms has a staircase to reach the gopuram with a wide landing at  each  storey leading to the summit External treatment • Ht. of Gopuram emphasized by vertical lines • Each storey has a perpendicular projection • In-between each storey diminishing tiers,  forming horizontal lines • Horizontal portion sometimes had figures- which were life size.
  55. 55. 2.  Pillars or Colonnades in the interiors Moderate ht. of 12’  Presence of a 1000 pillared hall eg. At Madurai 4 kinds of pillars – 1.Square moulded patterned -simplest one enlarged to a square pier normally with radiating  brackets 2.Rampant dragon -Most common type 1000 pillared hall Superstructures are cleverly composed above the dragon pillars Gryphon bracket, capital or beam 3.Deity 4.Portrait of the donor or family •The third and fourth are similar, bigger than life size and attached  to the shafts •No structural significance, held by attachments to the shaft •Some cases provide additive support as seen at Meenakshi  Temple Madurai. •Couching dragons and foliated brackets predominate NAYAK  ARCHITECTURE – 1600 AD onwards Evolution of the Temple- Complexity in Plan due to Complexity in Ritual
  56. 56. NAYAK  ARCHITECTURE – 1600 AD onwards MEENAKSHI   SUNDARESWAR   TEMPLE – MADURAI  The Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple (twin temples) is one  of the biggest temples in India.  The original temple built by Kulasekara Pandyan was in  ruins. The plan for the current temple structure was laid by  Viswanath Naik and was completed by Tirumalai Nayakar.  The Aadi, Chittirai, Maasi, and Veli streets surround the  temple.  Both temples are adorned with exquisite carvings &  sculptures and gold plated vimanams.  •The temple has 2 main sanctuaries  dedicated to Shiva and his consort  Meenakshi •The temple is hance a temple within a  temple •The outer wall is almost a square  measuring  •850’ x 725’ with 4 large gateways  towards the center of the 4 sides •The main Gopuram is on the E
  57. 57. NAYAK  ARCHITECTURE – 1600 AD onwards Planning: The main Gopuram leads one to the pillared  avenue 200’ x 100’  This leads to the smaller Gopuram forming the  eastern entrance to the 2nd  Prakaram The 2nd  Prakaram is a rectangular enclosure 420’  x 310’ having 4 gopurams in the center of each  wall All the Gopurams are smaller than the previous  one as is the case with all temples Most of the 2nd  enclosure is covered with a flat  roof, partly open in the N Within this is another court 250’ x 156’ with one  entrance on the E The most elaborate part of the temple and the  most intricate grouping of pillars is found outside  this entrance The sacred shrine is located inside the last  entrance 
  58. 58. NAYAK  ARCHITECTURE – 1600 AD onwards MEENAKSHI   SUNDARESWAR   TEMPLE – MADURAI  The Sanctum Sanctorum – Shiva: •The shrine consists of 3 components  •Assembly hall •Vestibule •Cella •The cella is surmounted by a shikhara which penetrates through  the flat roof seen from outside rising like a golden crown •The courts, corridors, halls making up the enclosures have  colonnades of pillars arranged in long lines or groups forming  diverse vistas in all directions Sanctuary of Meenakshi: •The other sanctuary of the temple is dedicated to Meenakshi –  fish eyed •Enclosure on the S side of the temple at the rear  •Half size reproduction having one compartment within the other  •225’ x 150’ entered by 2 Gopurams the one on the W being  larger then the E •Rising above the flat roof is the cupola
  59. 59. NAYAK  ARCHITECTURE – 1600 AD onwards MEENAKSHI   SUNDARESWAR   TEMPLE –  Pool of Golden Lilies: •Lies in front of the Meenakshi shrine •Rectangular 165’ x 120’  •Surrounded by steps and a pillared portico on all 4 sides •The great mass of the S Gopuram is seen in the background over  150’ high and reflected on its surface •In the middle is a tall brass lamp column.  •The reflection of the granite pillars in the colonnade adds beauty 
  60. 60. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, also known as Thiruvaranga Tirupati dedicated to Vishnu. Situated in an ethereal setting on the island of Srirangam that is bounded by the two rivers of Cauvery and Kollidam (a tributary of Cauvery. More importantly, it is not just a temple but a temple-town, a temple centred settlement pattern that comprises of Sapta (seven) concentric rectangular enclosures or prakarams formed by thick and huge rampart walls that run round the sanctum sanctorum in which the deity presides. While the inner five enclosures of the complex constitute the temple, the outer two enclosures function as the settlement. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the Temple Complex is massive in scale and spread over 156 acres (63.131 hectares).
  61. 61. Apart from the 7 prakarams with massive walls, the Temple Complex has 21 very colourful sculpted gopurams (consecrated gateways with towers), 50 sub shrines, 9 sacred pools, gildedVimana (dome) over the sanctum sanctorum of the presiding deity, and other interesting features such as fresco paintings. Evidences prove the origin of the temple in 1st century CE during the Sangam period (3rd Century BCE – 45th Century CE). However, as it stands today, the temple represents an accretion of building activity over centuries, the architectural idioms coming from the several royal dynasties who were captivated by and adored the Temple. Some of these were the early Cholas (1st Century CE), later Cholas (13th Century CE),the Kongu rulers from Tamil west, the Pandyas from south (6th – 10th Centuries CE and 13th – 14th Centuries CE), the Hoysalas (10th – 14th Centuries CE), and the later rulers and viceroys of the celebrated Vijayanagara Empire of Karnataka (16th Century CE).
  62. 62. Mandapams (Halls): There are many mandapams at Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. One of the finest is the Hall of 1000 pillars (actually 953), an example of a planned theatre-like structure. Made of granite, it was constructed during the Vijayanagaraperiod (1336–1565). The great hall is traversed by one wide aisle in the centre for the whole of its greater length The most artistically interesting of the halls that the Nayaks added to the complex is the Sesharayar Mandapam on the east side of the fourth enclosure. The hall is celebrated for the 40 leaping animals carved on to the piers at its northern end. The Sesharayar mandapam consists of monolithic pillars with sculptures of wild horses bearing riders on their backs, trampling their hoofs upon the heads of rampant tigers and seem only natural and congruous among such weird surroundings. The Garuda Mandapam (hall of the legendary bird deity of Vishnu, Garuda) located on the south side of the third enclosure is another Nayak addition.
  63. 63. The Kili mandapam is located next to the Ranganatha shrine, in the first enclosure of the temple. Elephant balustrades skirt the access steps that ascend to a spacious open area. The Ranga Vilasa mandapam is a huge one, where the weary devotee may rest a while and watch others haggle and purchase items for rituals. The Kottarams (Granaries): The Kottaram houses the huge Granaries which stand testimony to a systematic food security planning not only to the temple but probably to the entire population of the temple town. .
  64. 64. The exterior of the vimana and attached mandapa has finely worked pillars with fluted shafts, double capitals and pendant lotus brackets. Sculptures are placed in the niches of three sides of the sanctuary walls. Gopurams (Temple Towers): There are 21 huge Gopurams. The Rajagopuram is the second tallest Temple tower in the world rising to a height of 72 mts. The documents, while mentioning the boundaries of the lands, provide useful information on irrigation facilities, land measures, tax structure and the names provided for the lands in the particular village. Inscriptions also throw light that the Srirangam temple was one among the handful of temples which have had an Arokyasala (Health Centre) that had rendered medical service to the people.
  65. 65. The idol of the main deity is unique that it is not made of granite as in many temples, but Stucco (a unique combination of lime, mortar and stones bound together by a special paste (Thailam), made of musk, camphor, honey,Jaggery and sandal). Vahanas: The Vahanas (Vehicles on which The Lord is mounted and carried on the shoulders by devotees) are by themselves excellent pieces of architecture on wood. Wood is carved into the shapes of animals, exotic birds, sun, moon, trees etc and elegant gold or silver plating is done on them. An interesting piece of history is the Yanai Vahana. An ordinary eye would describe it as an Elephant, however on a closer look one would observe that it has four tusks. A quick search on the Encarta Encyclopedia will let us know that these four-tusked elephants were known as Mastodontoidea, which are said to have evolved around 38 million years ago and became extinct about 15 million years ago when the shaggy and two tusked Mastodons increased in population.
  66. 66. Water Harvesting Systems (Temple Tanks): The Temple complex has 2 large Temple tanks inside it, Chandra Pushkarini and Surya Pushkarini. The Complex has been built in a way that all the water collected flows into the tanks. The capacity of each Pushkarini is around 2 million litres and the water is cleansed by action of fishes in it. Apart from these there are 10 more Temple Tanks around Srirangam that come under the control and management of the Temple. Open sand beds and Nandavanams (Flower gardens) help in absorbing the rain water Fresco & Mural Paintings: The walls of the Temple complex are painted with exquisite paintings using herbal and vegetable dyes. They speak volumes about the culture and tradition followed at those times. The figures of gods and Goddesses tell us stories and teach us morals. The high end technologies used in these paintings ensured a long life for these paintings and poses a tough challenge to reproduce them in these modern days.
  67. 67. Belur was the first capital city of the Hoysalas. The Chennakeshava temple complex was at the center of the old walled town located on the banks of the Yagachi River. The complex itself was walled in a rectangular campus with four rectilinear streets around it for ritual circumambulation of the deity. The Chennakeshava temple was devoted to Vishnu. The richly sculptured exterior of the temple includes sculptures and iconography and horizontal friezes that depict scenes from daily life, music, and dance, and narrate scenes from the life of Vishnu and his reincarnations and the epics,Ramayana, and Mahabharata. The layout of the town represents the cosmic diagram with walled kotte, the streets in four cardinal directions, the temples of anjaneya at the gates at the ends of these four cardinal streets, the rathabeedi or chariot streets around the temple, and the remains of the defensive wall and moat.
  68. 68. Sacred Ensembles of Halebid At the zenith of the Hoysala empire, the capital was shifted from Belur to Halebid that was then known as Dorasamudhra. The main temple at the center, various other smaller temples ad shrines and palace buildings were all destroyed making it the ‘ruined city’ or Halebid. Despite all the destruction, some temples and structures of unparalleled beauty still remain. The Hoysaleshwara temple at Halebidu is the most exemplary architectural ensemble of the Hoysalas extant today. Built in 1121CE during the reign of the Hoysala King, Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleshwara. The temple, dedicated to Shiva, was sponsored and built by wealthy citizens and merchants of Dorasamudra. While rulers have typically sponsored the grandest temples in southern India, the merchants of the city dedicated the Hoysaleshwara temple. The intertwining of the sacred and spiritual attainment with commerce and artistic achievement was most clearly evidenced in the Hoysaleshwara temple. More sculpturally and artistically sophisticated than any other Hoysala temple, the Hoysaleshwara temple is most well-known for the more than 240 wall sculptures that run all along the outer wall. Bands of intricately carved friezes run along the exterior wall expressing aspirational spiritual qualities, symbolism, and mythology.
  69. 69. Halebid has a walled complex containing of three Jaina basadi (temples) of the Hoysala period as well as a stepped well. The basadi are located in close proximity to the Dorasamudhra lake. The Parshvanatha Basadi, the Adinatha Basadi, and the Shanthinatha Basadi are three Jaina shrines containing tall idols of the Jaina deities. The Parshvanatha Basadi, as the largest of them also has niches for idols of the 24 thirthankaras or saints of Jainism. The Kedareshwara temple is another exquisitely carved temple dedicated to Shiva that is close to the Jaina basadi complex and with a temple pond adjacent to it. Dorasamudhra was built with defensive fortifications. The walls had 5 gateways in addition to the 4 main ones in the cardinal directions. Excavation has revealed the remains of an inner fortification protected the royal palace, offices, and women’s quarters. Numerous tanks, wells, and ponds, are in and around the town and lakes just outside.Mantapa of various types are extant around the Dorasamudhra lake. Hulikere, located on the southern side of the town is akalyani (stepped well) of exceptional beauty. Richly carved and decorated with numerous miniature shrines, the stone well is most outstanding example of Hoysala water structures extant today that combine artistry and hydrology with the sacred.

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