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HISTORY
OF ARCHITECTURE 1&2
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR I B.ARCH, M.ARCH – ARCHITECTURAL CONSERVATION I SCMS SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE
SEMESTER
1&2
AR. VISHNU P. PRAKASH
KERALA ARCHITECTURE
MODULE III
•Characteristics of Kerala temple architecture
•Types of Kerala ‘Sreekovils’
•Five types- with/without Antharala and with/without Mukhamandapa.
•Schematic layout of a full-fledged Kerala temple with names of important structures.
•Sectional elevation of a typical Kerala Sreekovil.
•Architectural characteristics of Kerala type mosques and churches
INDIGENOUS RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE OF KERALA
TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE OF KERALA
• Kerala is a narrow strip of land located between
the Arabian sea and the Western Ghats
• Climate, Geology & Geography of Kerala have
influenced its architectural styles.
• The wind blowing from the Arabian Sea strikes
the Western Ghats, shedding a lot of rain,
supporting forest.
• Availability of building materials like timber and
laterite stone played a major role in deciding
the architectural character of Kerala
KERALA
• Temple architecture forms an important
part in Vastuvidhya
• Temple(Physical Terms): Structures built in
durable materials & treated with aesthetic
features to serve as a place for worship
• Temple(Meta-Physical Terms): Adobe of
Gods, The very sight of which brings joy to
the onlooker.
• Temples are hence called Prasada, edifices
which give joy.
• Vastushastra, Agama & Shilpa Shastra
synthesise in the temple architecture.
INTRODUCTION TO TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE
INTRODUCTION TO TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE
• The location of a temple is generally
categorized into two in Padmasamhita as
siddha & asiddha.
• Siddha: When sites are on the hills, on the
banks of rivers or on the seashore, in the
forest or such other places.
• Asiddha: When sites of the temples are in
gramas or nagaras they are categorized as
asiddha locations.
• Specific positions for different Gods are to be
fixed depending on the layout of the
settlements & the power of the Gods
worshipped.
Position of Deities in Settlement
INTRODUCTION TO TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE
• Temple means only the main shrine which
contains the deity of worship.
• The cell in which the deity is installed is the
garbhagriha. It is the dark space in the centre
of a platform (vedhi) raised from the ground
on a base (adisthana). Sometimes the base is
raised on a pedestal (upapidha) to emphasis
the shrine.
• The outer shell of the garbhagriha is the
prasada structure, consisting of pillars
(stambha) & walls (bithi) built on the
periphery of the vedhi.
Temple Form
TEMPLE FORM
• The roof of the Prasada towers over the
garbhagriha like a pyramid with straight or
curved edges, This is called shikara.
• The shikara is surmounted by a finial
(stupika)
TEMPLE FORM
TEMPLE FORM
TEMPLE FORM
• There are different names by which temples
are described
• Devagriha
• Devayatana
• Devasthana
• Devalaya
• They are names denoting temples as the
house of Gods.
• The name Prasada denotes an edifice which
please the minds of Gods & men by its
beauty.
❖ The most accepted name of
temple is vimana – vehicles in
which the Gods travel.
❖ The five vimanas and their
primary shapes of vedic Gods.
TYPES OF TEMPLE
EVOLUTION OF TEMPLE IN KERALA
• No material evidences to indicate that there were
Temples – either rock-cut or structural, in Kerala
prior to 6th century CE.
• The first worshipping edifices of Kerala were the
Kaavu (Sacred Groves)
• Kaavu is basically a grove with a symbolic stone
or a stone idol as a deity placed under a tree.
• Sometimes, there will be a small raised platform
to place stone idol.
• Lamps will be lighted in front of the idol.
• Generally, the Gods consecrated were Nagas or
the guardian deity's of the village.
• The belief is that they guard the village from
enemies both natural and supernatural.
KAAVU
• Local adaptation of Dravida or S. Indian tradition
• 12th century Kerala temple - a neighborhood institution of worship with added
functions of knowledge as well as cultural centers.
• The roofs are steep and pointed, covered with copper sheets.
• Sreekovil – prakara - gopuradwara - namaskara mandapam – subsidiary shrines,
vedopadesha shala, oottupura (dining hall) – theatre – Kuttambalam.
Peruvanam
Thrikaviyoor
TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE OF KERALA
Three phases
First Phase:
• first phase is that of rock cut temples dated
prior to 8th century (contemporary to Buddhist
cave temple)
• Generic pattern consists of a rock hewn shrine
and an anteroom (associated with Shiva
worship)
Rock cut temple at Thrikkakkudi, Kaviyoor
Rock cut temple at vizhijam
THE EVOLUTION OF GENERIC BUILT FORM
ROCK-CUT TEMPLES – Before 8th Century AD
• Cave and Rock-cut temples represent the
earliest phase of the temple architecture of
Kerala
• They were built during the period in between
6th and 8th century CE
• Rock-cut temples were carved on single
colossal granite rocks
• They carried carved sculptures and images of
deities
• Rock-cut temples of Kerala were mostly
associated with the Shaivite cult.
ROCK-CUT TEMPLES
• It is believed that the inception of worship in this cave temple dates back to 3rd
century BCE.
• This temple was converted to a Hindu temple around 9th century CE
ROCK-CUT TEMPLES
• 6th/8th century Rock-cut temple with Shivalinga, Hanuman,
Ganapati and Nandi.
ROCK-CUT TEMPLES
• Unfinished panel depicting Shiva on one side, and Nataraja and
Parvati on the other side
• An independent sculpture of Dakshinamurti of 8th century CE place
in the later period
ROCK-CUT TEMPLES
• Second half of the 8th century CE
• It has a central shrine, ardhamandapa and a pillared façade
• The shrine accommodates a Shiva linga
ROCK-CUT TEMPLES
• Considered to be built by Buddhist/Jain monks during 7th/9th century CE.
ROCK-CUT TEMPLES
• The second phase spanning 8th to 10th
centuries had an independent unitary
shrine (sanctum sanctorum or
garbhagriha or sreekovil) and very rarely
a porch or arthamandapa attached.
• A detached namaskaramandapa is built
in front of the sreekovil with an inner
circumambulatory path (inner
pradhakshinapada).
• A quadrangular building nomenclature as
Nalambalam encloses the sreekovil and
the namaskaramandapa and the inner
circumambulatory path.
• At the entrance to the nalambalam is
located the altar stone (balikkal).
Phase 2: Alpaprasada
EVOLUTION OF THE GENERIC BUILT
FORM
ALPAPRASADA (8TH TO 11TH CE)
• Building of structural temples started around 9th century CE
• Two sources of evidences: 1. A few old temple structure still existing. 2. Inscriptions
❖ Kattil Madom is a dilapidated shrine in Palakkad district
❖ Believed to be a Jain temple
❖ Built around 9th or 10th century CE
STRUCTURAL TEMPLES OF KERALA
• Vizhinjam Temples
❖ Shiva and Bagavati temples
❖ A rectangular Nirandhara Dravida shrine made of granite
❖ Dated to 9th century CE
❖ Bhagavati temple after renovation
STRUCTURAL TEMPLES OF KERALA
STRUCTURAL TEMPLES OF KERALA
• There are inscriptions dated to 8th – 10th centuries in a few present day structural
temples
• They speak about the existence of these temples during these periods
❖ Sthanu Ravi’s Inscription dated to 855 CE
❖ (On a single granite slab currently fixed on the
bottom portion of the inside wall of the first
prakara of the temple)
❖ Stone inscription of 2nd Chera Empire dated to
800 – 1102 CE
EPIGRAPHICAL REFERENCES
❖ Temples of Kerala have evolved through three
progressive stages with prominent changes,
additions and modifications in structure and
concept.
❖ Early Phase from 800-1000 CE
❖ Middle Phase from 1001-1300 CE
❖ Late Phase from 1301-1800 CE
EVOLUTION OF TEMPLE IN KERALA
• The unitary shrine of the earliest type was called NIRANDHARA (a
cell with the single doorway).
• Later on a cell with twin walls having a passage in between was
developed from this concept which was known as sandhara shrine.
• This phase is also characterized by the concept of storeyed temples
(Dwithala (2 storeys) or Trithala (3 storeys).
• The tower of the shrine rises to the second or third storey with
separate upper roofs forming dwithala or trithala temple.
EVOLUTION OF GENERIC BUILT FORM
MAHAPRASADA (10TH TO 13TH CE)
• In the last phase the stylistic development reached its climax with greater complexity
in temple layout and elaboration of detail.
• The vilakkumadom palisade structure fixed with row of lamps is added beyond the
nalambalam as an outer ring.
• The balikkal stone is housed in a pillared structure called balikkalmandapam.
• Further a deepastambham (lamppost) and dwajasthambam (flagmast) are added in
front of the balikkalmandapam.
• The temple is now fully enclosed in a massive wall called prakara pierced with gate
houses or gopuras.
• The gopuras which are generally two storeyed serve the purpose of being a platform
for temples dances at the ground level and the upper floor functioned as kottupura
or space to accommodate drum beaters.
• Within the prakara but beyond the vilakkumadam stood the secondary shrines of
parivaradevathas which were unitary cells in their assigned positions according to
vastusastric principles.
Phase 3: Mahaprasada
EVOLUTION OF GENERIC BUILT FORM
• Last phase culminated in the concept of composite shrines consisting two or three
shrines of equal importance found cloistered inside a common nalambalam.
• The prakara may also contain temple tanks, vedopadeshashala (hall for teaching
Vedas), oottupura (dining hall), koothambalam (theatre hall).
• The koothambalam is a unique edifice of Kerala temple architecture distinct from
the natyamandir or natyasabha seen in the north Indian temples of this period.
• It is a large pillared hall with a high roof. The pillars are ornately decorated with
visual and acoustic considerations incorporated in the layout of the pillars.
• The koothambalam design is based on the natyasastra of Bharathamuni.
• During this final phase, the stylistic development reached its climax with greater
complexity in the layout creating the concept of panchprakara scheme consisting of
Akathaebalivattom (arthamandapam), Chuttambalam (Anthahara),
Vilakkumadom(Madhyahara), Shevelipura(Bahyahara) and Puram mathil (Marvada).
EVOLUTION OF GENERIC BUILT FORM
THE PANCHA-PRAKARA LAYOUT
• 1. AKATTHE-BALIVATTAM – Sreekovil,
Artha-mandala: Bali-Kall, Namaskaara-
mandapa
• 2. NAALAMBALAM
• Valia-ambalam, Thittapalli, Mulayara
• 3. MADHYA HAARA / VILAKKU-
MATTAM
• 4. PURATTHE-BALIVATTAM /
SIVELIPPURA- Valiya-balikall, Bali-
peetha, Kshetra-paala, Dwaja-sthamba,
Kovil of minor deities, Koothamabalam
• 5. MARYAADA / PURAM MATHIL
Gopura, Oottu-pura, Puram-mathil
Characteristics of Kerala temple
Architecture
TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE OF KERALA
TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE OF KERALA
Measurement of temple parts
• Danda – (literal meaning a rod)
• Linear measurement = 4 hasta or 96 angula
• Purusadanda
PADAVINYASA
• The land considered suitable for the purpose of constructing the
temple (vastu bhumi) and placed at the center (Brahma Sthana)
of the Vastu mandala of the township must be in the shape of a
rectangle or a square. The ratio between the breadth and the
length of the area may be 4:8; 4:7; 4:6; or 4:5. (The square would
be 4:4).
• Shapes of sites to be avoided are: circular (vritta), triangular
(trikona), rod shaped (dandakriti), bow shaped (dhanur akara) and
other irregular shapes. And, in case it becomes necessary to
construct a temple on a land of such “un approved” shape, the
area meant for the temple should be demarcated and rendered a
square or a rectangle in shape.
PADAVINYASA
• In case of a rectangular site, it must have north – south
orientation. The depth of the site (Aaya-profit) should be more
than its breadth (vyaya-loss). That is the reason we find our
temple walls (prakara) on north-south shorter than the walls on
east-west.
• The slope of the land surrounding the temple in the east and the
north direction should be in the northeast corner.
• Fountains or lotus ponds of the temple should be in the northeast
direction.
• In the open space surrounding the temple, Tulsi ( Basil) plants with
raised bed should be in the east; the Jasmine, white Champak, Star
Coral plants etc. should be in the northwest corner or the east.
Four approach roads are much recommended.
• The ground plan, again, is symbolic and
is the representation of cosmos in
miniature. The Vastu Purusha
represents terrestrial world with
constant movements. The grid made
up of squares and equilateral triangles
is imbued with religious significance;
with each cell belonging to a deity. The
position of the deity is in accordance to
the importance assigned to him .The
central portion of the square (Brahma
Sthana) is occupied by the presiding
deity of the temple ; while the outer
cells house deities of lower order.
PANCHAPRAKARA PROPORTIONS
Temple Layout and its symbolism
• The Agama Shastras say that the Temple structure is a mini cosmos.
• The Temple entrance should face east – the direction of the Rising Sun.
• The ideal Temple should have at least one entrance, an Ardh-Mandapa, a Mandapa or a
large hall, a Garba-Griha and a Shikara directly above the Garbha-Griha.
• The design comprises:
Temple Layout
• 1. A Towering structure called the Rajagopuram (pyramid in pattern) on the Eastern side
at the entrance to the Temple.
• 2. A Dwajasthamba (pillar) in line with the main shrine immediately after the
Rajagopuram.
• 3. Near the Dwajasthamba is a lotus shaped pedestal for offerings, called the Balipeeta.
• 4. A large Mandapa or hall for assembly of devotees.
• 5. The passage through the Mandapa leads to the “Garba-Griha” (womb chamber) where
the Main Deity is installed.
• 6. Ardha Mandapa adjacent to the main Mandapa and before the “Garba-Griha”.
• 7. The Main Deity faces East word inside and the Garba-Griha is located inside a structure
or sanctuary called the “Vimana”.
• 8. The pyramidal or tapering roof over the Deity is called “Shikara” or “Gopuram” which
is a dome.
• 9. There is a circumambulation passage or “Pradakshira Patha” around the Garba Griha
and Mandapa.
Characteristics of Kerala temple Architecture
• Structural temples of Kerala were
constructed mainly according to
Vastushastra and Tachu Shastra
(Science of carpentry) texts.
• Kriya Deepika
• Tantrasamuchaya
• Seshasamuchaya
• Kuzhikkat Paccha
• Silparatna
Materials Used for Construction
• Kerala temples have a distinct style dominated by the use of Wood and
supported by stone and metal
Wood in Temple construction
• Teak (Tectona grandis)
• Jack (Artocarpus heterophyllus)
• Aini (Artocarpus hirsutus)
These are the main woods used in temple
construction and decoration
Wood crafts are seen in the form of wooden
panels around Sreekovil, heavy beams,
rafters, pillars and brackets and ceilings
Components of Kerala Temple
• 1-Srikovil
• 2-Mughamandapam
• 3-Sopanam
• 4-
Namaskaramandapam
• 5-Naalambalam
• 6-Valiyambalam
• 7-Vilakkumatam
• 8-Balikkal Mandapam
• 9-Dhwajasthambam
• 10-Koothambalam
• 11-Oottupura
• 11-Gopuram
Peruvanam Shiva Temple
Early Phase Temples
• Earliest temple possessed a srikovil
• Srikovil could be square, circular or
apsidal in shape
• Some square srikovils had a projecting
mukha mandapam
• Some had detached namaskara
mandapams
• A quadrangular naalambalam enclosed
the srikovil, namaskara mandapam and
balikkals (altar stones)
Middle Phase Temples
• Main Features
• Introduction of srikovil elliptical in
shape
• Circumambulatory path around the
grabagriha
• Development of sarvatobahdra type
temples
• Some sarvathobadhra types
possessed 2 or 3 doors and 1 or 2
garbagriha
• Mostly with detached namaskara
mandapa
• Placing of buta figures supporting
the pranala
• Carvings on the hasti-hasta
banisters
Last Phase Temples
Introduction of
• Copper sheets for roofing
• Subsidiary shrines
• Vilakkumatam
• Koothambalam
• Deepasthambam
• Dwajasthambam
• Aanakkottil
• Outer wall
• Gopuram
Layout of a Typical Kerala Temple
• Antar-Mandala/Akathe Balivattom
Contains srikovil and its outer space
Outer space accommodates – Balikkals, Namaskara mandapam and
temple well
• Antahara hara/Chuttambalam/Naalambalam
Naalambalam, Valiyambalam, Thidappalli and Moolayara
• Madhya hara
Vilakkumatam
• Bahya hara/Purathebalivattom
Outer enclosure & circumambulatory path,
Balikkalmandapam, Balikkal, Deepasthambam,
Koothambalam, Subsidiary shrines, Dwajasthambam
and Aanakkottil
• Maryada/Puram Mathil
Outer boundary wall with Gopurams and Oottupura
Panchaprakara or Five Enclosure
All these components may not be present in all the temples
Antar-Mandalam
Antar- mandalam
• : This is the deepest prakara of the
temple.
• The constituent parts of antar-
mandalam are Srikovil, Namaskara
Mandapa, Well/Kokkarni
All these components may not be present in all the temples
Sreekovil
• Sreekovil: Sreekovil is the core of the temple, proportional to 'Vimana'
of Dravida phrasing.
• It remains in the focal point of inward yard.
• This yard is constantly four sided.
• Sreekovil comprises in itself the garbhagriha
• In the inside, an entry around the garbhagrha for the
circumambulation (pradaksina patha) and delegate load (antarala)
interfacing the walking way with the anticipating mukha-mandapa in
the front.
• The pradaksina patha, antarala and mukha-mandapa are
discretionary parts and fabricated relying on the decision of the
developer.
• From the early stage itself, temples with internal pradaksina patha
(Sandhara) and without inward pradaksina patha (Nirandhara) are
worked in Kerala.
Vadakkumnathan Temple
Outer Wall (Maryadha)
• Major temples are protected with outermost compound walls
Outer Wall (Maryadha)
• Guruvayoor Temple Maryadha
Gopuram
• Gopuram is the entrance gateway to the temple enclosure
• Major temples will have four gopurams at four cardinal directions
Bahyahara
• Aanakottil
• Dwjasthambam
• Deepasthambam
• Balikkal Mandapam
• Valiya Balikkal
• Koothambalam
• Subsidiary Shrines
Aanakottil
• A place where elephants take
position during festivals
• Also used for functions like
marriage, choroonu,
thulabharam and other rituals.
Dwaja Sthambha (Flag post/ Kodimaram)
• Dwaja Sthambham is the pillar
used for hoisting the flag during
festival
• It is located outside the balikkal
mandapam
• It is usually made of wood and
covered with copper,
panchaloha, silver, bronze or
gold.
• It bears the vahana of the main
deity
• Ashtadikpalaka idols are
depicted at the bottom part of
the dwaja.
Dwaja Sthambha (Flag post/ Kodimaram)
Dwaja Sthambha (Flag post/ Kodimaram)
Balikkal Mandapam
• It is the mandapam where
principal balipeetha is located
• It faces the sanctum sanctorum
• The ceiling may have the
wooden sculptures of
Ashtadikpalakas or Navagrahas
• The beams may have mythical
story panels
• Brackets may possess divine
and semidivine sculptures
Balikkal
• Size of the Balikkal depends on the size and height of the Sreekovil
Components of Balikkal
• Padma
• Kapotha pati
• Kapotham
• Valaru
• Utthara
• Vedika
• Gala pati
• Gala
• Kumuda pati
• Jagati
• Paaduka
❖ Its shape is a replica of the adisthana of the sreekovil upto
the point of peedha of the deity
Balikkal without Mandapa
Ceiling og Balikkal Mandapam
Ceiling og Balikkal Mandapam
Nandimandapam
• In Shiva temple the
mandapam may
accommodate Nandi
• In such cases Balikkal is seen
outside the mandapam
Koothambalam or Temple Theatre
• Koothambalam is positioned
at the south east corner of
east facing temples and at
north west corner of the west
facing temples
• It is usually in rectangular
shape
• It has Rangapeedam or stage
raised from the rest of the
floor, aniyara or green room
and space around for the
audience
• Koothambalam are often
decorated with wood carvings
and wooden sculptures
Rangamandapam
Sub Shrines
Madhyahara - Vilakkumaadam
• Vilakkumaadam accommodates a
galaxy of oil lamps
• Technically, it lines the outer walls
of inner prakaram
• Only major temples have
Vilakkumaadam
• There will be an open space
between Naalambalam and
Vilakkumaadam in major temples
Madhyahara - Vilakkumaadam
Antahara - Naalambalam
Antahara – Naalambalam & Valiyambalam
• Naalambalam (chuttambalam) is a
pillared open hall surrounding the
sreekovil and namaskara
mandapam
• The board side of Naalambalam
facing the sreekovil is called
Valiyambalam
• The corridor of Valiyambalam
permits devotees to enter and exit
through the main gate.
Thidappally
Thidappally
• An enclosure in the south
eastern corner of
Naalambalam
• Holy Kitchen where
nivedhyam or food for
God is prepared
Anthahara - Moolayara
• It is a chamber located on
the north or north east
side of Naalambalam
• During utsava bali,
specified cereals and
pulses are germinated in
moolayara after tantric
rites
Antharmandala
• Namaskaramandapam
• Balikkals
• Temple Well
• Sreekovil
Characteristics of Kerala temple Architecture
• The Kerala temples have been built in
square, rectangular, circular, apsidal and
elliptical ground plans.
• The dominance of the circular shrine is a
unique feature of temple architecture in
Kerala.
• The slopping roof and the lavish use of
wood have also invested the Kerala temples
with a distinct style of their own
Details of Koothampalam
KOOTHAMBALAM
Mosques of Kerala
Mosques of Kerala
Mosques of Kerala
Church of Kerala
Thank You

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S1S2 B.Arch MGU - HOA1&2 Module 3 -Temple Architecture of Kerala.pptx

  • 1. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE 1&2 ASSISTANT PROFESSOR I B.ARCH, M.ARCH – ARCHITECTURAL CONSERVATION I SCMS SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE SEMESTER 1&2 AR. VISHNU P. PRAKASH KERALA ARCHITECTURE MODULE III
  • 2. •Characteristics of Kerala temple architecture •Types of Kerala ‘Sreekovils’ •Five types- with/without Antharala and with/without Mukhamandapa. •Schematic layout of a full-fledged Kerala temple with names of important structures. •Sectional elevation of a typical Kerala Sreekovil. •Architectural characteristics of Kerala type mosques and churches INDIGENOUS RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE OF KERALA
  • 4. • Kerala is a narrow strip of land located between the Arabian sea and the Western Ghats • Climate, Geology & Geography of Kerala have influenced its architectural styles. • The wind blowing from the Arabian Sea strikes the Western Ghats, shedding a lot of rain, supporting forest. • Availability of building materials like timber and laterite stone played a major role in deciding the architectural character of Kerala KERALA
  • 5. • Temple architecture forms an important part in Vastuvidhya • Temple(Physical Terms): Structures built in durable materials & treated with aesthetic features to serve as a place for worship • Temple(Meta-Physical Terms): Adobe of Gods, The very sight of which brings joy to the onlooker. • Temples are hence called Prasada, edifices which give joy. • Vastushastra, Agama & Shilpa Shastra synthesise in the temple architecture. INTRODUCTION TO TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE
  • 6. INTRODUCTION TO TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE
  • 7. • The location of a temple is generally categorized into two in Padmasamhita as siddha & asiddha. • Siddha: When sites are on the hills, on the banks of rivers or on the seashore, in the forest or such other places. • Asiddha: When sites of the temples are in gramas or nagaras they are categorized as asiddha locations. • Specific positions for different Gods are to be fixed depending on the layout of the settlements & the power of the Gods worshipped. Position of Deities in Settlement INTRODUCTION TO TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE
  • 8. • Temple means only the main shrine which contains the deity of worship. • The cell in which the deity is installed is the garbhagriha. It is the dark space in the centre of a platform (vedhi) raised from the ground on a base (adisthana). Sometimes the base is raised on a pedestal (upapidha) to emphasis the shrine. • The outer shell of the garbhagriha is the prasada structure, consisting of pillars (stambha) & walls (bithi) built on the periphery of the vedhi. Temple Form TEMPLE FORM
  • 9. • The roof of the Prasada towers over the garbhagriha like a pyramid with straight or curved edges, This is called shikara. • The shikara is surmounted by a finial (stupika) TEMPLE FORM
  • 12. • There are different names by which temples are described • Devagriha • Devayatana • Devasthana • Devalaya • They are names denoting temples as the house of Gods. • The name Prasada denotes an edifice which please the minds of Gods & men by its beauty. ❖ The most accepted name of temple is vimana – vehicles in which the Gods travel. ❖ The five vimanas and their primary shapes of vedic Gods. TYPES OF TEMPLE
  • 13. EVOLUTION OF TEMPLE IN KERALA
  • 14. • No material evidences to indicate that there were Temples – either rock-cut or structural, in Kerala prior to 6th century CE. • The first worshipping edifices of Kerala were the Kaavu (Sacred Groves) • Kaavu is basically a grove with a symbolic stone or a stone idol as a deity placed under a tree. • Sometimes, there will be a small raised platform to place stone idol. • Lamps will be lighted in front of the idol. • Generally, the Gods consecrated were Nagas or the guardian deity's of the village. • The belief is that they guard the village from enemies both natural and supernatural. KAAVU
  • 15. • Local adaptation of Dravida or S. Indian tradition • 12th century Kerala temple - a neighborhood institution of worship with added functions of knowledge as well as cultural centers. • The roofs are steep and pointed, covered with copper sheets. • Sreekovil – prakara - gopuradwara - namaskara mandapam – subsidiary shrines, vedopadesha shala, oottupura (dining hall) – theatre – Kuttambalam. Peruvanam Thrikaviyoor TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE OF KERALA
  • 16. Three phases First Phase: • first phase is that of rock cut temples dated prior to 8th century (contemporary to Buddhist cave temple) • Generic pattern consists of a rock hewn shrine and an anteroom (associated with Shiva worship) Rock cut temple at Thrikkakkudi, Kaviyoor Rock cut temple at vizhijam THE EVOLUTION OF GENERIC BUILT FORM
  • 17. ROCK-CUT TEMPLES – Before 8th Century AD
  • 18. • Cave and Rock-cut temples represent the earliest phase of the temple architecture of Kerala • They were built during the period in between 6th and 8th century CE • Rock-cut temples were carved on single colossal granite rocks • They carried carved sculptures and images of deities • Rock-cut temples of Kerala were mostly associated with the Shaivite cult. ROCK-CUT TEMPLES
  • 19. • It is believed that the inception of worship in this cave temple dates back to 3rd century BCE. • This temple was converted to a Hindu temple around 9th century CE ROCK-CUT TEMPLES
  • 20. • 6th/8th century Rock-cut temple with Shivalinga, Hanuman, Ganapati and Nandi. ROCK-CUT TEMPLES
  • 21. • Unfinished panel depicting Shiva on one side, and Nataraja and Parvati on the other side • An independent sculpture of Dakshinamurti of 8th century CE place in the later period ROCK-CUT TEMPLES
  • 22. • Second half of the 8th century CE • It has a central shrine, ardhamandapa and a pillared façade • The shrine accommodates a Shiva linga ROCK-CUT TEMPLES
  • 23. • Considered to be built by Buddhist/Jain monks during 7th/9th century CE. ROCK-CUT TEMPLES
  • 24. • The second phase spanning 8th to 10th centuries had an independent unitary shrine (sanctum sanctorum or garbhagriha or sreekovil) and very rarely a porch or arthamandapa attached. • A detached namaskaramandapa is built in front of the sreekovil with an inner circumambulatory path (inner pradhakshinapada). • A quadrangular building nomenclature as Nalambalam encloses the sreekovil and the namaskaramandapa and the inner circumambulatory path. • At the entrance to the nalambalam is located the altar stone (balikkal). Phase 2: Alpaprasada EVOLUTION OF THE GENERIC BUILT FORM
  • 26. • Building of structural temples started around 9th century CE • Two sources of evidences: 1. A few old temple structure still existing. 2. Inscriptions ❖ Kattil Madom is a dilapidated shrine in Palakkad district ❖ Believed to be a Jain temple ❖ Built around 9th or 10th century CE STRUCTURAL TEMPLES OF KERALA
  • 27. • Vizhinjam Temples ❖ Shiva and Bagavati temples ❖ A rectangular Nirandhara Dravida shrine made of granite ❖ Dated to 9th century CE ❖ Bhagavati temple after renovation STRUCTURAL TEMPLES OF KERALA
  • 29. • There are inscriptions dated to 8th – 10th centuries in a few present day structural temples • They speak about the existence of these temples during these periods ❖ Sthanu Ravi’s Inscription dated to 855 CE ❖ (On a single granite slab currently fixed on the bottom portion of the inside wall of the first prakara of the temple) ❖ Stone inscription of 2nd Chera Empire dated to 800 – 1102 CE EPIGRAPHICAL REFERENCES
  • 30. ❖ Temples of Kerala have evolved through three progressive stages with prominent changes, additions and modifications in structure and concept. ❖ Early Phase from 800-1000 CE ❖ Middle Phase from 1001-1300 CE ❖ Late Phase from 1301-1800 CE EVOLUTION OF TEMPLE IN KERALA
  • 31. • The unitary shrine of the earliest type was called NIRANDHARA (a cell with the single doorway). • Later on a cell with twin walls having a passage in between was developed from this concept which was known as sandhara shrine. • This phase is also characterized by the concept of storeyed temples (Dwithala (2 storeys) or Trithala (3 storeys). • The tower of the shrine rises to the second or third storey with separate upper roofs forming dwithala or trithala temple. EVOLUTION OF GENERIC BUILT FORM
  • 33. • In the last phase the stylistic development reached its climax with greater complexity in temple layout and elaboration of detail. • The vilakkumadom palisade structure fixed with row of lamps is added beyond the nalambalam as an outer ring. • The balikkal stone is housed in a pillared structure called balikkalmandapam. • Further a deepastambham (lamppost) and dwajasthambam (flagmast) are added in front of the balikkalmandapam. • The temple is now fully enclosed in a massive wall called prakara pierced with gate houses or gopuras. • The gopuras which are generally two storeyed serve the purpose of being a platform for temples dances at the ground level and the upper floor functioned as kottupura or space to accommodate drum beaters. • Within the prakara but beyond the vilakkumadam stood the secondary shrines of parivaradevathas which were unitary cells in their assigned positions according to vastusastric principles. Phase 3: Mahaprasada EVOLUTION OF GENERIC BUILT FORM
  • 34. • Last phase culminated in the concept of composite shrines consisting two or three shrines of equal importance found cloistered inside a common nalambalam. • The prakara may also contain temple tanks, vedopadeshashala (hall for teaching Vedas), oottupura (dining hall), koothambalam (theatre hall). • The koothambalam is a unique edifice of Kerala temple architecture distinct from the natyamandir or natyasabha seen in the north Indian temples of this period. • It is a large pillared hall with a high roof. The pillars are ornately decorated with visual and acoustic considerations incorporated in the layout of the pillars. • The koothambalam design is based on the natyasastra of Bharathamuni. • During this final phase, the stylistic development reached its climax with greater complexity in the layout creating the concept of panchprakara scheme consisting of Akathaebalivattom (arthamandapam), Chuttambalam (Anthahara), Vilakkumadom(Madhyahara), Shevelipura(Bahyahara) and Puram mathil (Marvada). EVOLUTION OF GENERIC BUILT FORM
  • 35. THE PANCHA-PRAKARA LAYOUT • 1. AKATTHE-BALIVATTAM – Sreekovil, Artha-mandala: Bali-Kall, Namaskaara- mandapa • 2. NAALAMBALAM • Valia-ambalam, Thittapalli, Mulayara • 3. MADHYA HAARA / VILAKKU- MATTAM • 4. PURATTHE-BALIVATTAM / SIVELIPPURA- Valiya-balikall, Bali- peetha, Kshetra-paala, Dwaja-sthamba, Kovil of minor deities, Koothamabalam • 5. MARYAADA / PURAM MATHIL Gopura, Oottu-pura, Puram-mathil
  • 36.
  • 37. Characteristics of Kerala temple Architecture
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  • 45. Measurement of temple parts • Danda – (literal meaning a rod) • Linear measurement = 4 hasta or 96 angula • Purusadanda
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  • 49. PADAVINYASA • The land considered suitable for the purpose of constructing the temple (vastu bhumi) and placed at the center (Brahma Sthana) of the Vastu mandala of the township must be in the shape of a rectangle or a square. The ratio between the breadth and the length of the area may be 4:8; 4:7; 4:6; or 4:5. (The square would be 4:4). • Shapes of sites to be avoided are: circular (vritta), triangular (trikona), rod shaped (dandakriti), bow shaped (dhanur akara) and other irregular shapes. And, in case it becomes necessary to construct a temple on a land of such “un approved” shape, the area meant for the temple should be demarcated and rendered a square or a rectangle in shape.
  • 50. PADAVINYASA • In case of a rectangular site, it must have north – south orientation. The depth of the site (Aaya-profit) should be more than its breadth (vyaya-loss). That is the reason we find our temple walls (prakara) on north-south shorter than the walls on east-west. • The slope of the land surrounding the temple in the east and the north direction should be in the northeast corner. • Fountains or lotus ponds of the temple should be in the northeast direction. • In the open space surrounding the temple, Tulsi ( Basil) plants with raised bed should be in the east; the Jasmine, white Champak, Star Coral plants etc. should be in the northwest corner or the east. Four approach roads are much recommended.
  • 51. • The ground plan, again, is symbolic and is the representation of cosmos in miniature. The Vastu Purusha represents terrestrial world with constant movements. The grid made up of squares and equilateral triangles is imbued with religious significance; with each cell belonging to a deity. The position of the deity is in accordance to the importance assigned to him .The central portion of the square (Brahma Sthana) is occupied by the presiding deity of the temple ; while the outer cells house deities of lower order.
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  • 54. Temple Layout and its symbolism • The Agama Shastras say that the Temple structure is a mini cosmos. • The Temple entrance should face east – the direction of the Rising Sun. • The ideal Temple should have at least one entrance, an Ardh-Mandapa, a Mandapa or a large hall, a Garba-Griha and a Shikara directly above the Garbha-Griha. • The design comprises:
  • 56. • 1. A Towering structure called the Rajagopuram (pyramid in pattern) on the Eastern side at the entrance to the Temple. • 2. A Dwajasthamba (pillar) in line with the main shrine immediately after the Rajagopuram. • 3. Near the Dwajasthamba is a lotus shaped pedestal for offerings, called the Balipeeta. • 4. A large Mandapa or hall for assembly of devotees. • 5. The passage through the Mandapa leads to the “Garba-Griha” (womb chamber) where the Main Deity is installed. • 6. Ardha Mandapa adjacent to the main Mandapa and before the “Garba-Griha”. • 7. The Main Deity faces East word inside and the Garba-Griha is located inside a structure or sanctuary called the “Vimana”. • 8. The pyramidal or tapering roof over the Deity is called “Shikara” or “Gopuram” which is a dome. • 9. There is a circumambulation passage or “Pradakshira Patha” around the Garba Griha and Mandapa.
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  • 58. Characteristics of Kerala temple Architecture • Structural temples of Kerala were constructed mainly according to Vastushastra and Tachu Shastra (Science of carpentry) texts. • Kriya Deepika • Tantrasamuchaya • Seshasamuchaya • Kuzhikkat Paccha • Silparatna
  • 59. Materials Used for Construction • Kerala temples have a distinct style dominated by the use of Wood and supported by stone and metal
  • 60. Wood in Temple construction • Teak (Tectona grandis) • Jack (Artocarpus heterophyllus) • Aini (Artocarpus hirsutus) These are the main woods used in temple construction and decoration Wood crafts are seen in the form of wooden panels around Sreekovil, heavy beams, rafters, pillars and brackets and ceilings
  • 61. Components of Kerala Temple • 1-Srikovil • 2-Mughamandapam • 3-Sopanam • 4- Namaskaramandapam • 5-Naalambalam • 6-Valiyambalam • 7-Vilakkumatam • 8-Balikkal Mandapam • 9-Dhwajasthambam • 10-Koothambalam • 11-Oottupura • 11-Gopuram
  • 63. Early Phase Temples • Earliest temple possessed a srikovil • Srikovil could be square, circular or apsidal in shape • Some square srikovils had a projecting mukha mandapam • Some had detached namaskara mandapams • A quadrangular naalambalam enclosed the srikovil, namaskara mandapam and balikkals (altar stones)
  • 64. Middle Phase Temples • Main Features • Introduction of srikovil elliptical in shape • Circumambulatory path around the grabagriha • Development of sarvatobahdra type temples • Some sarvathobadhra types possessed 2 or 3 doors and 1 or 2 garbagriha • Mostly with detached namaskara mandapa • Placing of buta figures supporting the pranala • Carvings on the hasti-hasta banisters
  • 65. Last Phase Temples Introduction of • Copper sheets for roofing • Subsidiary shrines • Vilakkumatam • Koothambalam • Deepasthambam • Dwajasthambam • Aanakkottil • Outer wall • Gopuram
  • 66. Layout of a Typical Kerala Temple • Antar-Mandala/Akathe Balivattom Contains srikovil and its outer space Outer space accommodates – Balikkals, Namaskara mandapam and temple well • Antahara hara/Chuttambalam/Naalambalam Naalambalam, Valiyambalam, Thidappalli and Moolayara • Madhya hara Vilakkumatam • Bahya hara/Purathebalivattom Outer enclosure & circumambulatory path, Balikkalmandapam, Balikkal, Deepasthambam, Koothambalam, Subsidiary shrines, Dwajasthambam and Aanakkottil • Maryada/Puram Mathil Outer boundary wall with Gopurams and Oottupura Panchaprakara or Five Enclosure All these components may not be present in all the temples
  • 67. Antar-Mandalam Antar- mandalam • : This is the deepest prakara of the temple. • The constituent parts of antar- mandalam are Srikovil, Namaskara Mandapa, Well/Kokkarni All these components may not be present in all the temples
  • 68. Sreekovil • Sreekovil: Sreekovil is the core of the temple, proportional to 'Vimana' of Dravida phrasing. • It remains in the focal point of inward yard. • This yard is constantly four sided. • Sreekovil comprises in itself the garbhagriha • In the inside, an entry around the garbhagrha for the circumambulation (pradaksina patha) and delegate load (antarala) interfacing the walking way with the anticipating mukha-mandapa in the front. • The pradaksina patha, antarala and mukha-mandapa are discretionary parts and fabricated relying on the decision of the developer. • From the early stage itself, temples with internal pradaksina patha (Sandhara) and without inward pradaksina patha (Nirandhara) are worked in Kerala.
  • 70. Outer Wall (Maryadha) • Major temples are protected with outermost compound walls
  • 71. Outer Wall (Maryadha) • Guruvayoor Temple Maryadha
  • 72. Gopuram • Gopuram is the entrance gateway to the temple enclosure • Major temples will have four gopurams at four cardinal directions
  • 73. Bahyahara • Aanakottil • Dwjasthambam • Deepasthambam • Balikkal Mandapam • Valiya Balikkal • Koothambalam • Subsidiary Shrines
  • 74. Aanakottil • A place where elephants take position during festivals • Also used for functions like marriage, choroonu, thulabharam and other rituals.
  • 75. Dwaja Sthambha (Flag post/ Kodimaram) • Dwaja Sthambham is the pillar used for hoisting the flag during festival • It is located outside the balikkal mandapam • It is usually made of wood and covered with copper, panchaloha, silver, bronze or gold. • It bears the vahana of the main deity • Ashtadikpalaka idols are depicted at the bottom part of the dwaja.
  • 76. Dwaja Sthambha (Flag post/ Kodimaram)
  • 77. Dwaja Sthambha (Flag post/ Kodimaram)
  • 78. Balikkal Mandapam • It is the mandapam where principal balipeetha is located • It faces the sanctum sanctorum • The ceiling may have the wooden sculptures of Ashtadikpalakas or Navagrahas • The beams may have mythical story panels • Brackets may possess divine and semidivine sculptures
  • 79. Balikkal • Size of the Balikkal depends on the size and height of the Sreekovil
  • 80. Components of Balikkal • Padma • Kapotha pati • Kapotham • Valaru • Utthara • Vedika • Gala pati • Gala • Kumuda pati • Jagati • Paaduka ❖ Its shape is a replica of the adisthana of the sreekovil upto the point of peedha of the deity
  • 84. Nandimandapam • In Shiva temple the mandapam may accommodate Nandi • In such cases Balikkal is seen outside the mandapam
  • 85. Koothambalam or Temple Theatre • Koothambalam is positioned at the south east corner of east facing temples and at north west corner of the west facing temples • It is usually in rectangular shape • It has Rangapeedam or stage raised from the rest of the floor, aniyara or green room and space around for the audience • Koothambalam are often decorated with wood carvings and wooden sculptures
  • 88. Madhyahara - Vilakkumaadam • Vilakkumaadam accommodates a galaxy of oil lamps • Technically, it lines the outer walls of inner prakaram • Only major temples have Vilakkumaadam • There will be an open space between Naalambalam and Vilakkumaadam in major temples
  • 91. Antahara – Naalambalam & Valiyambalam • Naalambalam (chuttambalam) is a pillared open hall surrounding the sreekovil and namaskara mandapam • The board side of Naalambalam facing the sreekovil is called Valiyambalam • The corridor of Valiyambalam permits devotees to enter and exit through the main gate.
  • 93. Thidappally • An enclosure in the south eastern corner of Naalambalam • Holy Kitchen where nivedhyam or food for God is prepared
  • 94. Anthahara - Moolayara • It is a chamber located on the north or north east side of Naalambalam • During utsava bali, specified cereals and pulses are germinated in moolayara after tantric rites
  • 96. Characteristics of Kerala temple Architecture • The Kerala temples have been built in square, rectangular, circular, apsidal and elliptical ground plans. • The dominance of the circular shrine is a unique feature of temple architecture in Kerala. • The slopping roof and the lavish use of wood have also invested the Kerala temples with a distinct style of their own
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Editor's Notes

  1. Typical view of a Kerala Temple Different Components
  2. The arrangement of Srikovil shifted and was based on square, round, apsidal or curved arrangement. In sandhara structure, the wandering was made between the internal and external dividers. Much of the time the garbhagrha is square, notwithstanding when the encasing srlkovil is roundabout. In specific illustrations round srikovils contain roundabout garbhagrha with its inside changed into square. Square srlkovil with round inside of garbhagrha is additionally known in Kerala. Srlkovil based on apsidal arrangement frequently have apsidal or square garbhagrha. The middle person chamber is uncommon in Kerala temples. The anticipating mukha-mandapa is dependably smaller than the sanctum appropriate. This two unit division of srlkovil isn't taken after when in doubt, yet has more events in the square arrangement. If there should arise an occurrence of the roundabout and apsidal srlkovils, the divisions are just inside and it isn't recognizable from outside. The game plan of twofold wandering around the garbhagrha is an improvement from eleventh century onwards. Segments are likewise organized around the srlkovil. Around the srlkovil is the course of action of balipithas on the arranges and cardinal focuses framing a square. These balipithas on the inward yard speak to asta-dikpalas and different divinities. Among them on the southern side, is a board of balipithas speaking to Saptamatrkas with Ganapati and Bhairava.
  3. Aanapalla Mathil
  4. Aanapalla Mathil
  5. Aanapalla Mathil
  6. Aanapalla Mathil
  7. Aanapalla Mathil
  8. Aanapalla Mathil
  9. Aanapalla Mathil
  10. Aanapalla Mathil
  11. Aanapalla Mathil
  12. Aanapalla Mathil
  13. Aanapalla Mathil
  14. Aanapalla Mathil
  15. Aanapalla Mathil
  16. Aanapalla Mathil
  17. Aanapalla Mathil
  18. Aanapalla Mathil
  19. Aanapalla Mathil
  20. Peruvanam Shiva Temple
  21. In small temples, multitired lamps are fixed on the outer side of the Naalambalam walls
  22. In small temples, multitired lamps are fixed on the outer side of the Naalambalam walls
  23. Way to thidappally
  24. Way to thidappally
  25. Way to thidappally
  26. Way to thidappally