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Chapter – II

Different Style of Temple Architecture

Different Types Of Temple Style

•According to the various architectural texts written in early

medieval times, temple architecture can be broadly classified as
Nagara, Dravida and Vesara.(Mix Style)

1. Nagara style - is associated with the land Between the

himalayas and vindhyas.

2. Dravida style - with the land between the Krishna and

kaveri rivers.

3. Vesara style - is sometimes associated with the area

between the vindhyas and the Krishna river.
The Hindu Temple

•The Hindu temples commonly known as Mandir in Hindi and

derived from the Sanskrit word Mandira, are identified by
several names in different parts of India as koil or kovil in Tamil,
devasthana in Kanada and devalaya, in Telugu etc.

•In general , Hindu temple structure can either be isolated

structure or a part of complex.

•The character of Hindu temples reflected local architecture

styles and the material and skills to which they related.

•The main forms and styles of the Hindu temple were

established during 600-800 AD.
The Hindu Temple
Beliefs of Hinduism

• There are nine beliefs, which offer a simple summary of Hindu

spirituality. Satguru Sivaya Subramaniyaswami (1993) in
Dancing with Siva explains it as;

1. Vedas : Divinity of the Vedas, the world's most ancient

scriptures. These primordial hymns are God's word and the
bedrock of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion which has
neither beginning nor end. (Hymn - A religious song or poem of praise
to God)
2. One Supreme being : Who is both immanent and
transcendent, both creator and Unmanifest Reality.
(Immanent – Fundamental/basic or present Everywhere, Transcendent –
Divine/spiritual , Unmanifest – Unproven )
7. Satguru : A spiritually awakened master is essential to know
the Transcendent Absolute, as are personal discipline, good
conduct, purification, pilgrimage, self-inquiry and meditation.

8. Life Is Sacred : All life is sacred, to be loved and revered, and

therefore practice ahimsa, non-injury.

9. Salvation : No particular religion teaches the only way to

salvation above all others, but that all genuine religious paths are
facets of God's Pure Love and Light, deserving tolerance and
3. The Universe: The universe undergoes endless cycles of
creation, preservation and dissolution.

4. Karma : The law of cause and effect by which each individual

creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words and deeds.
(Bhgvad Gita)

5. The Soul Reincarnates : (having been reborn in another body. - 84 crore birth
as per said in ancient scripts.)
Evolving through many births until all karmas have been
resolved, and moksha, spiritual knowledge and liberation
from the cycle of rebirth, is attained. Not a single soul will be
eternally deprived of this destiny.

6. Divine Beings : Exist In unseen worlds and that the temple

worship, rituals, sacraments as well as personal devotionals create
a communion with these devas and Gods.
Elements of Hindu temple

•Pradakshina patha

Some other essential elements :

• Gopurams
• Pitha
• Toranas
• Amalaka
Material of Construction:
• The Indian temples were built with all types of materials
depending upon the availability from region to region.

•The range of material varied from timber to mud, plaster, brick

and stone during all periods and throughout India. The materials
play an important role in the overall appearance, construction
techniques and monumental character of these temples.

• As the earlier structures were fashioned from less durable

materials such as timber, brick and plaster the early examples of
Hindu architecture & Many of the later stone temples were
modelled on wood and bamboo architecture is apparent from the
carvings, roof forms and window shapes.

• The construction of temple in stone is the most distinctive

expression of Hindu architecture.
Evolution of Architectural Styles :
• The distinctive architectural styles of Hindu temples have so
developed due to broad geographical, climatic, cultural, racial,
historical and linguistic differences between the northern plains
and the southern peninsula of India.

• Nagara Dravidian Vesara

History of Northern style Temple : Begins from

• The Guptas and their successors (5th to7th century) and

advanced to Early chalukyas (7th to 8th century),
The Kalingas and Eastern Gangas (8th to 13th century),
The Pratiharas and Chandellas (8thto11th century),
The Maitrakas and the Solankis (8th to13th century),
The Rajputanas (8th to 12th century).

 History of Southern style Temple : Begins from

• Early Chalukyas, and Kalchuris (6th to 8thcentury) and
advanced to the Pallavas (7th to 8th centuries),
The Rashtrakutas (8th to 10th century),
The Cholas (10th to 11th century),
The Hoyshalas and Later Chalukyas (11th to 14th century) and
The Vijayanagas and the Nayakas (15th to 17th century, Brown,1942).