You are on page 1of 42

TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE

PART -I

Every religion needs a place where people may fulfill their religious desires. In Islam, as Muslims we have Masjids where they offer prayers. The Christian have churches. In the same manner temple is the sign of Hinduism. Temple is derived from a Latin word TEMPLUM, which means a sacred enclosed area which is made sacred by the presence of deity or any holy symbol. Temple is a place where people use to worship. The Indian thought that it is a dwelling place of the gods. The temples were used for congregational worship as well as individual worship. The art of temple architecture reached its climax during the Gupta period. The essential part in the temple is rectangular cell containing the symbol or image of the god. Such plain cell constitutes the simple form of the temple. The temple took its origin as a single cell. But later on with the passage of time numerous other parts were added, as need of the time. The roof and building also to rise skyward and a shape of tower or spire were rising above the apical end of the structure. It was known as Shikara. According to some scholars it is especially north Indian development and it becomes more and more prominent of the Gupta and later periods. The temple came in existence earliest in 2nd century AD in the simplest form and then purred certain evolutionary stages.

INTRODUCTION OF TEMPLE

CONCEPT OF TEMPLE

1. VEDIC BACKGROUND
During Vedic time, Aryans worshipped the phenomenal gods like air, sun, moon, storm, river, fire and nature. These are the body less items which cannot be existed in a body, this is why Aryans did not sculpted but they offered sacrifices and also used to worship light, flames and fire in Agnisala.

2.HELIODORUS PILLAR
This pillar was erected by Heliodors during 2nd century BC. He bears the inscriptional record which also mentioned god Vishnu. From 6th century BC till 2nd century BC, there was only open air worship of such gods.

GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT
The slow and gradual development of Mahayanism to Hinduism is another evidence responsible for the erection of temple because Mahayana produced figural representations which needed sacred places for worship.

EVOLUTION OF TEMPLE
In the early ages temples were not constructed but only huts were provided which later on got some evolution till it became a solid structure.

EVOLUTION OF INDIAN TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE


Indian temples have been a source of attraction, not only as a place of worship for the devout, but also as an architectural marvel for the curious tourist. Indian temples with its imposing towers, intricate carvings and awe inspiring size were in fact the result of a gradual evolution over time. In the Vedic period (1500 to 500 BC) there were actually no temples as such. They propitiated the Gods by performing yagas using sacrificial altars. Details of how such altars may be constructed where meticulously mentioned in The SULVASUTRA (literally meaning the rules of the cord). These YAGASALAS later got transformed to temples.

EVOLUTION OF INDIAN TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE


Earliest temples were made of timber and clay, and though they were later replaced by the more enduring granite, there are still temples in Kerala and Dakshina Karnataka made with timber and which has withstood the ravages of time. Cave temples which are found in profusion particularly in Central India, were a later innovation. Though the basic temple patterns are the same, temple styles fall into two categories. North Indian style called NAGARA and southern style called DRAVIDIAN. There is a derivative of the above two styles which is called VESARA.

1. TEMPLES BEFORE 2ND CENTURY BC


The Aryans constructed temples in timber which were very simple, after than they might use huts to shelter the simple structure of the temple. Temples were adopted in open air, than in perishable material, than in rough material and later on solid and intact material was provided after 2nd century BC.

2. EARLY TEMPLES
In early ages during the inclination towards Brahmanism, the Hindu gods needed a place for exhibition. They thus provided simple solid structure to shelter the sacred places for worship. These consist of a Garbagriha.

3. SANCHI TEMPLE NUMBER 17


This temple is the earliest example of Gupta time which is built in solid stone blocks. It comprises of a Mandapa and Garbagriha with flat roof. After this stage the rituals became more complex. So it required more deities and sculptures because of which the temple became larger in size with more elements.

CHARACTERISTICS OF TEMPLE OR PARTS OF TEMPLE

1. GARBAGRIHA
It is the main sacred cell where deities and images are placed for worship. It is also called sanctum and womb house.

2. MANDAPA
It is a hall, porch and waiting room provided in front of Garbagriha.

3. ANTRALA
It is a hall, corridor and porch which connect the Garbagriha with Mandapa.

4. MAHA MANDAPA
It is a large hall which consists of pillars. It is also called large Mandapa.

5. BHOGA MANDAPA
It is a hall of offerings which is seen in Orissa temples.

6. KALYANA MANDAPA
It is a marriage hall which is a later addition to the temples.

7. NATAMANDIR
It is a hall provided for dancing purposes, found in Orissa temples.

8. PANCARATHA
It is a meditation cell, smaller in size and provided at the corner of the platform of a temple.

9. ARDHA MANDAPA
It is a closed hall joined with the main shrine by an Antrala.

10. VIMANA
All the elemental features of a temple are called Vimana.

11. SIKHARA
It is the spire, curvilinear and pyramidal roof on Garbagriha. It is diminishing or tapering in shape for height.

12. BHUMI
The Shikara ceiling were provided terraces which tapered upwards is called Bhumi.

13. KALASA
A pitcher shaped crowning feature on Shikara ceiling is called Kalasa.

14. ENCLOSURE WALL


The early temples have no enclosure wall but it was provided to the temples of later age.

15. INTERNAL ARRANGEMENTS


Circumambulatory path was provided to the later temple.

North Indian Nagara Style

South Indian Dravidian Combined Vesara Style Style

STYLES OF TEMPLE
The different styles of temple architecture emerged in India. These are confined to the northern and southern area of India.

1. NORTHERN, NAGARA, INDO ARYAN STYLE


The temples in these styles appeared in northern India, from Himalaya up to Vindhiya. These have the most important form of ceiling in Shikara, conical or convex shape with dominant features.

NAGARA STYLE NAGARA style temples have curvilinear towers as against DRAVIDIAN temples which have truncated pyramids. The derivative style VESARA is a combination of both NAGARA and DRAVIDIAN type of architecture. NAGARA style temple architecture originated during the Gupta period (320 -650 AD) and is found mostly in North and Central India. The temple complexes at TIGAWA (In modern MADHYA PRADESH), NACHNA in RAJASTHAN and DEOGARH in UTTAR PRADESH are examples of this. The major developments in temple architecture were during the following periods. 750 1250 AD in Orissa 950 1050 AD in Central India 10th to 11th Century in Rajasthan and 11th to 13th Century in Gujarat. Some of temples worth seeing are LINGARAJA temple at Bhubaneshwar, JAGANNATHA temple in Puri, SURYA temple at Konarak.

2. SOUTHERN, DRAVIDIAN STYLE


The temples in these styles appeared in southern India, spread from Vindhiya up to Capcomorin. These temples have tower series which are crowned by Shikara. These have monumental gateways or doorway complex with decorative feature which is called Gopuram.

DRAVIDIAN STYLE The southern style DRAVIDIAN temples had its genesis during the age of the PALLAVAS of Kanchipuram (600 -850 AD) and later developed by the CHALUKYAS of Badami and PANDYAS of Madurai. The temple complexes at MAMMALAPURAM (earlier known as MAHABALIPURAM) IN Tamil nadu, LAKDHAN temple in Aihole and Kasinatha temple in Pattadakkal are examples of this style of architecture. The evolution of Southern temples were as follow: 600 -850 AD in Tamil nadu during the period of the Pallavas ( rock cut and RATHA style temples of Mahabalipuram, Kailasanatha and Vaikunta Perumal temples of Kanchipuram) 900 850 in Tamil Nadu during the Chola dynasty ( Brihadeeshwara and Srirangam temples) 1336 1565 during the period of the Vijayagara empire in Karnataka (Pampavati and Sri Vithala temples at Hampi) 1600 to 1700 during the Nayaks of Madurai. (Enlarged the existing Meenakshi temple complex by making it ornate and adding pillared corridors)

MATERIAL USED IN TEMPLES


Stone was the principal temple material. Iron pins were used to hold the blocks together. Bricks both in combination with stone and separately were widely used as temple material. Sometimes plasters were used for ornamentation along with stone and terracotta. Birtagon is the best example of the temples made of burnt bricks. It has been dated on stylistic ground to 5th century AD.

TYPES OF TEMPLES
There are two different types of Hindu temples which has different functions and purposes.

1. SHIVA OR SHIVAVITE TEMPLES


The device on the top of the Shikara distinguishes the two temple of each system. The trident on Shikara signifying a Shiva temple, these temples always faces east. Inside the cella of these temples Linga is present. In front of the main entrance there will be always in sacred bull of Shiva known as Nandi.

2. VISHNU OR VISHNUITE TEMPLES


In contrast to the Shiva temples above the Shikara of the Vishnu temples there will be a disc or wheel and inside the sanctuary, a statue of deity is used. This kind of temples must have lotus flower and chakra symbols.

Figure 1. (i) Fire temple from Mohenjo-Daro; (ii) Fire-altar from Lothal

Temple 18 at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh

Temple 17 at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh

Lad Khan Temple, Aihole, Karnataka

Draupadi and Arjuna Ratha, Stone, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

Durga Temple, Aihole, Karnataka

Nakula and Sahadev Temple, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu Mahabodhi Temple, Bodh Gaya, Bihar

Jagannatha Temple, Puri, Orissa

Shikhara, Vaital Deul Temple, Bhubaneswar, Orissa

Parasurameswara Temple, Bhubaneswar, Orissa

Surya Mandir, Konarak, Orissa Lingaraja Temple, Bhubaneswar, Orissa Surya, Vital Deul Temple, Bhubaneswar, Orissa

Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal, Karnataka

Brihadeshvara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

Kailash Temple, Ellora, Maharashtra

Temple Complex, Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Vishwanath temple, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh

MAHA MANDAPA GARBAGRIHA ANTRALA MANDAPA

AMBULATORY PASSAGE

ENCLOSURE WALL