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Dome construction in Jain Architecture

Chaumukh temple (1618)

- Chaumukha i.e. with four faces -Two storeyed -The shikhara is 96 ft in ht. -Mandapa on east (31 ft length) with square plan - Twelve pillars from the inner square on which rest the dome - Dome sits 21 ft 6 inches across - Dome has an octagonal base

Chaumukha temple Shatrunjaya

- Square plan (32 ft X 32 ft) - 5 ft wide verandah on each side - Floor divided by 12 piers into 9 smaller squares - Domes of roofs are supported by arches between the piers - Five squares form a cross are occupied by pyramidal shikhara resting on top - Largest spire rest on the central square - Secondary size spire rest on the four squares of the cross pairing with corners




VimalaVasahitemple (1230)
- temple stands in an open courtyard surrounded by a corridor - corridor has numerous cells containing smaller idols of the Tirthankaras - richly carved corridors, pillars, arches and mandaps - The ceilings feature engraved designs of lotus-buds, petals, flowers and scenes from Jain and Hindu mythology - Entrance through a domed portico/mandapa - facing this portico is a square building supported by six pillars - The Rang mandapis a grand hall supported by 12 decorated pillars and nicely carved out arches with a central dome.

VimalaVasahitemple (1230)
-On the pillars are carved female figurines playing musical instruments and 16 Vidhyadevis, or the goddesses of knowledge, each one holding her own symbol

Interiors of VimalaVasahi

Interiors of VimalaVasahi

Dome of VimalaVasahi

Luna Vasahi(1230)
- The entrance dome of the portico is slightly less in diameter than in the Vimalatemple but more elaborate in nature - 12 pillars at the central portion of the temple - Octagon is formed by massive architraves across heads of pillars - on this octagon rests the central dome - The main hall or Rang mandap features a central dome - from the central dome hangs a big ornamental pendent featuring elaborate carving. - arranged in a circular band are 72 figures of Tirthankars in sitting posture and just below this band are 360 small figures of Jain monks in another circular band.

Luna Vasahi

SthHathi Singh

Typical Jain features in dome construction

- Wooden strut to relieve apparent weakness of the longer beams under domes - Usually used in case octagonal domes - This was also employed by Hindus in Torans - This feature was adapted by Akbar in Agra and Fatehpursikri - This feature was prevalent for many centuries but in stone, in later period it was reduced to mere ornamentation>usually the back of the strut was full of foliage in stone - These domes are usually made in marble

The converted temples

The conversion of Jain temple to Mosques was achieved by - removing the principal cell and porch from centre of the court - building up entrances of cells that surrounds the court - double colonnade surrounding the courtyard - Smaller pillars are removed so that the mosque can face the Mecca - These were replaced by larger pillars with the dome supported at the centre - or twin domes at each end

Stepwells of Gujarat
(Bawdi or Vaav)
an architectural characteristic prevalent in arid regions of Gujarat and Rajasthan

Chandbaori, Bandikui in Rajasthan

1. to preserve and store water in the hottest months of the year 2. Narrow stairs that lead to the final catchment area expose only a small surface-area to sun 3. Composition of various storeys and galleries provide large shaded areas (important: as the trees grow only near river banks and irrigated areas)

The term
- constitutes of staircase well or stepped well - long stepped corridor leading down to five or six storeys

Distribution of stepwells:
A. Southern and south-eastern parts of gujarat - no. of stepwells relatively low (-more rainfall and less arid) - not monumental/ elaborate architecture B. Kutch (less in no. inspite of extreme climate) - small and without elaborate carving like those in Northern Gujarat C. Rajasthan (8th and 11th century) - different from those found in Gujarat - pond like well-monuments with stepped passages for reaching water level - Stepwell pond or Kunda- vapi this architectural style is a combination of kund i.e. pond and vapi i.e. stepwell

Distribution of stepwells:
D. Karnataka - Most are Kunda- vapi style of stepwells E. Delhi eg: UgrasenBaoli (near Connaught place), Gandhalkibaoli

Characteristics of stepwells:
A. The various types of well-monuments B. The main architectural elements

Raninivaav, Patan (Gujarat)



Kupa - Vertical well Kuta Tower like pavilions

Ammao, Rajasthan

Characteristics of stepwells:
B. The various types of well-monuments -stepwells are architecturally intricate and complicated

- kupais basic form made of a simple vertical well - kupa in sanskrit is kua (pit or well) - only marked architectural feature of kupa which is above ground level is parapet wall with arragement of hauling up water

Kunda(pond) -artificially built pond; usually square, octagonal or oblong - can be of various sizes - water well reached through spirals of steps or staggered lateral staircases - descending passages are mostly embellished with platforms, small shrines, niches and pavilion complex - often kunda is connected with a temple or situated within temple complex - Kupa or vertical well with a spring in the middle or one side of kunda to ensure constant flow of fresh water eg: Suryakund at Modhera

Tadaga or Tadaka or talav(tank or lake) - lake blocked with artificially built dam - often beginning of the staircase is marked by flanking entrance halls placed on a raised platforms > embellished with structures eg: Kankariatalav (Ahmedabad) - some examples date back to Mauryan times (320 B.C.) with embankments, sluices, drains etc

B. The main architectural elements

- resembles a subterranean temple - three major features 1. kupa or vertical well to haul water 2. stepped corridor from entrance pavilion to water level of well 3. numerous tower like pavillions (kuta) built as open halls (mandapa) in stepped corridor 4. Mukhamandapa or first pavilion is simple , open, pillared hall, either square or oblong or cross shaped in plan 5. Entrance pavilion on raised platform approached by steps on three sides 6. Sometimes mukhmandapa is missing and the stepped corridor begins simply with few steps 7. In some cases the entrance may be flanked by lateral gate towers; leaving the space between them as an entrance 8. A series of steps lead from first pavilion (kuta) to second pavilion (kuta) 9. Such successive storeys of kuta at regular dostances lead to water level


B. The main architectural elements

10. They could be six to seven storeys underground 11. Stepwells are utilitarian being a source of water and also provide a social function by being a meeting place in a village. Thus these social monuments are often composed of various small shrines

C. Types Type I - with straight stepped corridor at one entrance

1. with lateral stairs 3. with both supporting structures 4. with pavilion towers as only supporting structures

Type II with straight stepped corridor and three entrances Type III - with L-shaped corridor (ground plan is L-shaped) Type IV - with circumambulatory passage
Type V - with cross shaped ground plan

Type I - with straight stepped corridor at one


Type II with straight stepped corridor and

three entrances


Type III - with L-shaped corridor

Type IV - with circumambulatory passage

Helical staircase

Helical staircase, Champaner, Vadodra