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Hindu forms of worship -Evolution of temple form - meaning, symbolism,

ritual and social Importance of temple

Categories of temple - elements of temple architecture

Early shrines of the Gupta and Chalukyan periods

Tigawa temple

Ladh Khan and Durga temple -Aihole

Papanatha, Virupaksha temples -Pattadakal

Kailasanatha temple - Ellora


100 AD – 160 AD
•Drainage syste
•Rectangular intersecting roads
•Sanitary system
•Monolithic Pillars
•Finely carved capitols – Bull capitol and Sarnath capitol
•Stupas start during this period – 4 gateways
•Surface built with bricks
•Viharas and Chaityas
•Rock Cut Architecture
Shunga – Satvahanas
· Early classic architecture
· Carved railings and gateways around Buddhist shrines
· Sculpture developed
· The emperor himself was a divine authority
· Buddha was first time given a human form during this time
Gupta period
· Beginning of Hindu temples – temple at Deoghar, Udaigiri caves in Orissa
· Vaishnavite temple in Vidisha
• Blend of Aryan and Dravidian style of architecture
· Mandaps, Rathas and finely carved panels and pillars
· Shore temple at Mahabs is a structural temple
· Ratha temple is a rock cut temple
· Kanchipuram also has temples.
Panels depict shiva as Natraja, History of Pallavas
· Tanjaur Temple: 65 m tall vimana
· Pillared halls and sculptures depicting Bharata’s natyashastra
· Fine paintings
· Built high outer walls and gopuram
· Their gopurams can be seen from long distances
· Belur and Halebeed temples
· Profusion of manifold pillars with rich and intricate carvings
· Panels depict gods and goddesses
Orissa Temples
· Lingraja temple 40 m high
· Sun Temple
Hindu temples
• The temple is a holy site (tirtha), where they practitioners can perform
circumambulation (pradaksina).
• They also perform the pious act of gazing at the deity (darsan) and
offering prayers, flowers and food (puja).
• The temple is never a meeting place for a congregation, but it came to be
a focal point of the community.
• The heart of the temple is the dark hall called garbha grha (womb hall),
where the most important icon is placed. It is the most important area.
• Pillared halls (mandapa) and porticos were added to the garbha graha,
which was surmounted with a tower (sikhara)--center of the universe (axis
• Many varieties: wood, brick, terracotta, and variety of stone (e.g., schist,
chlorite, marble)
• Temples required to be heavily ornamented (things lacking in ornament
were considered imperfect or incomplete.
• Motifs: narrative reliefs, animal motifs, floral and vegetation motifs.
Brahma-God of Creator
Vishnu-God of Preserver (has many incarnations such as Rama and Krishna)
Shiva-God of Destroyer (also the protector of animals)
Devi-goddess (e.g., Laksmi (“Good Fortune”) and Parvati); symbolizing
beauty, benevolent, and wealth as well as power and wrath
10 scientific reasons behind the rituals in Hinduism according
to the ancient texts

1. The Location and Structure of the Temple

•Temples are found
deliberately at a place
where the positive energy -
magnetic and electric wave
conveyances of
north/south post push.

•The idol of God is set in

the core center of the
temple, known as
“Garbhagriha” or
“Moolasthanam”- place
where earth’s magnetic
waves are discovered to be
most extreme.
2. Removing Your Footwear before Entering Temple

•Temples, contains pure

vibrations of magnetic and
electric fields with positive
•the floor at the centre of
the temple were good
conductors of these
positive vibrations allowing
them to pass through our
feet to the body
Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste, And Smell
3. Ringing the Temple Bell When You Enter the Temple – Hearing Sense Activated
•produce a sound, it
creates a unity in the Left
and Right parts of our
•sharp and enduring
sound which lasts for
minimum of 7 seconds in
echo mode.
• The duration of echo is
good enough to activate
all the seven healing
centres in our body.
•This results in emptying our brain from all negative thoughts.
This bell sound is also absorbed by the idol and vibrated within the Garbhagudi
for a certain period of time.
Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste, And Smell
4. Lighting Camphor In Front Of Idol – Sight Sense Activated

•The inner sanctity is

usually dark and the
immediate seeing of light
after praying activates the
sight sense.

• lighting camphor is for

the idol to absorb the
heat and vibrate within
the Garbhagudi for certain
Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste, And Smell
5. Put Your Hands over the Camphor Flames and Then Touch Eyes – Touch Sense

•hands over the camphor to make

your hands warm and then you touch
your eyes with your warm hands-
touch sense is active.

6. Offering Flowers to God At The

Temple – Smell Sense Activated
•rose petals, jasmine, marigold based
on different factors, amongst them
fragrance is most important.
•The fragrance of the flower,
camphor and instance sticks all
together have the strong essence to
keep your smell sense active and
pleasant giving calmness to the mind.
Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste, And Smell
7. Drinking Theertham – Taste Sense Activated
•drink theertham ideally from a silver
or a copper vessel. The water used
for theertham usually would contain
Thulasi leaves dipped in water and
must be stored at least for eight
hours in the copper vessel.
•balance all the three doshas in your
body, (vata, kapha and pitta)
• By drinking this Thulasi water you
activate the taste sense.
•The other benefits of drinking
Thulasi water from a copper or silver
vessel also includes cure for sore
throats, Fever etc.
Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste, And Smell
8. Doing Pradakshina around the Garbhagriha/Moolasthanam
•walk around the idol inside the
Garbhagirha, the inner most
chamber of temple in clockwise
direction for nine times.
•The idol inside the Garbhagriha
absorbs all the energy from the bell
sound, camphor heat and vibrates
the positive energy within the
•absorb all these positive vibrations
once your five senses are activated.
• This vibration inside the
Garbhagriha is considerably less and
hence it is advised to visit the temple
very often and follow the same
rituals again.
Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste, And Smell
9. Applying Tilak/Kumkum Given By the Temple Priest

•On the forehead, between the two

eyebrows, is a spot that is considered
as a major nerve point in human body
since ancient times.
•The Tilak is believed to prevent the
loss of “energy”, the red ‘kumkum’
between the eyebrows - retain energy
in the human body and control the
various levels of concentration.
•Agnya-chakra are automatically
pressed. This also facilitates the blood
supply to the face muscles.
Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste, And Smell
10. Why Offer Coconut And Banana To God When You Visit Indian Temples?

•Coconut and Banana are the only two

fruits in this world which are
considered to be “Sacred fruits”.
•All other fruits are tainted fruits
(partially eaten fruits

•In the case of coconut and banana, the

shell or the sleeves is not used for

•This is the reason why Coconut and

Banana has an important place in all
religious activities.
•One who is able to withdraw his senses
from sense objects, as the tortoise draws
its limbs within the shell, is firmly fixed in
perfect consciousness.

•it is the vahana of Shiva - the god of

skies &destruction. Shiva with Nandi
is one of the oldest forms of Hindu
representation - dating before 3000
•Animal that connects the rural
•Symbolise strength, firmness and
guardian for the god who is fierce yet
a saviour
Vastu-purusa mandala
• A myth explains the symbolic diagram (mandala): the gods in
seeking to impose order on chaos, forced the primeval man,
Purusa, into a square grid, the vastu-purusa mandala, whose
basic unit is the square pada

• Hindu temple is the dwelling of the gods. It is based on the

grid systems of 64 (8x8) and 81 (9x9) squares.

• Square is the prefect shape for the ground plan.

• Priests perform ritual of consecrations which connect between

sexual rites and fertility in Hindu architecture.
Vastu­purusa mandala
Artha Mandapa.

1. Garbhagriha
2. Mandapa.
3. Antarala.
4. Mahamandapa.
5. Enclosing wall
6. Pradhikshana path.
•Shikara has the repetition of architectural motifs, converted into an element
of decoration. These architectural motifs have much deeper
meaning.Symbolically it means to reach or get closer to the GOD
•There are two style of temple architecture were followed.
•Dravidian style in south
•Indo Aryan in north.
1. In one concept it was the derivation from the peaked or domed huts.
2. Temple developed form stupa-elongated form of the dome.
3. Temple is referred as ratha or the sikhara

North Indian Nagara Style South Indian Dravida Style Combined Style
Elements of Hindu temple
• The sanctuary as whole is known as the
• Vimana that consists of two parts.
• The upper part of the Vimana is called as the Sikhara
• the lower portion inside the Vimana is called as the Garbhagriha (cella or
inner chamber).
Elements of Hindu temple
‘Sikhara’ meaning the tower or the spire.

• It is the pyramidal or tapering portion of the temple

which represents the mythological ‘Meru’ or the highest
mountain peak.
• The shape and the size of the tower vary from region to region.

‘Garbhagriha’ meaning the womb chamber.

• It is nucleus and the innermost chamber of the temple where the image
or idol of the deity is placed.
• The chamber is mostly square in plan and is entered
by a doorway on its eastern side.
• The visitors are not allowed inside the
Elements of Hindu temple
• Pradakshina patha’ meaning the ambulatory passageway for

• It consists of enclosed corridor carried around the outside of


• The devotees walk around the deity in clockwise direction as a worship

ritual and symbol of respect to the temple god or goddess.
• ‘Mandapa’, is the pillared hall in front of the garbhagriha, for the
assembly of the devotees.
• It is used by the devotees to sit, pray, chant, meditate and watch the
priests performing the rituals.
Elements of Hindu temple
• It is also known as ‘Natamandira’ meaning temple hall of dancing, where
in olden days ritual of music and dance was performed.

• In some of the earlier temples the mandapa was an isolated and separate
structure from the sanctuary like in Mahabalipuram

• . ‘Antarala’ meaning the vestibule or the intermediate chamber.

• It unites the main sanctuary and the pillared hall of the temple.

• ‘Ardhamandapa’ meaning the front porch or the main entrance of the

temple leading to the mandapa.
•No structural innovativeness
•Based on centre of gravity
•Mass supporting mass
• No mortar- dry order
•Method of quarrying-
•groove drawn
•hole driven
•wooden peg inserted
•on pouring water wood expands
•stone breaks free
•facing was hammer dressed
•offsite fabrication was always carried out
•assembling at site after preparation of each block at quarry
•To enable this accurate measurements are needed
•Sometimes models are prepared initially

4th BC- 6th BC
The Gupta Empire was one of the first people to use stone to build instead of wood.

Their architecture was dedicated to building stone temples for the various gods.

Their architecture marked the beginning in the creation of stone structures.

They built the first free standing structural temples.

They made structures called Stupas, this form of architecture made its way to china, where it was altered
slightly and renamed the Pagoda.
They invented manuals which described how to build the temples.
•Sophisticated urban culture, people of prime. Lot of literature, scultpure, texts, art etc
•Best knows old poets from this period Kalidas,Kama Sutra came from this period
•Establishment of Sanskrit culture, high culture of city elites AND Bhramanical Architecture. Rituals were
imbibed in the Temple Architecture. Scientific reasoning was given for all. And were reserved for upper
Revival of Arya concepts as a new civic culture.

•Revival of kingship legitimized but Brahmins as the custodians of order

•Projection of Arya/Vedic age as a lost golden age; modernization of old Vedic gods and rituals
•Incorporation of Buddha and Buddhist ideas, into the new Hinduism.
•The birth of the Hindu temple.
•Rise of Shiva and Vishnu, puja introduced.
The Gupta style was influenced by Kusana, Mathura, and Gandhara and borrowed the common
features of T-shaped doorways, decorated door jambs, sculpted panels with high-relief figures,
and laurel-wreath and acanthus motifs.

Constructed using sandstone, granite, and brick, Gupta-era temples added to this architectural
heritage with horseshoe gavakshas arches and distinctive curved shikhara towers which are
frequently topped with a ribbed disk ornamentation known as an amalaka,t he crown.

These elaborate buildings are further decorated with a mass of ornate mouldings and
sculptures set in niches.

In Gupta architecture, the square was considered the most perfect form and temples were
designed to be appreciated from all sides so that each carries decorative architectural features.

Most temples also adopt a square plan with the single cubicle garbhagriha in the centre. This is
normally entered by a short columned porch set over a single, highly decorated doorway with a
projecting lintel.

Columns can support a pot-and-foliage capital, and roofs were generally flat, as in surviving
examples at Tigawa and Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh. Other typical Gupta decorative features
include triangle motifs inside doorways and lion's heads at the ends of stone beams.
Evolution of Temple Architecture in India during Gupta Period:

During the Gupta period, a firm foundation of temple architecture was laid when  the
basic elements of the Indian temple consisting of a square sanctum and pillared
porch emerged.                                                                                                       
The evolved Gupta temple also had a covered processional path for
circumambulation (Pradakshana Path) that formed a part of the worship-ritual.
Earlier temples of the period had a monolithic
flat slab roof.

Later temples in brick and stone developed a Shikhara

The gradual evolution of the Gupta style is traceable through

development of the plan and the ornamentation on the pillars and

the later introducing new decorative motifs like goblins, couples,

flying angels, door-keepers and a figure relief in the centre of the
lintel emblematic of the deity consecrated in the temple

Sculptures of deities, their consorts, celestial beings, couples,

directional deities, composite animals and decorative motifs formed

the mass of images that adorned the walls of the temples and their
The deities consecrated in the sanctum were carved strictly
according to religious canons and installed by performing
a special consecration ceremony.

Temple sculptures were not necessarily religious. Many drew

on secular subject matters and decorative motifs.

The scenes of everyday life consist of military processions,

royal court scenes, musicians, dancers, acrobats and amorous


Temple of Bhitargaon:

•This temple is the earliest and the most remarkable example of

brick building and bears resemblance to the Buddhist temple of Bodhgaya.
•The temple at Bhitaragaon stands at the centre of a fairly high plinth.
•It is a tower-like edifice, rising in diminishing stages to a height of 70 feet.
•The projected porch on the east side is approached by steps.
•The outer ornamentation of terracotta sculpture is certainly the most striking feature of the Bhitaragaon
•The walls rise in bold moldings, their upper portions being decorated with a row of rectangular panels
alternating with ornamental pilasters.
•Like many Brahmanical structures, it was not a temple for worshippers but a repository or a shrine for an
•This is the oldest remaining Hindu shrine with a roof and a high Sikhara in which there is a series of
Parvathi Temple at
Nachana Kuthara:

•This is a west facing temple, contrary

to most of other Hindu temples which
face east.

•The sanctum doorway is surrounded

by finely carved guardians with Ganga
and Yamuna, river goddesses.

•North and south walls are provided

with pierced stone windows so that the
light can enter the sanctum.
Shiva temple at Bhumara:

•It resembles in type and plan to the Bhitaragaon temple.

•This shrine consists of a square masonary cella ( garbagriha) of about 35 feet side with a flat slab-roof
and a carved doorway having representations of river-goddesses on the jambs and a fine bust of Shiva,
with flying figures on the lintel.
•Around the garba griha are the scattered remains of a larger chamber which surrounded it, providing a
roofed pradaksina patha, and of amandapam attached to and preceding this enclosure.
•These remains consist of a great variety of columns which are not monolithic, of richly carved lintels
that supported the roofing slabs, of Chaitya-window niches from the cornice.
•Some of the gana figures have raksasa faces on their Bellies.
Dasavathara Vishnu Temple at Deogarh:

•The most important feature of the temple is Sikhara instead of the conventional flat roof
•Another most important feature of this temple is the arrangement of its portico.
•In the centre of the over-door slab is a plaque of Vishnu on the great naga
•To the right and the left at the top and outside the main zone of the frame are reliefs of the river
goddess Ganga and Jamuna.
•Dvarpalas or door guardians and female divinities are carved on the overlapping frames of the door.
• Shaft
• Lion abacus ; Bell capital
• Supports a statue of god Vishnu with a halo
• 43’ high
• At present it is the iron pillar at Delhi
• Erected by Kumaragupta,Original site near Mathura
• Erected 415 BC
• Later shifted to a mosque site
• 23’ 8” high, made of pure malleable iron
• 6 tons weight
• First it bore the image of Garuda
• Moldings on top
• Can be divided into three parts
o Uppermost- square abacus
o Below melon capital
o Campani form capital
The iron pillar is 7.21 metres tall, with 93 cm buried below the present floor level, and has a
diameter of 41 cm
The pillar, made up of nearly seven tones of 98 per
cent wrought iron of pure quality, is 7.21m (23 feet
8 inches) high, with 93 cm buried below the
present floor level, and has a diameter of 41cm (16
According to the inscription on it, the pillar was erected at its
original venue by Chandragupta II Vikramaditya (375–414
(550 – 750 AD, 973 – 1190 AD)

The birth of the Chalukyan Dynasty was in the 5th c. with its capitals
at Aihole, Badami, Pattadakkal
Constituted the center of influence for medieval Indian art

The contributions of the Pallavas and Orissa along with Northern influences were absorbed
Aihole illustrates 2 distinct variants in the development of dressed stone Hindu architecture


•The Pallavas and the Chalukyas were rival dynasties battling the control of south India

•There was hence a style that combined Dravidian and Nagara Styles

•Hence the Structures of this period have Pallavan influence. Most of the later chalukyan
temples were build by Dravidian labourers

•The only difference being it is of dressed rather than rock cut

(550 – 750 AD, 973 – 1190 AD)


•The only dated monument in Aihole, the Meguti Temple was built atop a small hill in 634

•Now partly in ruins, possibly never completed, this temple provides an important evidence
of the early development of the Dravidian style of Architecture

•HUCHIMALLI TEMPLE- Pronaos (only columns no walls on the sides)was introduced

•Finer masonry- stone blocks used
•Delicate ornamentation
•Fractal method of derivation of vimana
Lad Khan Temple at Aihole: EARLY CHALUKYAN PERIOD-5th – 8th c. AD (550 – 750 AD, 973 –
•Dedicated to Shiva
•Temple consists of a shrine (garba griha) with mandapa in front of it
•rectangular building with a flat roof of stone slabs
•stone-grills on two sides to admit light
•The eastern end opens in the pillared porch. The wall is in reality a Pre style of massive
stone posts between which the latticed slabs have been placed like screens.
•The main shrine houses a Shiva Linga with a Nandi and outer walls having many carved
images along with floral motifs.
•The mukha mandapa situated in front of the sanctum and consists of a set of twelve
carved pillars.
•Lad Khan temple is the earliest example of the massive bracket-like capital continued
throughout the Hindu Renaissance period.
•Ladkhan Temple is one of the oldest temples in the complex probably built
in 450 AD.

• It was initially used as a panchayat hall where Pulakesi I performed horse sacrifices.

•Later it was turned into a temple – first Surya Temple and then Shivalaya.

•Since it is early construction, the pillars are relatively carving free.

•The most beautiful part of the temple is the lattice windows with intricate carvings
taking inspiration from northern temples.

• The carving could have been a later addition to the temple once the appropriate skills
had developed.
•The central square with flat roof houses the Nandi.

•The Nandi is surprisingly completely intact.

•Over the central square there is a broken shikhar which again could be a later addition.

• The temple got its name either from a general or a mendicant who lived here.
Plan – 50’ square
•3 sides walled, two sides of which have perforated stone
•4th side on east-open pillared porch projecting outwards
•Entered through a 12 pillared portico in an expansion of
the 9 square plan
•Interior consists of a 16 pillared hall like a pillared pavilion
•2 square groups of columns, one within the other thus
providing a double aisle.

•Roofed with huge slabs of stone laid almost flat
•Inclined to permit run off
•Carried on pillars and corbels in imitation of a wood frame
•Stone battens between the roofing stones helped to make it
water tight
•Primitive roofing technique which gave way to successive
layers of horizontal corbelling
•The holy shrine was introduced at the end for the
•Plain square shaft pillars existed
•Bracket capital, neck and wave mouldings
•Handsome jali whose perforations compose
geometrical motifs and relief structures
•Kudu friezes in upper part of the temple base and
around sides of roof – celestial city
•On the roof a little square aedicule has the reliefs of
the 3 divinities-Vishnu, Surya, Devi
•Roof-Joints-covered all along by another stone
•Disproportionate structures
•Wasteful materials used unnecessarily
•The Durga Temple is the most unique temple you have ever seen.
• It almost resembles a mini fort. And therefore probably it is named Durg or a fortress
rather than dedicated to Goddess Durga.
•The sign says that it has apsidal plan but non-apsidal curvilinear shikhar.
•the temple is a delight to look at and is emblematic of Aihole town.
• A colonnaded corridor runs around the temple that allows parikrama or
•The pillars have some great carvings.
•The garbha griha or the sanctum sanctorum is topped with a broken shikhar.
•The temple was built in the 8th century during the times of the later king Vikramaditya
•The exquisite and detailed carving clearly shows that in 2 centuries since they started
temple construction, the Chalukyan Architecture had reached its peak.
•This is the brahmanical version of the
Buddhist Chaitya hall adapted to suit the
service of the former belief.
•The durga temple which mostly follows
this model was probably erected during
the sixth century.

•The temple includes mukha

mandapa,sabha mandapa and
•It has an apsidal ended structure
measuring 60’ by 36’.
•It is an improvement over the
Ladhkhan Temple
•Derived from the Budhist Chaitya
halls-6th Century
•The temple derives its name from
6’ Durgadagudi meaning 'temple near the

6 24 •Dedicated to Vishnu,
0’ ’
Gabagriha - ardha-mandpa - sabha-mandapa - mukhamandapa
Papanath temple – Pattadakal
•90’ x 30’ in dimension. The Papanath temple erected before the end of the 17 th
century reveals in
•experience in architectural design.

•This plan lacks correct placement of the main parts and a logical inter relationship
between them.
•The sikhara at the eastern end of the building is too short and under sized
•For the LENGHT, low building and the antrala is too big.
•It looks like square assembly hall than a vestibule more like a mandapa than an
ante chamber to the sanctuary.
•Temple has on plan a sanctum (garbhagriha ) surrounded by a
circumambulatory path (pradakshinapatha)
•With devakoshtha pavilions in its three walls, an ardha-mandpa, a sabha-
mandapa and an entrance porch (mukhamandapa)
•There is no Nandi-mandapa but an ornate image of Nandi is housed in the
eastern half of the sabha-mandapa.
•The temple is built on a plinth of five mouldings, embellished with animal motifs,
floral designs and kudus.

• The wall surfaces are relieved with niches (devakoshthas) housing Saiva and
Vaishnava deities and depicting episodes from the Ramayana.
• These niches are topped by various designs of chaitya-arch motifs and
interspersed with perforated windows.
• The amalaka and kalasa are, however, missing.
•Dedicated to Lord Vishnu
•Built as the chief temple after the capital was founded
•Later on converted into Shiva’s temple
•Clearly shows the evolution of the temple
•90’ long. Tower on the eastern end- too small and stunted
•Illogical arrangement of the plan as evolution of the temple took place.
Uncertainty of positioning the elements.
•Antarala or Vestibule is wrongly positioned
•Too large, takes the shape of a square court with 4 pillars.
•Instead of a connecting chamber it becomes another hall.
•Disproportion in plan has created disproportion in elevation.
•Both the plan and the elevation does not harmonize.
•The interior still bears the influence of rock cut architecture .
•The string courses surrounding the building resemble strong braces holding the
structure together. the decoration of the outer surface consisting of repetitions of
•Of bas relief shrines in a triangular pattern on the canopies, shows little under
standing of architectural ornamentation.
•This temple, in worship, known as ‘Shri Lokeswara- was built by Lokamahadevi,
the Queen of Vikaramaditya II in A.D.740 to commemorate her husband’s victory
over the Pallavas of Kanchipuram.

• It closely resembles the Kailasanatha temple at Kanchipuram on plan and

elevation and represents a fully developed and perfected stage of the Dravidian
•This temple has on plan a square sanctum (garbhagriha) with a circumambulatory
path (pradakshinapatha), an antarala with two small shrines for
• with entrance porches
•Separate Nandi-mandapa in front.
•The complex is enclosed by high prakara walls.
•Against the inner faces of these walls there were small shrines (originally 32)
dedicated to the subsidiary deities of which only a few are extant now.
•The enclosure has been provided with ornate entrance gates ((pratolis) on both east
and west.
The temple is built on a high plinth of five fully evolved mouldings.

• All these projections of the sanctum walls carry niches housing images of Saiva and
Vaishnava deities

•The superstructure over the sanctum is a Dravida-vimana in three storeys

•It is square in plan and repeats in its elevation many elements of the parapet and
walls beneath.

•It has a beautifully shaped square roof (shikhara) with a round finial kalasa above.
•The whole of the interior of this temple is embellished with elegant carvings and
aesthetically modeled sculptures.

•Episodes from the Ramayana (e.g. abduction of Sita) Mahabharata (e.g. Bhishma
lying in a bed of arrows), Bhagavata (e.g. Krishna lifting the Govardhan mountain) and
Kiratarjuniya (e.g. Arjuna receiving the Pasupatastra from Siva) are depicted on the
pillars of the sabha- mandapa and the pilasters here have the sculptures of amorous
couples and Rati and Manmatha.

• Flora, fauna and geometrical patterns adorn various parts of the temple.
• Doorjambs (dwara-shakhas) with their delicate carvings, pillars and pilasters with
various types of capitals and carvings on their faces

• lintels relieved with animals, birds and architectural motifs, ceilings depicting divine
beings and the majestically standing dwarapalas - attest to the heights reached by the
Chalukyan sculptures.

The Nandi-mandapa situated to the east of the temple, is a square pavilion open on all
the four sides.
Virupaksha Temple
Virupaksha Temple
The Kailash (कक ललाश, Kailasa, Kailasha, Kailasanatha Temple
Kailasanatha) temple is the unmatched
structure in the world situated in Ellora.

This is designed to recall Mount Kailash, the

abode of Bhagwan Shiv – stands tall,
enclosed within a big man made crater,
surrounded by rock.

It is world’s oldest single rock carved, multi-

storeyed temple complex. West
archaeologists were awestruck and
compared to notice that it is double the size
of Parthenon in Athens.

After being closely monitored, several

experts also found that initially the temple
was entirely covered with white plaster to
increasingly resemble the snow covered
Mount Kailash.
The influence of other temple styles cannot be neglected, for, this temple resembles closely with the
Virupaksha temple at Pattadakkal, an early Chalukyan temple. Kailasa was excavated under Krishna I (A.D.
756-783) the Rashtrakuta monarch-It was originally known as Krishneswara, after the great king, conceived
on a mighty scale, announcing to the entire world, the ingenuity, character and architectural genius.
The most prominent feature of the court is two huge monolithic elephants and pillars on each side. The
pillars, square in shape rise to a height of 45 feet and is crowned by a huge trisula. The pillars are decorated
with sculptural as well as moulding decorations.
images of Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati. This may be the symbolical representation of unison of these three
rivers at Prayaga, the most sacred spot of the Brahmanical faith. A lay worshipper is purified here by offering
his prayers at this spot, just before proceeding further into the temple.
•The temple shows traces of Pallava style.
•the Chalukya king Vikramaditya II (r. 733–744 CE) took some Pallava artists back to
his kingdom after defeating the Pallavas.
•The entrance to the temple courtyard features a low gopuram.
•Most of the deities at the left of the entrance are Shaivaite(followers of Lord Shiva)
while on the right hand side the deities are Vaishnavaites (followers of Lord Vishnu).
• A two-storeyed gateway opens to reveal a U-shaped courtyard- 82 m x 46 m at the
•The courtyard is edged by a columned arcade three stories high.
• The arcades are punctuated by huge sculpted panels, and alcoves containing
enormous sculptures of a variety of deities.
• Originally flying bridges of stone connected these galleries to central temple
structures, but these have fallen.
•The rear wall of its excavated courtyard has length of 276 feet (84 m), breadth of 154
feet (47 m) and height of 100 ft (33 m) high.
•The temple is built carving a big rock of 164 feet (50 m) deep, 109 feet (33 m) wide,
and 98 feet (30 m) high.
•Within the courtyard, there is a central shrine dedicated to Shiva, and an image of his
mount Nandi(the sacred bull).
• The central shrine housing the lingam features a flat-roofed mandapa supported by
16 pillars, and a Dravidian shikhara.
•The shrine – complete with pillars, windows, inner and outer rooms, gathering halls,
and an enormous stone lingam at its heart – is carved with niches, plasters, windows
as well as images of deities, mithunas (erotic male and female figures) and other
•The Nandi mandapa and main Shiva temple are each about 7 metres high, and
built on two storeys.
• The base of the temple has been carved to suggest that elephants are holding
the structure aloft. A rock bridge connects the Nandi Mandapa to the porch of
the temple.
•There are five detached shrines in the temple premises; three of these are
dedicated to the river goddesses: Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. [1]
•There are two Dhwajasthambha (pillars with flagstaff) in the courtyard. A
notable sculpture is that of the Ravana attempting to lift Mount Kailasa
•The carving was done from top to down digging a single basalt cliff rock.
•Work happened only 16 hours a day.
• The reflection of sun rays from mirrors were used as there was no electricity in
ancient period.
Based on Archaeological Survey of India, ASI’s information, stunning Architectural feats.
•The rear wall of its excavated courtyard has length of 276 feet (84 m), breadth of 154 feet (47 m) and height
of 100 ft (33 m) high.
•The temple is built carving a big rock of 164 feet (50 m) deep, 109 feet (33 m) wide, and 98 feet (30 m) high.
•Largest cantilevered rock ceiling in the world.
•Located at 99-km from Sambhaji Nagar (aurangabad), Maharashtra. The entire complex of Ajanta
encompasses 29 rock-cut rooms.
•It is assumed by some experts that the entire complex and temple structure might be created between 200
BC and AD 650 only using rudimentary hand tools.
•Four are Chaityas (temples) and Most others are Viharas (living quarters).
•The carving was done from top to down digging a single basalt cliff rock.
•Work happened only 16 hours a day. The reflection of sun rays from mirrors were used as there was no
electricity in ancient period. However, there are so many inner parts of the structure where even sun rays
cannot reach even using multi-layered mirror arrangement so delicately carving intricate designs in such
places is done using yogic eyes.
•During Satyug, average height of people were 32 feet and their lifespan was lakhs of years with wishful
death for Yogis. It is highly possible that the major carving of digging deep the entire mountain were done by
these pious and strong people.