ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

EVOLUTION OF INDIAN HINDU TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE

Updated on December 31, 2010

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.

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.

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.

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)

The VESARA style temples were influenced by the Buddhist apsidal chapels and evolved during the period the Later CHALUKYAS.

If the ancient YAGASALAS or RIG VEDIC times were based on the SULVASUTRAS the later temple complexes were based on VASTU SASTRA which had it sources from such diverse scriptures as the SUTRAS, PURANAS, AGAMAS and TANTRIC literature.


INDIAN TEMPLES

Konarak sub Temple
Konarak sub Temple
Lingaraj Temple Bhubaneshwar, Orissa - Nagara style
Lingaraj Temple Bhubaneshwar, Orissa - Nagara style
Vesara style temple
Vesara style temple
Brihadeshwara Temple - Dravidian style
Brihadeshwara Temple - Dravidian style
Cave temples of Ajanta
Cave temples of Ajanta
Five Rathas of Mahabalipuram
Five Rathas of Mahabalipuram
Mahabalipuram plan
Mahabalipuram plan
Mahabalipuram
Mahabalipuram
Kerala style architecture - Triprayar Sri Rama Temple
Kerala style architecture - Triprayar Sri Rama Temple
Books on Temple architecture - Medieval period
Books on Temple architecture - Medieval period

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    sreelakshmi 

    5 years ago

    thaks for the information but i need more references on temple architecture plezzz provide som useful suggesions

  • profile image

    FAITS 

    6 years ago

    HEY GR8 INFO...CAN YOU HELP ME BY POSTING ABOUT THE PLAN OF A HINDU TEMPLE.I WANT TO LEARN ABOUT THE PLANNING

  • ram_m profile imageAUTHOR

    ram_m 

    6 years ago from India

    I'am honoured by your comment Mountain Blossoms. Thank you

  • Mountain Blossoms profile image

    Marianne Kellow 

    6 years ago from SE Thailand

    Such good information and the photos are brilliant! Truly inspirational. As I read each of your hubs I feel I must do more reading, India has such beautiful architecture, culture and learning. Thank you once again. MB

  • ram_m profile imageAUTHOR

    ram_m 

    6 years ago from India

    thank you aaquib

  • profile image

    aaqib 

    6 years ago

    awesome very useful for my studies

  • ram_m profile imageAUTHOR

    ram_m 

    6 years ago from India

    thank you shamila

  • profile image

    shamila 

    6 years ago

    awsum jod this is very useful for my studies

  • ram_m profile imageAUTHOR

    ram_m 

    7 years ago from India

    Thank you lex123

  • ram_m profile imageAUTHOR

    ram_m 

    7 years ago from India

    Thank you Soumysrajan

  • lex123 profile image

    lex123 

    7 years ago

    Great hub on Indian temples. Very good information. Thanks for writing this.

  • profile image

    soumyasrajan 

    7 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

    Quite amazing picture Ram. Breathtaking! I liked your description of classification too.

  • ram_m profile imageAUTHOR

    ram_m 

    8 years ago from India

    Thank you Ben

  • profile image

    ben 

    8 years ago

    good work!

  • ram_m profile imageAUTHOR

    ram_m 

    8 years ago from India

    Thanks Rmnathan

  • Rmnathan profile image

    Rmnathan 

    8 years ago from Sharjah

    Very good hub on Indian temple architecture. Thanks.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)