Bharathiya Shilpa Vyavastha (Part 10)

6). Western Chalukya/ Kalyani Chalukya: This temple Architecture Style is also from Karnataka and was patronised by the Western Chalukyas from 973 CE to 1180 CE. The Western Chalukya temples were smaller than those of the early Chalukyas, a fact very clearly visible in the reduced height of the Vimana Gopurams, which are built over the Garbha Griha. Most of these temples are Vesara type. 

7). Rashtrakuta: This temple Architecture Style is also from present-day Karnataka and was patronised by the Rashtrakuta Dynasty from 753 CE to 973 CE. The Rashtrakutas contributed much to the architectural heritage of Karnataka and Maharashtra. Their building style can be categorized into three types: 1. Ellora; 2. Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal and 3. Sirval near Gulbarga. One of the achievements of the Rashtrakutas was at the Kailasanatha temple at Ellora – which is considered an architectural pinnacle of the monolithic rock-cut temples. This temple deserves to be considered one of the wonders of the world – it is a megalith structure carved out of a rock cliff. It stands a majestic 32.6 m – 120 feet tall and was constructed starting from the top of the cliff and the entire temple is carved / sculpted top to bottom. The total courtyard of the temple measures 82m X 46m!8).Vijayanagara: This temple Architecture Style is also from Karnataka; basically, patronised by the Vijayanagara Dynasty from 1343 AD to 1565 AD. The Vijayanagara style uses the hard Granite stone in contrast to the above architecture where Soapstone was used. The Virupaksha temple in Hampi with the Savira Malige (1000 Shops) is the most famous. The Savira Malige was one of the world’s oldest and biggest shopping mall consisting of 1000 shops. It is said that traders from more than 90 countries used to converge here for trade. This along with 55 more sites are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 654 monuments are protected by the Karnataka Government and another 300 are awaiting approval of the Government for protection.

9).Hoysala: This temple Architecture Style is also from Karnataka and was patronised by the Hoysala Dynasty from 1100 AD to 1343 AD. Although each of the temples they built were superficially unique, the Hoysala temples resemble each other in many structural aspects. They are characterised by intricate sculptures decorating all the temple parts using soapstone (chloritic schist). Soapstone is a good material for intricate carving, and these carvings were usually executed by local craftsmen. They exhibit architectural features like the staggered square plan for the Mandapam, that distinguish them from other temple architectures. 

10).Kerala/Chera: This temple Architecture Style is from the ‘God’s own country’ Kerala; this was mainly patronised by the Chera Dynasty and earliest temples are from 300 BCE. This is one of the styles that has survived to the present day. The early temples were built using burnt bricks or laterite stone, mortar, Teak or Indian Rosewood and clay burnt tiles as roofing material with copper plating for water-proofing. In the modern times, the artisans use burnt bricks or laterite stone, cement, steel and burnt clay roofing tiles, but in some cases, they use concrete. It is important to note that the design aspects have remained the same for nearly 2300 years. 

11). Maratha (Maharashtra): This temple Architecture is from Maharashtra. This style was patronised by the Marathas between 200 BCE and 1900 CE. In the later stages it was popularised by Ahalya Bai Holkar. They built temples in both old and new Nagara styles. Maratha temple Architecture between the mid-seventeenth and early nineteenth centuries was influenced by the preceding Yadava Architecture. 

12).Yadava: This is a temple architecture from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana States as the Dynasty of Yadavas ruled in these states and are said to have moved their capitals in these three states. They ruled from 1189 CE to 1310 CE. They built the temples mostly sticking to the old Nagara type of temples. The temples of Devegiri (Daulatabad, Maharashtra), Yadgir (Yadgir district Karnataka) and temples in and around Bhagyanagar (Hyderabad) are some examples.   

13). Gond (Central Bharata): This temple Architecture is from Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh; patronised by the Gond Dynasty from 1300 CE to 1700 CE. They used very soft stones like Limestone and Sandstone which were locally available. These temples have domes and arches and they used mortar too very deftly.

14). Kalinga (Odisha): This temple architecture was patronised by the Kalinga Kings between 800 CE to 1300 CE. The style consists of three distinct types of temples: 1. Rekha Deula, 2. Pidha Deula and 3. Khakkhara Deula. The former two are associated with Vishnu, Surya and Shiva temples, while the third is mainly with Chamunda and Durga temples. The Rekha Deula and Khakkhara Deula house only the Garbha Griha while the Pidha Deula constitutes outer dancing and offering halls too. 

15). Vanga/Pala (Bengal): This temple Architecture is from Bengal (including the present-day Bangladesh) and was patronised by the Pala Dynasty between 800 CE to 1000 CE. They were made of black or grey basalt and had chlorite stone pillars and arched niches. Some of them were made of burnt bricks, terracotta and mortar. They have the curved roof (like the curved bamboo roof of a hut) this feature was later called a Bengal Roof. 

16). Kashmira (Kashmir):  this architecture is different from the rest of India as most temples are square or oblong in design. They are subdivided into closed (vimana) or open (mandapa) types. Kashmiri temples are typically Shuddha edifices, constructed with one kind of material from base to the summit. The ancient temples of Kashmir mostly range from mid-8th century AD to 12th century AD.

17). Rajput/Maru-Gurjara (Rajasthani): was patronised by the Rajput Clans from 1000 CE to 1200 CE. On the exteriors, the style is distinguished from other north Bharatiya temples. We see them structured by increasing numbers of projections and recesses. The niches thus created hold sharply carved statues. The main shikhara tower usually has many Urushringas (subsidiary spirelets) on it, and two smaller side-entrances with porches are common in larger temples. 

18). Kath-Kuni (HP): is an indigenous construction technique prevalent in the isolated hills of northern India, especially in the region of Himachal Pradesh. In Uttarakhand, a similar architectural style is known as Koti Banal (named after the village, where during the 1991 Uttarkashi earthquake, the buildings made with traditional architecture largely remained unharmed). It is a traditional technique that uses alternating layers of long thick wooden logs and stone masonry, held in place usually without using mortar. This technique has been transmitted orally and empirically from one generation to the next, through apprenticeships spanning a number of years. The technique was devised keeping the seismic activity, topography, environment, climate, native materials and cultural landscape in perspective. Most of the oldest temples, in the region, are built using this ancient system. This unique construction technique has led to the formation of a vernacular architectural prototype known as Kath-Kuni (cator and cribbage) architecture. 

19). Himadri (Uttaranchal): This temple Architecture is from the Uttaranchal/Uttarakhand state. It flourished between 600 CE to 1100 CE. Usually the temples are either Panchayatana (having 5 Gods) or even Sapthayatana (having 7 Gods) in one complex. There are a group of over 100 temples dated between 7th and 12th century near Almora, in the state of Uttarakhand. Many are small, while a few are substantial. They predominantly illustrate North Bharatiya Nagara style of architecture with a few exceptions that show South and Central Bharatiya style designs. 

20). Nilachal (Assam): This temple architecture style is characterized by a bulbous polygonal dome over a cruciform ratha type bada. This hybrid style developed first in the Kamakhya temple on the Nilachal hills under the Koch kingdom and became popular as a style later under the Ahom kingdom. It is said to have survived from 1600 CE to the present day.  

To be continued …







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