Most of the architectural remains that survive from Ancient and Medieval India are religious in nature.

In different parts of the country, distinct style of architecture of temples was results of geographical, ethnic and historical diversities.

Two broad orders of temples within the country are referred to as Nagara within the north and Dravida within the south.

At times, the Vesara quite temples is additionally found as an independent style, created through the selective mixing of the Nagara and Dravida orders.

As temples grew more complex, more surfaces were created for sculpture by adding more and more rhythmically projecting, symmetrical walls and niches, without breaking faraway from the elemental plan of the shrine.

Basic Features of the Hindu Temples

The basic kind of the Hindu temple comprises the following:

Sanctum (garbhagriha literally ‘womb-house’)

It was alittle cubicle with one entrance which grew into a bigger chamber in time.

The garbhagriha is formed to deal with the most icon.

Entrance to the temple

It may be a portico or colonnaded hall that comes with space for an outsized number of worshippers and is understood as a mandapa.

Freestanding temples tend to have a mountain-like spire

It can take the form of a curving shikhar in North India and a pyramidal tower, called a vimana, in South India.

The vahan

It was mount or vehicle of the temple’s main deity in conjunction with a typical pillar or dhvaj is placed axially before the sanctum.

Many Hindu temples, feature mithun (embracing couple) sculptures, considered auspicious.

Usually, they're placed at the doorway of the temple or on an exterior wall or they'll even be placed on the walls between the mandapa and therefore the main shrine.

Nagara or North Indian Temple Style

In North India it's normal for an entire temple to be built on a stone platform with steps leading up thereto .

Further, unlike in South India it doesn't usually have elaborate boundary walls or gateways.

While the earliest temples had only one tower, or shikhara, later temples had several.

The garbhagriha is usually located directly under the tallest tower.

There are many subdivisions of nagara temples counting on the form of the shikhara.

There are different names for the numerous parts of the temple in several parts of India; however, the foremost common name for the simple shikhara which is square at the base and whose walls curve or slope inward to some extent on top is known as the 'latina' or the rekha-prasada kind of shikara.

The second major sort of architectural form within the nagara order is that the phamsana, which tends to be broader and shorter than latina ones.

Their roofs are composed of several slabs that lightly rise to one point over the centre of the building, unlike the latina ones which appear as if sharply rising tall towers.

The third main sub-type of the nagara building is usually called the valabhi type.

These are rectangular buildings with a roof that rises into a vaulted chamber.

Central India Temples

Ancient temples of Uttar Pradesh , Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan share many traits. The most visible is that they're made from sandstone.

Some of the oldest surviving structural temples from the Gupta Period are in Madhya Pradesh.

The crowning elements- amalak and kalash, are to be found on all nagara temples of this era .

These are relatively modest-looking shrines each having four pillars that support alittle mandapa which seems like an easy square porch-like extension before an equally small room that served as the garbhagriha.

Udaigiri, which is on the outskirts of Vidisha may be a component of a much bigger Hindu complex of cave shrines, while the other one is at Sanchi, near the stupa.

Deogarh (in Lalitpur District, Uttar Pradesh) was inbuilt the first sixth century CE, may be a classic example of a late Gupta Period sort of temple.

This temple is within the panchayatana sort of architecture where the most shrine is made on an oblong plinth with four smaller subsidiary shrines at the four corners (making it a total number of 5 shrines, hence the name, panchayatana).

The presence of this curving latina or rekha-prasada sort of shikhara also makes it clear that this is often an early example of a classic nagara sort of temple.

The temple depicts Vishnu in various forms, thanks to which it had been assumed that the four subsidiary shrines must even have housed Vishnu’s avatars and therefore the temple was mistaken for a dashavatara temple.

Predating the tenth century, Chausath Yogini temple may be a temple of small, square shrines of roughly-hewn granite blocks, each dedicated to goddesses related to the increase of Tantric worship after the seventh century.Built between 7th and 10th centuries, several such temples were dedicated to the cult of the yoginis across Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and whilst far south as Tamil Nadu.

There are many temples at Khajuraho, most of them dedicated to Hindu gods. There are some Jain temples as well.

Khajuraho’s temples also are known for his or her extensive erotic sculptures; the erotic expression is given equal importance in human experience as spiritual pursuit, and it's seen as a part of a larger cosmic whole.

The Lakshmana temple of Khajuraho, dedicated to Vishnu, was inbuilt 954 by the Chandela king, Dhanga. It is a nagara temple placed on a high platform accessed by stairs.

Kandariya Mahadeo temple at Khajuraho is that the epitome of temple architecture in Central India.

Westen Indian Temples

The temples within the north-western parts of India including Gujarat and Rajasthan, and in western Madhya Pradesh are large in numbers.

The stone wont to build the temples ranges in colour and sort .

While sandstone is that the commonest, a gray to black basalt are often seen in a number of the 10th to 12th century temple sculptures.

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