Temple architecture

In pictures: a temple crossing the wonders of South Asia

In its 75th anniversary issue, art magazine Marg gives us a look at diverse and unique temples across South Asia to understand how these magnificent historic structures have shaped modern design sensibilities.

(Courtesy of Robert E. Fisher)

The 8th century Pandrethan temple in Kashmir. Kashmiri builders used large stones to create their temples, with elements likely derived from earlier Buddhist designs. Some of the unique features of the Kashmiri style were the double-pitched roofs and trefoil arches for entrances and carvings.

(Photo courtesy: Claire Arni)

In the temples of southern India, water plays an important role in rituals and the tanks are an integral part of the architectural device of the complex. The bodies of water also became centers of pilgrimage and were inscribed in sacred texts. Seen here is the reservoir and sanctuary of the Krishna temple in Udupi, Karnataka.

(Photo courtesy: Edward Leland Rothfarb)

Chaturbhuj Mandir in Orchha, Madhya Pradesh is a great display of the Bundela style of architecture which fuses local traditions with styles borrowed from the Mughal courts of Akbar and Jahangir. This hybrid and sophisticated style of architecture patronized by Bir Singh Dev who ruled Orchha from 1605 to 1627, continued to influence the design of North Indian architecture.

(Courtesy of Department of Archaeology, Sri Lanka)

Most Polonnaruva shrines in Sri Lanka are in poor condition. Only the walls of Shiva devale no. 2 (seen in the photo) have inscriptions suggesting that it was created in honor of the Chief Queen of Rajaraja Chola I, Vanavan Mahadevi.

(Courtesy of Joseph Sainte-Anne)

The Mahadeva Temple, Tambdi Surla, is the oldest surviving 12th-13th century temple in Goa. Later the temples of Goa went through three phases of changes, neo-Romanization (17th century), a synthesis of neo-Roman and Marathi motifs (18th-19th centuries) and a new decadent and contemporary style of Hindu Goa (1850 -1950).

(Courtesy of American Institute of Indian Studies)

The Maha-Gurjara style Shiva Temple in Kotai, Gujarat (940–950 CE) was built when the Sama dynasty ruled from the late 9th century. When Kutch became part of the Solanki kingdom, a new style emerged called the Maru-Gurjara style which incorporated design elements from the Maha-Maru tradition of Rajasthan.


    Anesha is a feature writer, sometimes a reader, who loves to eat and plan fitness goals she can never meet. She writes about food, culture and youth trends.
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