Temple construction

Chalukyan - the Chalukya dynasty came to rule parts of Karnataka from their capital at Badami sometime in the fifth century. Their reign continued for between three to four hundred years and witnessed a flourishing in temple architecture.

Temple construction

Hoysala - this dynasty arose in the eleventh century and ruled around Mysore in Karnataka. They left behind a vast trove of temples, such as at Belur, Halebidu, Somnathpura, and Amrutpura. The intricacy of their craftsmanship was truly astounding and is a visual treat for successive generations.

Temple construction

Vijayanagara - these kings created a vast empire at Hampi, Karnataka, in the fifteenth century. Their golden reign created the most beautiful temple architecture at the internationally renowned Hampi and other regions in Karnataka, such as Bhatkal, Ankola, Kolar, and Koppal.

Temple construction

Kadamba - this dynasty ruled northern Karnataka and Goa in the fourth century. They patronised a very rich culture of temples of which the most prominent feature was their stepped pyramidal shikhara which became well known as the Kadamba shikhara. Their temples can be seen at Banvasi, Degaon-Kittur, Tambdi Surla-Goa, and elsewhere.

Temple construction

Pallava - this dynasty ruled at Kanchi in Tamil Nadu, in the southern peninsula of India. Their temples at Mahabalipuram (the Shore Temple) and Kanchipuram are now a tourist's delight.

Temple construction

Chola - (left) this was an old dynasty and probably the longest surviving to rule the Tamil lands, surviving into the thirteenth century. Their temples exist at Darasuram, Gangakondaicholapuram, Thanjavur, and others. Their colonial extensions made it possible for the Dravidian temple architectural styles to reach the shores of South-East Asia.

Temple construction

Kalinga - (right) this style evolved in the modern states of Orissa and northern Andhra Pradesh. The world famous temples of Konark and Puri are examples of this style and were patronised by dynasties such as the Eastern Gangas.

Temple construction

Maru Gurjara - this evolved in Gujrat and Rajputana, symbolising the synthesis in architecture of these two regions. It is characterised by Rajasthani architectural elements such as Jaali (latticed window), Jharoka (an overhanging turret-like balcony), Chatri (umbrella/dome pavilions), and Bowdi (stepped well), etc. Examples include Somnath and Dilwara.

Temple construction

Sekhari - this style developed in northern India and was distinctive due to its shikhara structure which comprised a central mulasringa/curvilinear latina spire with rows of minor spires /urahsringa around it.

Temple construction

Chandela - this tenth century dynasty ruled parts of central India and gave rise to the awe inspiring temples at Khajuraho (a UNESCO World Heritage site) in Madhya Pradesh, which are famous for their temple erotica.

Temple construction

Bengal and Assam terracotta temples, distinguished by their use of terracotta and unique shapes (curved roofs). This style is evident in the modern north-eastern states of Bengal and Assam. The fourth century Guptas and their successors also patronised it. Dakshineshwar Temple near Kolkata is a fine example, along with temple sets at Bishnupur and other locations.

Temple construction

Kerala temple architecture is conspicuous by its roofed shikharas (including slanting and pointed/conical roofs), and skeletal wooden structure (similar to those found in the Himalayan regions and South Asia), multi-tiered brass lamps, etc.

Temple construction

Goa - the Goan temples are unique in their appearance. They are a fusion of Indian and Portuguese styles. Fine examples include temples at Mangueshi, Mahalaxmi, and Shantadurga.

Temple construction

Maharashtra also has a rich culture of a variety of temple forms ranging from traditional styles to rock-cut temples (continued in the text below).