Dravidian - Chola architecture

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EVOLUTION OF DRAVIDIAN ARCHITECTURE PALLAVAS (AD 600 900) CHOLAS (AD 900 - 1150) PANDYAS (AD 1100 1350) VIJAYANAGAR (AD 1350 - 1565) MADURA (AD 1600 -) Marked development on Architecture of the Dravidian region. Productions provided the development of Dravidian Architecture

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temple architecture

Transcript of Dravidian - Chola architecture


    PALLAVAS(AD 600 900)

    CHOLAS(AD 900 - 1150)

    PANDYAS(AD 1100 1350)

    VIJAYANAGAR(AD 1350 - 1565)

    MADURA(AD 1600 -)

    Marked development on Architecture of the Dravidian region.

    Productions provided the development of Dravidian Architecture


    out of struggle for power, the Cholas emerged triumphant.

    The dynastic history began about 900 A.D and declined towards the middle of12th century.

    they extended their dominion as far as Ganga river in north to Srilanka in south.Their power was such that they built over 2300 temples in Kaveri belt betweenTiruchirapally- Tanjore-Kumbhakonam, most of them being small but some aregrander and monumental exhibiting the vigour and glory of Cholas

    Few instances of the work of this dynasty are found in and around the state ofPudukkottai.

    Examples of large and massive temples areBrihadeswara temple -Thanjavur 1010 CETemple of Gangaikonda - Cholapuram 1033 CEAiravateswara temple at Darasuram Kumbakonam

  • The construction during Cholas dynasty were

    Mostly constructed of well dressed granite blocks accurately coursed and bonded.

    The dominating element of the Pallavan style the lion motif has disappeared, the pillars which this leogriff adorned, got converted into purely abstract convention of mouldings and other similar forms.

    Tow changes form pallava type of order are discernible

    One relating to the capital itself the other to the abacus above,

    In the capital the neck mouldings has been introduced where it joins to the shaft, and adding another member to the lower part of the capital in the form of a vessel or pot(kalasa).

    As to the abacus the palagai or plank is much expanded so that combined with the flower shape underneath which became the most striking element of the order.

    Considerable amount of sculpture on the wall surfaces of the vimana, consisting of full length figures installed within recesses.

  • BRIHADESWARA TEMPLE AT TANJOREThe great Brihadeswara temple of Thanjavur dedicated to LordSiva was built and completed around 1010C.E by RajarajaChola I.

    The temple stands within the fort. The largest highest and mostambitious temple build in granite Brought from long distance)The temple is a landmark in the evolution of building art inSouth India.It was completed within a record time of six years.


  • The inner Prakaram of temple is 241 mts long 122 mts widewith a gopuram on east and 3 ordinary torana entrances onother sides.The main structure is 55 mts long and the Sikhara is 60 mtshigh.Colisters encircle on the inner face of the enclosure wall inwhich number of smaller shrines are accommodatedThe main temple contains several structures combined axiallyand placed in the centre of a spacious walled enclosure fromeast to west.The compartments areNandi pavilionPillared porticoAssembly hallInner assembly hallVestibuleGarbhagriha


  • The main feature of the entire temple is thegrand tower of the Vimana at the westernend .

    This the first highest Vimana built in India

    The body of the Sikhara may be dividedinto 3 main parts

    Square vertical base

    Tall tapering body

    Graceful domical finial

    The vertical body covers a square of 25mts and rises to a height of 15 mts.


  • The plinth is extensively moulded andengraved with inscriptions.

    Life size statues of deities like Durga,Lakshmi, Saraswathi Veerabadhra wereenchrined in wall niches.

    Over the basement the vertical body isdivided into two storeys by a massivehorizontal cornice, which is repeatedover the second tier.

    From this the pyramidal body mountsup in 13 diminishing tiers, until thewidth of its apex.

    On the square platform stands thelarge bulbous cupola. The monolithicoctagonal dome stone is weighing 80tons made of single rock.


  • The tower resembles a human being containing body, neck and head.

    The huge kalasam or Vimanam(topportion of the shrine) is believed toweigh 81.28 tonnes of single stoneblock and was raised to its presentheight by dragging on an inclinedplane of 6.44 km.

    The big Nandi (bull), weighing about20 tonnes is made of a single stone andis about 2 m in height, 6 m in lengthand 2.5 m in width.

    The main sanctum of the temple is aMahalingam, a huge lingam that is 23feet in circumference and 9 feet high.

    The outer wall of the upper storey iscarved with 81 dance karanas postures of Bharathanatyam, theclassical dance of Tamil Nadu.




  • Gangaikonda Cholapuram

    This monumental structure was built by the king Rajendra Chola I the son of Rajaraja Chola I to commemorate the victory of his empire spread up to Ganga river who ruled during 1018 CE to 1033.

    The temple was built with an intention to excel in richness and grandeur than its precede temple Brihadeshwara Temple.

    The temple is situated 28 kms from Kumbakonam in Tamilnadu state.

    The temple is also known as Brihadeswara temple at Cholapuram.

    The name means The town of the chola who brought Ganga (water from Ganga) or who defeated (the kings near) Ganga



  • The temple is large in plan that the temple at Tanjuvar , but less in height as the Vimana measures only 46mts in height. The temple building was placed in the middle of an immense walled enclosure.The plan of the building makes a rectangle of 104 mts long and 33 mts wide having main entrance on east

    The compartments in this temple are

    Detached Nandi pavilion in the front

    Assembly hall

    Vestibule or Antarala


    In front of the main temple building is a detached Nandi pavilion within the axis with a colossal image of Nandi


  • The main doorway gives access to an Assembly hall, which is a low structure containing over 150 pillars of slender and simple design.

    The pillars are closely set on either side but leaving a wide gap in the centre axially making a spacious way to the sanctuary. In between pillared hall and sanctuary there is a vestibule or transept running at right angles to the axis of the building leading to north and south doorways.

    There are deeply recessed side entrances approached by flight of steps from outside on both sides to the vestibule. There are eight massive piers in this vestibule and at the far end is the garbhagriha.


  • The front mandapa bears a simple appearance with its plain pillars. The pyramidal vimana which rises over the sanctuary on western end is massive

    On its plan it is a square of 30 mts side and vertically it resolves in to Vertical ground storyTapering bodyDomical finial

    The tapering body is in tiers with eight diminishing zones.The contours of the tower are not strong straight linesConcave curves are made making the tower smooth.

    The domical finial is directly place on the square platform almost without neck.



  • Hoysala empire was prominent in South India in Karnataka state embracing the areas of Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh between 11th to 14th centuries.

    The building art was already much nurtured early under Chalukyan kings from 5th to 8th century.

    Under the patronage of Hoysala kings richly decorated and unique temples were built.

    As the Dravidian temples structures confined to Tamilnadu state the Chalukyan Hoysala structures confined to Mysore state.

    The temples architecture in this country is distinctive, original, separate, decorative creative and unique.

    The stone used in these temples was a greenish or bluish-black stone, which is a close texture stone very tractable under the chisel and specially suitable to make minute carvings.

  • Architectural character.

    The distinct character of Hoysala temples structures are 1. Temple plan2. Wall surfaces3. Sikhara or tower4. Order of pillars.

    Temple plan

    The temple layout comprises a central structure within an enclosure.

    The surrounding walls support the pillared cloisters inside the compound.

    Temple building is not rectangular in plan comprising of a row of compartments in an axis which was common in most Indian temples.

    Some temples have multiple sancturies. Hence the shape of plan are varied.

    The temple stands on high raised terrace called Jagathi.

    The basement terrace is much wider and spacious all round the temple useful for procession and circumambulations.

  • Asthabhadra or stellate

    The plan of these temples is distinctive and different. The walls either project orrecede.They are elaborated into the shape of a star by means of a series of recesses andoffsets.

    The Astabadhra or stellate(star shaped ) is made by means of a geometricalcombination of equal size squares, each with a common centre but theirdiagonals vary by several degrees.

    The main building has 3 compartments namely:Mukhamandapa- an open pillared pavilionNavaranga pillared hallGarbhagriha- cella

  • Wall surfaces

    The walls are not plain.they are fully immeresed soaked with carving.The lowest on the ground a procession of elephantsThen a border of HorsemenA band of spiral foliageKirtimukh or sun face

    Next in the order is a continuous row of evnets selelcted form grat epic stories

    The top is a running pattern of Hamsas a kind of goose or legendary bird.


    The sikhara is separated by a projecting cornice or eave. The stellate projections were carried into the Vimana producing fluted effect. The upward swing is balance by horizontal mouldings by means of diminishing tiers terminating at the apex.The horizontal and vertical portion of the sikhara consist o a complex grouping of miniature shrines and niches each separated by moldings or ornamental string courses.

    The tower is parabolic which possess fine beauty and rich sculptured texture.

  • The Chennakesava Temple located at Somanathapura is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. The temple was built by Soma, a Dandanayaka ("commander") in 1268 C.E. under Hoysala kingNarasimha III, when the Hoysala Empire was the major power in South India.

  • This is the most complete temple situated about 30kms form Srirangapatna.The diety is lord Vishnu.The main temple is place in the middle of a rectangular courtyard measuring 66 mts by54 mts surrounded by pillared cloisters containing 64 cells each with pillars in front.The temple is entered through a eastern gateway.The plan of the temple is stellate shaped having a wide terrace platform serving as anambulatory.IT contains a min pillared hall3 shrines on western end, one in axial alignment and the others placed laterally.This is a triple shrine temple having 3 sikharas termed as trikutachala.

    The pillared hall has 2 compartmentsMukhamandapa or front open pillaredhall with 12 pillarsNavaranga or middle hall with 4pillars.A doorway in the middle of 3 sidesleads to a vestibule or Sukhanasi eachwhich leads to the Cella.The temple stands on a high platformwhich has the figures of elephantsguarding the temple.

  • vesara style stellate shrine at Chennakesavatemple, Somanathapura

    The entrance(East-facing) to thetemple is framedby lathe-turnedcolumns.

    Elephants are often foundon the lowest course of thewalls, as here, where theyare considered tosymbolically support thetemple on their backs.


  • Wall relief, pierced windows and molding frieze at the Chennakesavatemple, Somanathapura

  • Close up of decorative lintel overshrine entrance in the Chennakesavatemple at Somanathapura.

    Design of sikhara (tower) follows thestellate plan of the shrine in theChennakesava temple at Somanathapura.

    Minor shrine (aedicula) withdomical ceiling in theChennakesava temple atSomanathapura

  • Domical bay ceiling in the mantapa of Chennakesava temple at Somanathapura

    Decorative doorjamb and lintel at the entrance to a shrine in the Chennakesava temple at Somanathapura