Please Wait...

Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture - North and South India (Seven Volumes in 14 Books) - An Old and Rare Book

Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture - North and South India (Seven Volumes in 14 Books) - An Old and Rare Book
Item Code: NAN182
Author: Michael W. Meister, George Michell and M. A. Dhaky
Publisher: American Institute of Indian Studies
Language: English
Edition: 1986 - 2001
Pages: 6147 (Throughout B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 11.0 inch X 8.5 inch

Volume - 1

Part - 1


Hindu temples result, in the early centuries A.D., from a felt need to give shelter to images that could make present for worship a divine force that otherwise remained invisible. "Seeing" the divinity - in this period increasingly presented in both aniconic and anthropomorphic form - becomes the central act of this developing form of worship, for which architects were called upon to provide a suitable environment. Vol. I of this Encyclopaedia has covered the Dravida form of architecture as it developed in southern India. Vol. Il, which begins with these volumes, traces the evolution of that form of temple architecture known as Nagara, found principally in northern India but with extensions also into the Deccan under the Calukya and Rastrakuta dynasties.

Building on earlier pan-Indian forms of urban and domestic architecture, architects of the Dravida mode of temple in South India had created, by the late sixth or early seventh century A.D., a palatial structure out of recognizable wooden forms to act as encasement for the inner sanctum in which the divine image was placed.

In North India, on the other hand, architects in the fourth to sixth centuries A.D. participated directly in the process of religious and symbolic experimentation that made visible forms of divine manifestation possible. A variety of solutions resulted, some tied directly to the ontology of manifesting divinity (as is the case with the created cave-cells at Udayagiri and the simple masonry cave-like cells that followed in Central India in the fifth century A.D.). Some solutions mixed sheltering fence-forms with that of the altar, as in later mandapika shrines. Kashmir, building partly on earlier Candharan forms, by the early seventh century A.D. had created a pragmatic pent-roof shed as shelter for divinity that survived there as a regional form for many centuries.

Some architects, however, began to play with symbolically subtle solutions to the need for an architectural shelter for divinity that led, by the sixth century A.D., to a new form of monument - the Nagara temple with its Latina sikhara - that spread widely across North India as a symbol for an emergent Hinduism. This form - potent in its architectural vocabulary - provided a symbolically vital integument for the interior sanctum; in which manifesting divinity was revealed.

This volume provides a background for the formation of temple architecture in North India, surveying the varieties of North Indian experimentation and their survivors as well as the emergent, dominant form of early Nagara structure in western, central, and eastern India and the Deccan. Further volumes will carry the evolution of this form forward and explore its expression and efflorescence in the high Hindu "medieval" period and after.

The style code used throughout this volume as reference for Chapters and Plates follows the Style Outline given below:

Style Outline

Vol. II, part 1: Foundations of North Indian style
I. Beginnings of North Indian Style, c. A.D. 350-650
A. Uttarapatha style, c. A.D. 360-575 Guptas and their feudatories
B. Early Vidararbha style , c, A.D. 350-500 Vakatakas (main branch)
C. Early Vidarbha (Vatsagulma) style, C, A.D. 450-5—Vakatakas of Vatsagulma
D. Apaanta style, C, A.D. 480-533 Traikutakas of Anirrudhapura

E. Kunkanadesa style, c, 450-610 Mauryas of Puri
F. Late Vidarbha style, c, A.D. 550-650 Kalacuris of Mahismati and Early Rastrakutas of Elapura

II. Varieties of North Indian style, c, A.D. 500-1100
A. Upper Indian
1. Magadha style, phase 1, c, A.D. 500-700 Later Guptas and minor dynasties
2. Madhyadesa style, c, A.D. 575-700 Maukharis and Puspabhutis of Kanyakubja

B. Central India
1. Dasarnadesa style, phase 1, c. late sixth- late seventh century A.D. Minor dynasties, mandapika and early nagara traditions
2. Malava style, c. early sixth – late seventh century A.D Aulikaras, Mauryas, and minor chieftains
3. Dasarnadesa style, phases 2 and 3, c. mid-eighth to early tenth century A.D. Pratihara period, mandapika shrines
4. Dahala style, phase 1, c. late eighth – early ninth century A.D. Kalacuris of Tripuri, mandapika shines

C. Western Indian
1. Surastra style, c. late sixth – mid-eighth century A.D.
a. Pre-Nagar ogase, c. late sixth – late seventh century A.D. Maitrakas of Valabhi and Garulakas of western Surastra
b. Early Nagar phase, c. late seventh – mid-eighth century A.D. Maitrakas of Valabhi
2. Maha-Gurjara style, phase 1, Arbuda school, c. seventh century A.D. Capotkatas of Bhillamala

D. Eastern Indian
1. Kamarupa style, c. seventh century A.D. Varmans of Kamarupa
2. Daksina Kosala style, c. late sixth-early eighth century A.D. Panduvamsis of Sripura and Nalas
3. Kalinga style, phase 1, c. late sixth-early eighth century A.D. Sailodbhavas

E. Southern Extension of North Indian style
1. Karnata style, Nagara phase 1, c. A.D. 62-0-750
a. Calukyas of Badami, Karnatadesa
b. Calukyas of Badami, Andhraadesa
2. Karnata style Nagara phase 2, c. A.D. 700-775 Rastrakutas of Elapura and Manyakheta

F. North-western India
G. Styloe of Kashmir and the Panjab, c. seventh – tenth century A.D. Karkotas and Upalas of Kasmira
Use of this outline for subsequent volumes in this series tentatively is as follows:

Vol. II, part 2: Period of Early Maturity, c. A.D. 700-900
III. Nagara style of Common lineages
IV. Nagara style of separate lineage

Vol. II, part 3
V. Beginnings of Medieval Idiom, c. A.D. 900-100

Vol. II, part 4
VI. High medieval period, c. A.D. 1000-1300
VII. Sultanate period, c. 14th-16th century A.D.
VIII. Mughal period, c. 16th-17th century A.D.

Vol. II, part 5: Annotated Glossary and Comprehensive Index.
Style and patronage are difficult masters, and sources of creativity in architectural matters are nearly impossible to attribute in ancient India. In these Volumes we follow style, while dividing chapters according to the likelihood of dynastic patronage. The realities of local guilds and master architects can only be suggested, though through them the greatness of this architecture was created and continually given expression.

As in volume I, the system of diacritics used in this volumes that used by Epigraphia Indian only by using c, ch, and s to suit international. As in Epigraphia Indica, corpus Inscriptionum, and most Archaeological Survey of India publications, e and o are used in order to make possible the distinction between these forms in Sanskrit and e and o in words of Dravidian origin.

Drawings made by the Institute have scales in feet or miles. Others retain those provided by their sources.


Texts from ancient India provide us an insight into the worship of divinities in India and the shelters devised for them. In the Astddhydyl (c. fourth century B.C.), Panini mentions a number of Vedic deities (Agni, Indra, Varuna, Bhava, Sarva, Rudra, Mrda, Vrsakapi, Pusa, Aryama, Tvasta, Surya, Soma, Vastospati, Mahendra, Apamnaptr, Nasatya) who received oblations. Female deities include Indranl, Varunani, Agnayi, Usa, Vrsakapayi, and Prthivl, the last always referred, to as a pair with Dyaus. Post-Vedic female divinities named include Bhavani and Sarvani (popular in the Vahika and Pracya regions), Rudrani, and Mrdani. Theistic devotion (bhakti) had its beginning in Panini's time, a fact made clear by his reference to devotion to Vasudeva and Arjuna, as from names like Varunadatta and Aryarnadatta that indicate that the sons so named were born through the grace, respectively, of Varuna and Aryama. Such devotion extended also to the Lokapalas, to yaksas, and Panini mentions paired deities such as Sivavaisravanau, Sankarsanavasudevau, and Skandavisakhau. Panini knew of images under worship (areas), the mention of which might presuppose the existence of shrines.

Patanjali's Muhdbhdsyn (c. second century B.C.), which is a detailed commentary 'on Panini, mentions the worship of Vasudeva-Krsna as both hero and deity; his identity as one of the four Vyuhas is well established and that with Visnu is suggested. The performance of Visnu's Balibandhana and Krsna's Kamsavadha exploits are popular. Patanjali mentions Siva-bhagavatas, the devotees of Siva, and discusses their unsocial practices.

The Muhdbhdsyu specifically refers to the temples of Dhanapati (Kubera), Rama (Balararna), and Kesava (Vasudeva), with worship attended by dance, music, and elaborate rituals. Contemporary representations of Kupiro yakho (Kubera yaksa) are known from Bharhut and of Balarama from Mathura, An inscribed image of fourarmed Vasudeva- Visnu carrying gada and cakra in his upper hands and clasping a mutilated sankha in the lower hands, held against his chest, from Malhar (Bilaspur District, Madhya Pradesh), is assignable to the close of the second century B.C. Worship of Gauri, Sarasvati, Laksml, and Yami also had become popular.

Kautilya's Arthusdstru, a compilation completed as late as the third century A.D., refers to' the placement within a fortified city of temples that enshrine Siva, Vaisravana, the Asvinikumaras, Sri(Laksml), and Madira (perhaps a fertility goddess associated with the cult of the Great Mother). The ArthaSdstra prescribes that images of Aparajita (Durga), Apratihata (Visnu), Jayanta (Kumara), and Vaijayanta (lndra) should be set in niches as well as ones of Vastudevatas. Most deities in the Arthasastra are common to Panini and Patanjali as well, and pertain to the earliest strata of the manuscripts not much distant from the age of Patanjali.

Architectural Features
Early Buddhist and Jaina literature, as well as Kautilya's Arthnsdstru, refer to various types of structures and their embellishments prevailing in the early centuries B.C. and in the Saka-Kusana and transitional periods. Bas-reliefs from Bharhut, Saficl, Bodhgaya, Mathura, and Amaravati (c. second century B.C. to third century A.D.) corroborate this literary testimony. Such evidence can conjure up a picture of a contemporary Indian city, with moat (parikha), rampart (prakara), bastioned and turreted gate houses (dvarattalakas or gopurattalakas), corner-bastions (karnattalakas), ornamental gates (toranas), and busy streets lined with private and public buildings, such as the royal palace (raja-prasada or raja-nivesana), shops and emporia, punyasalas, caityas, and an assortment of small, medium, and large residential houses (including multi-storeyed mansions).

The mansions and the royal palace had various types of pavilions or chambers (known as ktagara, kutagarasala, candrasala, simhapanjara, or harmya). A kutaara or kutagarasala was a roofed pavilion on any upper storey; the former normally was square on plan with a conical roof, the latter rectangular, with a vaulted roof with gabled ends crowned by small stupis or kalasas. A candrasala was an open type of pillared pavilion, normally on the sky-storey. A simhapanjara usually was a bay-window projecting from an upper storey enclosed by a parapet (vedika), lattice (jala), or bars (salakas). Harmya was a rectangular kutagara topped by valabhi or sabha-kara sikhara situated on the uppermost storey.

Shrines were modelled after prevailing domestic structures and the forms of kutagara, kutagarasala, candrasala, etc. were freely borrowed from civil architecture. An independent shrine with a small chamber and peaked roof came to be designated kutagara or kutagarasala (the former square with a domical roof, the latter rectangular with a vault). An example from Amaravati (Fig. 1) is labelled the "kutagarasala of the Mahavana at Vaisali."

A basic form for a shrine was a modest platform with a top slab frequently depicted in Hinayana Buddhist reliefs. According to the Samyutto Nikaya (Yakkha- suttas), the Buddha once relaxed on the "tankitamanca" in the bhavana of Yakkha Suciloma at Caya. The commentary explains tankitamanca to be a stone slab resting on four other stones, obviously referring to a four-legged 'stone dais or altar. The term might alternatively have meant an altar carved with designs, as in the case of the Asokan period vajrasana at Bodhgaya.

Often such altar-platforms were placed under trees, which had been taken as objects of worship (caityas) in India from great antiquity. This combination of platform and tree occurs abundantly on bas-reliefs at Sancl (Plate 3), Bharhut, Bodhgaya, and Amaravatr. A tree enclosed by a railing is designated "cetiya" on an Amaravati relief from the second century B.C. The provision of an umbrella (chatra), a mark of royal dignity, gave a similar significance.

Frequently the dais was enclosed by a railing (vedika) demarcating a sacred area (sthana), This became in due course the symbol or cognizance of a shrine. While describing the caitya (shrine) of Purnabhadra, the Aupapdtika-satra uses the expression "kia-veyaddi," which Coornaraswamy interpreted as "having an earthen or stone slab altar." The term is equivalent to Sanskrit "vitardi" and means a railing or enclosure. In the Aupnpdtikn-sutru, the railing obviously was regarded as an integral part of a shrine. Made originally of bamboo or timber, this vedika subsequently was constructed of brick or masonry, and ultimately of stone.

Shrines of yaksas, nagas, and other divinities worshipped in the early centuries B.C. (copiously referred to in early Buddhist and Jaina literature) were of this sort. Yaksa-shrines are called jakkhayatna or often simply cetiya, bhavana, or ayatana. Tree-worship is far older than worship of stupas, supported by the fact that "caitya" originally meant "vrksa-caitya" while "stupa" denoted a funerary monument embodying the concept of memorial. Both existed before the time of Gautama Buddha or Vardhamana Mahavira: the Buddhists (and, to a lesser extent, the Jainas) adopted both forms and, to an extent, conceptually and formally amalgamated them. The stupa came to symbolise the parinirvana of Gautama Buddha and of past Buddhas, and the tree their enlightenment. By Asoka's time, the worship of stupas was well established, taking on the features and attributes of the older tree-worship. The stupa became "caitya" and a stupa-shrine came to be designated "caitya-grha," "cetiya-ghara," or "grha-stupa. "

Shrines represented on early reliefs show the following varieties: (1) a platform (with or without some symbol); (2) a platform under an umbrella; (3) a platform under a tree; (4) a platform enclosed by a railing; (5) a platform within a simple pillared pavilion; and (6) permutations and combinations of the above. These shrines were mostly modest roofless structures, some had large compounds, a few were provided with one or more toranas, and some are represented having roofs.

Bodhigharas (not illustrated)
Bodhigharas were Buddhist shrines meant for worshipping the Bodhi tree under which Gautama received enlightenment. The spot is represented as a dais (Bodhimanda) under a peepul tree. Coomaraswamy has discussed literary references to Bodhigharas and the early representations on has-reliefs. He shows that these were hypaethral shrines, in some cases with two or more storeys (timber-built galleries that the worshipper could conveniently ascend for lustrating and honouring the Bodhitree).

Bharhut has yielded two reliefs of double-storeyed Bodhigharas, one of which shows three doorways on the ground floor and two ornate windows; the upper floor represents a modest shrine, probably with an apsidal end. The other relief, labelled the "Bodho of Sakamuni," shows a large, complex structure with a circular plan and multiple ornate windows on the upper storey.

Sanci has four representations of Bodhigharas, two of which-appear to be octagonal, one circular, and one apsidal. Three are two-storeyed; the apsidal one is four-storeyed. The top storey of the latter has two ornate windows at lateral ends, as on the apsidal Bodhighara from Bharhut.

Of the two reliefs of Bodhigharas from Amaravati, one is circular, the other apparently rectangular, with a conspicuously tall upper storey, a sala on each side, and a pair of projecting simhapanjaras supported on stilt-like pillars.

A relief of a Bodhighara from Mathura seems to depict a two-storeyed square structure with polygonal projections at the four corners. The spreading branches of the Bodhi tree jut out of numerous windows on the ground floor and upper gallery.

Other shrines (Figs. 2-10; Plates 1-3, 7)

Other religious structures depicted on bas-reliefs at Bharhut, Sancl, Bodhgaya, and Mathura are largely of kuta, sala, and cap a types. A small apse-ended shrine (capakara on plan and gajaprsthakrti in elevation) with three finials on the sikhara is shown at Mathura (Fig. 2). The Jetavana scene at Sanci shows three shrines, of which one is a small circular structure enclosed by a railing with an octagonal ridged roof crowned by a stupl (Plate 1; Fig. 3); two are larger shrines having sala-sikharas crowned by four stupis (Figs. 4-5) and with ornate entrances marked by gavaksa arches that terminate in finials.

Two of the Jetavana shrines figured at Bharhut (labelled "Gandhakuti" and "Kosamba-kuti") closely resemble the salakara shrines at Saficl. The ensemble of a small domed structure and two larger rectangular structures in an Amaravati panel labelled "Savathi" (Fig. 7) confirms the tradition of Jetavana-shrines associated with the Buddha.

A naga shrine shown at Sanci is a square pillared pavilion with an octagonal sikhara crowned by a stupi (Plate 2). The domed sikhara is pierced by gavaksa windows and enclosed by a vedika.

An example of a domed pillared pavilion with a kapota-cornice is seen in the depiction of the Sudhamma-devasabha at Bharhut (Fig. 6). A more complex shrine, with a praggriva-Iike projection at the cornice level and a front window through the domical roof, is shown at Sand (Plate 3). Larger pillared pavilions, roofed by a sabha-kara sikhara and with cornice, are also represented at Sanci. One has a single front window (Plate 7); the other, with two front windows, appears to be a two-storeyed structure, with vedika as balustrade on each storey. Two-storeyed shrines are frequent- ly depicted at Bharhut, One, with an imposing sabhakara sikhara and crowned by ten stupis. (Fig. 8), is enclosed by a vedika railing on each storey. The lower tala shows five stunted pillars with ornate capitals; the upper storey shows three gavaksa-arches.

A shrine suggesting a double-level thatched hut (Fig. 9), engraved on a bronze plaque from Sohgaura inscribed in the Mauryan Brahmi script, shows a form continued at Saficl, Bodhgaya, and Mathura.

Similar pavilions appear on roughly contemporary Audumbara copper coins; these depict three varieties of shrines (all Saiva, as indicated by the presence of trisula-cum-parasu), Variety "a" (Fig. 10a) is an elaboration of the Sohgaura type, with two kapota cornices surmounted by a domical sikhara. Variety "b" has a square sikhara (Fig. 10b); Variety "c" is similar, but lacks pillarets at the grlva level (Fig. 10c).

Shrines in early epigraphy (not illustrated)

There is considerable epigraphic evidence, in fact, for the early worship of divinities in shrines. Two inscribed Garuda-dhvajas at Vidisa, one set up in honour of the "supreme god Vasudeva" by the Bhagavata Heliodorus (a Yavana ambassador from the court of the Indo-Bactrian king, Antialkidas, of Taksasila) in the 14th year of the reign of Bhagabhadra (c. 131 B.C.), the fifth Sunga king, the other erected by GautamIputra Bhagavata, the ninth Sunga ruler, in his 12th year, attest to the existence of Vaisnava shrines. The first referred to must be the elliptical shrine for which foundations have been excavated near to Heliodorus's pillar.

Three inscriptions from Nagari, District Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, refer to the con- struction of a stone wall that encloses a place for worship of Sankarsana and Vasudeva by the Bhagavata king, Sarvatata, who probably belonged to the Kanva dynasty. The site preserves a massive stone enclosure and the plinth of an elliptical brick temple.

The Nanaghat (District Poona) inscription of Naganika of the first century B.C. refers to the performance of Vedic sacrifices by the Satavahana royal family and opens with obeisance to such divinities as Dharma, Indra, Sankarsana- Vasudeva, Candra-Surya, and the Lokapalas (Yama, Varuna, Kubera, and Vasava).

An inscription from Mora (Mathura) of the reign of Mahaksatrapa Sodasa (c. A.D. 10-25) records the installation of images of the five Vrsni heroes in a stone shrine. Another Mathura inscription of the same reign, engraved on a doorjamb, records construction of a shrine, torana, and vedika at the mahasthana of Bhagavan Vasudeva. Numerous Kusana inscriptions also refer to the setting up of images of the Buddha and of Jaina Tirthankaras and to the foundation of shrines for them.

An inscription from Nandsa, District Udaipur, Rajasthan, dated A.D. 226, records performance of Vedic sacrifices following construction of shrines to Brahma, Indra, Prajapati, and Visnu.

Maurya and Post Maurya Periods: Structural Remains (Fig. 11)

From the time of Asoka Maurya (c. 272-232 B.C.) to the early Kusana period, evidences from rock-cut shrines and from surviving foundations of constructed shrines suggest that temples existed in circular (vrtta), elliptical (vrttayata), and apsidal (capakara) forms. The Ajivika caves at Barabar, District Gaya, Bihar, which contain inscriptions of Asoka and his grandson, Dasaratha, preserve both circular and elliptical hut-forms with domical or vaulted roofs. The facade of the Lomas Rsi cave replicates a large timber gavaksa-arch, supported by curved rafters (gopanasi) within an ogee-shaped frame of laminated planks, crowned by stupi-finials. The architrave of the entrance represents jalavatayana (latticed wickerwork) for the first time.

Also assignable to the Maurya period is the plinth of a circular brick-and-timber stupa-shrine that survives at Bairat, District Jaipur, Rajasthan. Enclosed by a pradaksina, the shrine was preceded by small praggriva. Temple no. 40 at Safici was originally an apsidal stone temple of the Maurya period raised on a rectangular plinth, the superstructure built of timber. Another unusual complex of four, elliptical, stone halls was unearthed at Rajgir (Rajagrha), the ancient capital of Magadha. This complex has been identified with the Buddhist Ilvakamravana-vihara, but only the foundations survive. An apsidal brick temple was also excavated at Sarnath and an elliptical brick hall formed part of the Chositararna at Kausambi, the ancient capital of Vatsa.

Structural forms prevalent during the Maurya period continued in subsequent centuries, as recorded in numerous bas-reliefs from Bharhut, Safici, Bodhgaya, Mathura, and Amaravati. The apsidal plan in this period perhaps was more popular than either the circular or elliptical plan. Buddhist cave-shrines begin to replicate complex wooden structures with apsidal ends, barrel-vaulted naves, and side aisles, but the type was not restricted solely to Buddhist use. Three astylar apsidal shrines in stone from c. the first century B.C./A.D. are known from Taxila (Taksasila). Temple no. 18 at Sanci was an apsidal shrine, and apsidal structures are shown on reliefs from Mathura (Fig. 2) and Amaravati (Fig. 1) as well. At Ramatirtharn, Sankaram, and Nagarjunakonda in Andhradesa, also, numerous apsidal temples of brick were constructed under the patronage of the later Satavahanas and Iksvakus. At Nagarjunakonda, these apsidal chapels begin to house image of the Buddha as well as stupas. An apsidal temple enshrining Siva is known from Nagarjunakonda and there are also examples of an apsidal Jaina shrine at Udayagiri, Bhuvanesvara (c. 25 B.C.), and an apsidal Naga shrine at Sonkh near Mathura (c. second century A.D.).

Nagarjunakonda, by the third or fourth century A.D., also preserves rectilinear shrines with square cellas, a type that ultimately eclipsed all other forms.

Pillar-types in this period include plain octagonal pillars with that follow a pristine timber tradition and are seen often in rock-cut shrines during the second and first centuries B.C. Later pillars develop a ghata base and a capital-type that has affinity to the Maurya bell-capital but loses the ridges of the lotus petals and becomes simply an inverted ghata. At Bharhut, pillars usually lack ghata base but show inverted lotus-capital, cable design, and large, flaring Taranga-bracket adorned adorned with criss-cross pattern (Fig. 11d.) This pillar-type may later show an amalaka set in box above the ghata, a stepped abacus, and various kinds of animal brackets. Variant forms with ghata base and plain bell-capital appear on reliefs at Sanci, occasionally surmounted by ghatapallava crowned by animals (Fig11a-b). A Bodhgaya relief shows a pillar with a ghata base and capital surmounted by a standing bull (Fig.11c).


  Preface v
  Style Outline vi
  Conventions vii
  List of Maps xiii
  Figure References xv
1 Mauryas Sungas, Kanvas, Kusabas, Ksatrapas 3
2 Guptas and Their Feudatories 19
3 Vakatakas (Main Branch) 59
4 Vakatakas of Vatsagulma 73
5 Traikutakas of Aniruddhapura 79
6 Mauryas of Puri 85
7 Kalacuris of Mahismati and Early Rastrakutas of Elapura 93
8 Later Guptas and Minor Dynasties 101
9 Maukharis and Puspabhutis of Kanyakubja 115
10 Minor Dynasties: Mandapika and Early Nagara Traditions 125
11 Aulikaras. Mauryas, and minor Chieftains 139
12 Pratihara Period: Mandapika Shrines 151
13 Kalacuris of Tripuri: Mandapika Shrines 161
14 Maintrakas of Valabhi and Garulakas of Western Surastra 167
15 Mairakas of Valabhi 197
16 Capotkatas of Bhillamala 207
17 Varmans of Kamarupa 215
18 Panduvamsis of Sripura and Nalas 219
19 Sailodbhavas 251
20 Calukyas of Badami: Karnata 277
21 Calukyas of Badami: Andhradesa 313
  Supplementum 335
22 Rastrakutas of Elapura and Manyakhetaka 343
23 Karkotas and utpalas of Kasmira 351
  Reference Glossary 395
  Site and Temple Index 417
  Plates Volume  
  Style Code for Plate Reference vii
  Plate/Chapter Reference 3
  Plate:1-778 5

Volume - 2

Part - 1


By A.D. 700, architects in Northern India had already created a unique architectural form for the temple, condensing a range of past cosmogonic and cosmological symbolisms into the rich decorative morphology of the temple itself.' This "Latina-Nagara" type of temple (see frontispiece, p. ix) combined the axis of a world-pillar, the cube of a sacrificial altar, and the body of a palace to house an image of divinity that was presented in visible form within its sanctum. Its distinctive high curved superstructure quickly dominated the North Indian skyline, from west to east and from the Himalayan foothills to the upper Deccan. Preliminary stages in the evolution of this form, as well as a variety of the alternative types and traditions of temple structures that survived in Northern India throughout its history, have been presented in the first set of volumes in this series (Vol. Il, pt. 1, "Foundations of North Indian Style").

The range of eighth- and ninth-century temples covered by this present set represents what we have designated the "Period of Early Maturity," in part following a phrase used by Stella Kramrisch for classical Indian sculpture. The Latina temple does reach maturity in this phase, its form understood and expressed in a variety of regional idioms by architects patronised by political powers intent on incorporating and marking both territory and populations within their growing hegemony. Building these temples gave merit to their individual patrons, provided a powerful tool for communities of priests, and helped both validate and perpetuate a growing "State" order, in part by helping to incorporate lineage clans within a broader social order.

Ripe and self-fulfilling in its symbolic structure, the temple in this period still required architects to work out a number of practical issues concerning how it could be used. Interior spaces along a longitudinal "axis of access" evolved from a simple sheltered portico in front of the sanctum door to a variety of sheltering halls and covered entries; circumambulatory spaces were provided first by open platforms or as paths incorporated within the fabric of the temple itself. Balconies allowed light into these ambulatory paths and halls; and screened windows sometimes were used to filter light and provide ventilation. A proliferation of niches, on the interior as well as on exterior walls, also allowed priests to elaborate increasingly complex and particularized iconographic programs for use in rituals. While something is known, however, of the histories of the hegemonic powers -Pratiharas, Cahamanas, etc. - within whose reigns these temples were built, we know very little about the priests or communities that they were built to serve.

While sharing always a symbolic potency and form, temples in the period separate into major stylistic groupings in different regions as well as showing significant and continual idiomatic variation. Central and western of North India seem to have extended to large degree the decorative and aesthetic traditions developed in territories ruled previously by Gupta dynasts; temples in Malwa, Gujarat, and southern Rajasthan instead a number of decorative conventions found previously in Satavahana, Vakataka, and Kalacuri territories in the Deccan. While little could be said in earlier Chapters about such differences in architectural terms, temples form these regions in this period of early maturity share significantly separate canons, as reflected in the following Style Outline used to Outline used to organise this volume:

Style Outline

Vol. II, part 1: Foundations of North Indian
I. Beginnings of North Indian Style, c. A.D. 350-660
II. Varieties of North Indian Style, c. A.D. 500-1100

Vol. II, part 2: North India, Period of Early Maturity
III. Nagara Style of Common Lineage, c. early eight-late ninth century A.D.
A. Central India
1. Gopagiri style, c. eight century A.D. Mauryas of Gopagiri and Kanyakubja
2. Dasarnadesa style,. C. late eighth-ninth century A.D. Gurjara-Pratiharas of Kanyakubja
3. Dahala style, phase 1, c. late eighth-late ninth century A.D. Kalacuris of Tripuri

4. Madhyadesa style, phase 2, c. eithth-ninth centuries A.D. Gurjara-Pratiharas of Kanyakubja
5. Jejakabhukti style, phase 1, c. late ninth-early tenth century A.D. Candellas of Kalanjara and Kharjuravahaka

B. Himacala
Himacala style, phase 1, c. eighth-ninth centuries A.D. Hill Dynasties
C. Western India
Maha-Maru Style, phases 1 & 2, c. A.D. 700-925
1. Marudesa: Pratiharas of Mandavyapura
2. Marudesa: Pratiharas of Jabalipura and Kanyakubja, phase 1
3. Surasena janapada: Surasenas of Sripatha
4. Sapadalaksa: cahamanas of Sakambhari
5. Pratiharas of Kanyakubja and their feudatories, phase 2

D. Uparamala
Malava style, Uparamala, phases 1 & 2, c. A.D. 650-900
1. Mauryas of Medapata and Uparamala
2. Gurjara-Pratiharas and their Maurya feudatories in Malava

IV. Nagara Style of Separate Lineage, c. early eithth-late ninth century A.D.
A. Western India
1. Surastra style, c. early eighth-late ninth century A.D. Saindhavas of Bhutambilika
2. Maha-Gurjara style, phase 2, c. A.D. 700-900
a. Minor dynasties of northern Gujarat
b. Pratiharas of Jabalipura and Bhilamala
c. Capotkatas of Anahillapataka
d. Caps of Vardhamanapura
e. Samas of Kaccha

B. Eastern India
1. Vanga style, phase 1, c. A.D. 700-900: Palas
2. Kalinga style, phase 2, c. A.D. 700-900: Bhauma-Karas

Use of this outline for subsequent volume in this series can tentatively be projected as follows:

Vol. II, part 3
V. Beginnings of Medieval Idiom c. A.D. 900-1000

Vol. II, part 4
VI. High medieval period, c. A.D. 1000-1300
VII. Sultanate period, c. 14th -16th centuries A.D.
VIII. Mughal period, c. 16th-17th centuries A.D.


  Preface v
  Style Outline vi
  Acknowledgements vii
  List of Maps xv
  Figure References xvii
24 Mauryas of Gopagiri and Kanyakubja 3
25 Gurjara-Pratiharas of Kanyakubja 27
26 Kalacuris of Tripuri 61
27 Gurjara-Pratiharas of Kanyakubja 73
28 Candellas of Kalanjara and Kharjuravahaka: Phase I 83
29 Hill Dynasties 93
30 Pratiharas of Mandavyapura 119
31 Pratiharas of Jabalipura and Kanyakubja Phase I 153
32 Surasenas of Sripatha 217
33 Cahamanas of Sakambhari: Phase I 223
34 Pratiharas of Kanyakubja and Their Feudatories: Phase II 247
35 Mauryas of Uparamala and Medapata 271
36 Gurjara-Pratiharas and Their Maurya-Feudatories in Malava 299
37 Saindhavas of Bhutambilika 319
38 Minor Dynasties of Northern Gujarat 337
39 Pratiharas of Jabalipura and Bhillamala 361
40 Capotkatas of Anahillapataka 375
41 Capas of Vardhamanapura: Phases I and II 381
42 Samas of Kaccha 389
43 Palas 395
44 Bhauma-Karas 409
  Reference Glossary 447
  Site and Temple Index 463
  Plates Volume  
  Style Code for Plate Reference vii
  Plate/Chapter Reference 3
  Plates 1-977 5

Volume - 3

Part - 1


Closely following the publication of Part III of Volume I of the Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture, I am happy to see that Part III of Volume II has been successfully completed. The American Institute of Indian Studies and its editor Shri M.A. Dhaky deserve the greatest appreciation of scholars and researchers for their perseverance in this painstaking gigantic task.

With each succeeding part of the two volumes the complexity increases. The developments of the earlier period were comparatively easier to describe and delineate. The vision, idea, and form were discernible: the symbolism, form, and function could be clearly identified.

The ancient Indian temple was a shrine situated at the confluence of rivers, mountains, and near oceans. It was a place of pilgrimage and in turn became a sacred place and provided space for a symbolic pilgrimage.

With the passage of time the Indian mind and its intellectual and artistic discourse became more complex and multilayered. The seeds of a system of establishing correspondences between the abstract and the concrete, the physical and the psychical, the temporal and the spiritual lay in early speculative though methodologies of ritual, philosophic schools, seminal notions in mathematics, and schools of medicine. However, it was early and late medieval India, in the north as well as south, east, and west, which endeavoured to give shape and substance to these notions through two different but related strategies. One was through the elaboration of mythic, the Puranic and others, through concretisation of the mythical into a structured language of narrative. It would appear that the authors and compilers of the Puranas found a language of myth and narrative to restate and interpret the revelation of the Vedas and other similar texts. The dynamics of the ecological concerns of the Vedas and the Upanisads was now couched in a descriptive language of another order. This is as evident from a re-reading of the myth of the descent of the Ganga as it is from the myth of Mahisasura-mardini or the Visnu as Varaha rescuing Prthvi or riding the Garuda. Countless myths and legends related to Siva, Visnu, and the Devi can be so interpreted at a primary level. Other layers of meaning were superimposed. Also, the Puranas endeavoured to translate the abstruse philosophic notions into simple but sometimes involved narrative. A theological layer can also be discerned. The method of the Puranas provided the tools of making multilayered statements which could be read concurrently at the purely socio-cultural, even political, level or at deeper levels of philosophic thought or even mathematical equations. An elaborate code developed which had significance for the lay and the initiated at his or her level of comprehension. The emphasis here as elsewhere was on interconnections, mutual interpenetration, and multilayered meaning which could be retrieved in different configurations. Multidimensionality was its principal attribute: simultaneity and concurrency, and reoccurrence its chief instrument.

The other equally potent instrumentality closely related to the first was the arts, specially those of architecture, sculpture, and music. Through the arts, the creator-visualiser could concretise the fundamental principles at the universal level and yet be grounded simultaneously in the reality of specific time and space. He could coalesce into a single artistic creation the spiritual and the temporal, the abstract and the concrete, the geometrical and the figurative, the micro and the macro, the unmanifest and the manifest.

It took time for these developments to attain fruition. Contours of these transitions which appear at first sight as total transformations can be traced, although difficult. However, by the tenth and the 11th centuries, the consequences are clear in architecture and sculpture. In the Puranas they can be discerned from the comparatively simpler Puranas like the Visnu, the Vayu, and the Agni to the Visnudharmottara to the later Puranas. The movement is from the simple to the complex, from one to many dimensions, from the direct to the oblique. This is perhaps the unseen but the real raison d' etre of medieval Indian temple architecture as of medieval Indian sculpture. The multiplicity of heads and arms in iconic concepts, the gradual expansion of the temple horizontally, the ascension of vertical sikhara and the rhythm of its repetitive cognate turrets (anga-sikharas, sikharikas), peaked mandapas, and sub-shrines are clear indicators of parallel articulations of the singular concern with the notion of the one and the many, the formless, and many forms, the relationship of the physical, the psychical, the temporal, and the spiritual. The beginnings of these elements can be seen in the late Gupta and early medieval architecture and its pinnacle is reached in the 11th and the 12th centuries through a vigorous formative process in the tenth century.

Ironically, and paradoxically, the king/royalty appropriate the notions and the system to make his or their royal presence. It is an interpenetration into an existing and evolving complex system. An outstanding example is the employment of the Daksinamurti myth of Siva by Rajaraja Cola. Siva's mythical abodes, forts, and temples also become palaces or like palaces as has been said. In north India, a shrine also begins to be equated with 'prasada' that is a palace, never rejecting it as a house of God. Whether the idea of treating a deity as the king or king as the divine is Indian or foreign is not so seminal as is the fact that the artistic structure was so designed that it could represent these two levels and many more simultaneously. Understandably, these temples have been interpreted by different scholars in diverse ways and viewpoints.

Concurrent and basic was the acceptance of the paradigm of the Purusa as a design concept. Although the "Purusasukta" of the Rgveda provided the seeds of a total concept, it is in the arts that it developed into a sophisticated term of reference for actual structure. Architecture evolved the Vastupurusa-mandala as a basic grid for ground plan and elevational format; embodying the sculpture, the silpa texts evolved an elaborate system of sutras, bhangas, and asanas which served as an armature. Musical theory conceived the Sangita-purusa as a basic framework of structure and drama is the Natya-purusa itself. Many articles in this volume give details of the system of correspondence between the limbs of the human body and the different architectural members of the temple structure. It is clear from a reading of these articles that the basic grid or model had the inbuilt potential of multiple expressions.

Given the two unifying unseen threads of the employment of myth as narrative and the paradigm of Purusa as a geometrical grid, there was the possibility of countless permutations and combinations-geometrical, algebraical, arithmetical, horizontal, or vertical. The model was flexible enough to allow for containing the regional, sub-regional, local, and even individual predilections. It was broad enough to have the potential of subsuming the purely ephemeral, temporal royalty, feudatory lordship, and the rest. After a lapse of time, it is the perennial symbolism, the signification which can convey multilayered meaning that sustains. Herein lies the power and the efficacy of these structures as artistic expressions. While the motivations and intentions of the human instrumentality no doubt were determinants, today it is the perennial and universal which bespeak beyond history and temporality. This is as true of the great temples in south India, Brhadisvara (Tanjavur), Sriranganathasvami (Srirangam), as it is for Kandariya Mahadeva (Khajuraho), Lingaraja (Bhuvanesvara), and other such temples at Dilwara (Mt. Abu) in north India. Understandably, Sri Aurobindo, A.K. Coomaraswamy, and Stella Kramrisch focussed attention on the symbolism, significance, and meaning not eschewing the relation of form, function, and meaning. Paul Mus did the same in respect of the 'stupa', specially Borobudur in Java, also a medieval monument in terms of chronology and history.

In contradistinction, others have endeavoured to read only political, social, and economic messages through these temples. Some amongst them have attributed school, style, and technique to purely socio-economic and political conditions, and patron. While the latter were undoubtedly primary factors for creativity and specially, in the case of temples where surplus funding was essential, they cannot be in the very nature of creativity and the flow of a living tradition be the sole determinants of the final artistic product and characteristic style. The poet's, the painter's, the architect's, the sculptor's, the musician's, the dancer's, and the dramatist's skill lies in his ability to be contemporary without being ephemeral or purely local or time bound. In the case of medieval Indian architecture and its magnificent monuments, the sthapatis and the craftsmen appear to have taken the challenge of meeting dynastic desires and yet fulfilling a higher and more lasting purpose of creating a cosmos on earth with its multiplicity of the vegetative, animal, human, and divine all fusing into the one unknowable presence of the One. Even the particularity of the icon loses meaning. What remains as residual experience is fullness of the empty space of the garbhagrha where dualities are merged and lost.

Each one of the temples-through their regional schools and sub-schools, and clearly distinguishable styles and differences in superstructure-are Meru or Mahameru, They interconnect earth and heaven, move from the outer to the inner, the gross to the subtle, the mundane to the sacred, the physical to the spiritual. It is a journey from multiplicity and complexity to oneness and unity.

The chapters in the Encyclopaedia unfold the many rainbow colours, almost like the sancari bhavas (transitory states) in a grand medieval drama of Indian temple through the differences in schools and styles conditioned by dynasty and patronage. Material, forms, and techniques differ but, at the level of vision and essence, there is unity. As in the field of music and dance, where there are distinctive sampradayas and gharanas, and the ragas and compositional pattern are diverse, so also in the medieval temples: but the ultimate relish of rasa, a state of wonder (adbhuta) they evoke, is identical. Evoking the experience of being elevated to a higher level of consciousness through the monument and the ritual is the final goal. The temple structure itself, like a grand Indian musical composition, adopts a basic grid like an octave with its ascending and descending notes (its sthayi, antara, pallavi, anupallavi, and caranam) and then enlarges the built structure vertically and horizontally through repetitive motifs to create the effect of a single cascade or mood.

For the researcher and the scholar it is also an essential prerequisite to understand the 'what' and the 'how' before asking the 'why'. The volumes lay bare the structure, design, and the nuances of differentiation. Here is a mine of information and knowledge assiduously compiled by the senior scholars Krishna Deva, M.A. Dhaky, and Michael Meister. As a reference work this Volume along with others will serve, metaphorically speaking, the mountains of encyclopaedic knowledge which must be traversed before reaching the pinnacle of experience. I would like to record my, and of others like me, admiration for this diligent scholarship. I would again like to congratulate Dr. (Prof.) Frederick Asher, President of the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) and its Vice-President Dr. Pradeep Mehendiratta for their direction and guidance, and to Prof. M.A. Dhaky for his exemplary scholarship and deftness as editor.

I am happy that Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) could join the AIIS as a co-publisher in bringing out this volume. Through our combined efforts as co-publishers (and otherwise), I hope Indian art history will slowly but surely take a new turn of eschewing the 'either or' approach, and, instead, embrace both.


Some twenty years ago, a skeptical officer at the agency that has provided by far more financial support for the American Institute of Indian Studies' Center for Art and Archaeology than any other agency, pronounced with certainty that not a single volume of the Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture ever would be published. At the time, he may have had reason for doubt. But, with this volume, the project is very nearly complete. Just two more volumes and perhaps the most invaluable resource of all, the glossary volumes, remain, and they soon will be ready for press as well.

What has happened during these twenty years to change the outlook for a resource that is now widely acclaimed in many countries? Several things, mostly a series of highly effective partnerships. First, the Center became part of the American Institute of Indian Studies, where the administrative work could be shared with an extraordinarily capable and experienced new set of colleagues under the direction of Pradeep Mehendiratta, the Institute's Director-General. This left scholars to deal with scholarship. Second, the scholars themselves gave untold hours-no, even years-to the project. At the head of the list, we need to acknowledge M.A. Dhaky, who has devoted what must be described as a lifetime to the Encyclopaedia, all the while maintaining his personal scholarship, to say nothing of friendships around the world. Michael Meister provided a close editor's hand, substantial original writing, and a wise voice in shaping Pramod Chandra's original vision. Many others, too, have participated in this project. The numbers go well beyond the scholars responsible for each chapter. Four in particular merit special mention V.K. Venkatavaradhan, whose devotion to the project has insured letter-perfect text, and three draftsmen- S. Dorai, S. Pandian, and N. Ravi who have set the standard for architectural drawing in India: And Dharmapal Nanda' s complementary share at the same level of excellence on the score of photography.

Two other partnerships need acknowledgment. Following publication of the first volume, the doomsayers were proved wrong, and the Smithsonian Institution became a major sustainer of the project. Without their financial support, the project would have failed long ago. We remember fondly the late Kennedy Schmertz, whose initial support provided the much-needed expression of confidence. Gretchen Gayle Ellsworth followed him with similar support for the project. And finally we recognize with gratitude Francine Berkowitz's support for the Center for Art and Archaeology and its leading project, this Encyclopaedia. Rarely has there been a representative of a funding agency who as often appears to represent the Institute as the agency that actually employs her. Finally, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts has provided generous support for the publication of several of these volumes. We acknowledge with gratitude Kapila Vatsyayan's confidence in the Institute and this project.


The Part 3 in the sequence takes further the publication programme for the Volume II of the Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture series of this Institute and in size is comparable to the preceding two parts. The buildings discussed here were founded in the tenth century, a period which represents the beginning of the medieval architectural styles in north India (and in parts of Pakistan), that came on the scene before the advent of the High Medieval which began from the 11th century. The building activity in the tenth century was underway in the domains of several different regional and imperial dynasties. Buildings, in a few cases, were erected by the rulers themselves, some by their vassals, provincial governors, wealthy and powerful generals, and other officers such as those on ministerial posts, also treasury officers, next the opulent merchants, and, no less, a few were founded by the heads of different religious sects, particularly the Saivaite pontiffs and Jaina abbots.

The Sanskrit terms used here have been extracted from the various medieval vastu-works of central and western India as well as Orissa and its bordering tracts in eastern India. This Part has 207 drawings and 20 site-maps in the first (text) bind, and 913 black-and-white illustrations in the second bind.

The history of this Project has not been touched upon in any of the previous parts; hence is briefly outlined here. A personal project which was destined to be a seed for this Project, was initiated late in the year 1966 at the American Academy of Benares, Varanasi (after 1970, American Institute of Indian Studies), with a modest title and limited scope, as The Dictionary of Indian Architectural Terms. Its tentative scheme I then had worked out for approval and had discussed with Dr. Pramod Chandra, the initiator and the first Director of the American Academy of Benares. (Dr. Chandra had already explored the idea with the Indian Advisory Committee of the American Academy of Benares whose members had fully supported it.) In the following year, after my discussions with K.R. Srinivasan in Madras (Chennai) and Krishna Deva in Delhi, its scope was enlarged and the Project then was promoted as the Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture with essay volumes discussing regional and period styles where the appropriate technical terms extracted from the relevant vastu-texts in Sanskrit were envisaged to be employed in the descriptions of the buildings, reflecting as they supposedly do the perception and language of the ancient/medieval architects and sculptors involved in their construction. The annotated and illustrated glossary of terms was envisaged to follow the essay Parts.

While promoting this modified and enlarged version of the Project, Prof. Chandra enlisted the support of the Smithsonian Institution in the U.S., as also of the academics connected there with the studies in the field of Indian art and architecture. The schema of the volumes then contemplated and next rigorously followed was based on three co-ordinates-region's political/historical background, socio-religious context, and the temporal bracket involved, in short within the perspective of space-time-cultural continuum. The classificatory organization of styles thus resulted is somewhat analogous to that involving phyla, genera, and species in biology which are set within the broad geographic areas and geological times. Likewise, in this instance, the architectural styles here are viewed in a continuous process of formal and stylistic evolution as they perceptibly reveal. The scheme was sufficiently flexible to accommodate new entries of the fresh stylistic groups and it can, wherever and whenever felt necessary, be modified when fresh discoveries/researches in certain regions and temporal areas so demanded or warranted. (In point of fact, the schema of each Part had been more than once revised, enlarged, and remodelled in response to the exigencies of new archaeological findings including the fresh epigraphical discoveries necessitating the modification of history and the chronology of events as well as of buildings etc., etc.) Based on the premises of the strongly marked stylistic differences, the series of publication was next designed to have two volumes, Volume I to cover the South Indian buildings and Volume II to discuss those of North India.

As in the life of an individual, so in the history of an institution, visitations of ups and downs were inevitable; the Project, as a result, sometimes received serious jolts, temporary stagnation, and even at times was threatened to be totally abandoned. However, the Varanasi Center, and along with it the Project, thanks to the efforts of the past Presidents, particularly Prof. Edward Dimock Jr., and the Vice-President of AIIS and the Director-General of its Indian operations in Delhi, Dr. Pradeep Mehendiratta, has survived and for the past two decades has been progressing at a fairly consistent pace; its productions-despite a few hostile, partisan, venomous, and motivated reviews (as against a bulk of appreciative ones) they received-have been welcomed. In point of fact, the wide use made of the volumes by several researchers in the field the world over, bears testimony to their usefulness and hence the validity of the Project. (The earlier Parts of the volumes are now largely out of stock.)

Strong reservations on the usage of Sanskrit terms had been voiced in some quarters for describing the buildings in the first Parts when they became available in print. However, we have parallels for the usage of the characteristic terminology of a given land in other fields, for instance the employment of the Arabic and Persian terms for Islamic architecture, Greek and Latin jargon for the Hellenic and Roman architecture, French, German, and Spanish terms in the domain of Romanesque and Gothic architecture, Chinese terms in understanding the Chinese paintings and philosophy: And, in India too, in the realms of Indian philosophy, literature, and Indology in general, several Sanskrit (and Pali-Prakrit) terms are used. Why, then, the opposition in the field of Indian temple architecture? Though there is some reason for such resistence in regard to the EITA volumes, this was due more to the excessive use by a few contributors not only of the genuine Sanskrit terms but also of Sanskrit words for which common English words were readily available. For instance pillar or column (and not 'stambha'), doorsill (and not 'udumbara') etc., should have been used in lieu of the Sanskrit words/terms shown here in parenthesis. (In India, of course, such Sanskrit words are widely known and readily understood.) Keeping the afore noted criticism in view, I have, for this volume, as far as was possible within the intentions of the contributing scholars, converted such terms into their equivalent English words. But the total negation of the usage of Sanskrit terms is uncalled for, because, for many architectural details, the only terms available are in Sanskrit. Some of these in origin denote their functional/locational aspects, some are metaphorical and hint to their remoter origins as well as meanings inherent in the formal shapes implied, and the associated decorative details in the total cultural context of ancient and medieval India.

As I glance through the scholarly writings of the new generation in the U.S., U.K., and Germany, researchers like Thomas E. Donaldson, Michael D. Rabe, Phillip B. Wagoner, Walter Smith, Adam Hardy, Falk Reitz (besides my friend of long standing Michael Meister), there is encountered a sizeable sprinkling of Sanskrit terms. These scholars have mastered the Sanskrit jargon to an appreciable degree. Of course, discretion has to be maintained on not unduly mixing up the jargon specific to the ancient and medieval periods, or of northern and southern India; and even in north India that of the eastern provinces and of the rest of the northern regions. (Earlier writers on Indian temple architecture have introduced confusions and hence erred exactly on this score.) Also to be avoided, as far as possible, is the usage of terms of the modern Middle Indo-Aryan or Dravidian languages-Oriya, Gujarati/Rajasthani, Tamil-e-for it is advisable strictly to employ the Sanskrit terms alone for the national as well as international usage. But these are the problems which will be tackled and discussed at some length in Part 5 of each Volume.

The present Part deals with the dawn of the medieval architecture whose onset took place precisely at the beginning of the tenth century. Medievalism in north India simultaneously manifested itself in all regions and in almost all fields of cultural expressions-literature in its manifold modes, elaborate ritualistic forms of worship, costumes and ornaments, music and dance, and above all art and architecture, converging as they all did to the same ideals, and exhibited identical inward spirit and external unity in formal appearance. Architecture, by an assured, as though pre-determined, course of evolution, by then had left behind the relative simplicity, undue massiveness, ponderousness of appearance met with in the earlier ages. The medieval era ushered in the first definite stage of creating fully organic, highly integrated, and convincingly articulate appearance of a "temple" as it will look, or should look, as Gothic era contemporaneously was to do in the medieval Europe for the "church".

The temple's lower structure and superstructure, their highly organized, stratified, and moulded surfaces in vertical rise, and their structural spread along the horizontal plane for the first time attained a well-balanced, logical, wholesome and handsomely manifest, and truly architectonic image. The figural presence and decorative art of the temples (both on the prasada and the adjoined hall) now blended harmoniously with the moulded surfaces, so much so that they cannot be separated from the total rhythm of form and features. The supple torsos, the elegant body bends, the nicely formed faces, and the fine jewellary of the associated divine and semi-divine figures, and no less the humans, wherever appearing, were depicted as engaged in the manifold activities of life including worship as well as love: They added worldly colour together with otherworldly intentions. And their specific placement on the exterior of the temple-body clarified their functions as well as the iconological import of their association even when they were progressively losing the contemplative and serene looks of the classical, post-classical, and even pre-medieval times. For the first time the prasada looked as Purusa, embodiment of Eternal Man. as well as the configuration of the total Cosmos, a perfected concrete symbol of the total existence.

Some of the greatest masterpieces of temple architecture, a few among these also possessing pretension of scale, were created in this age. True, there was still not that outburst of prolific building activity, as it will be from the beginning of the 11th century onwards till the early phase of late Medieval centuries, in the latter times it particularly happened in western India. However, much of this period's material contribution has been destroyed by the ravages of time as well as the vagaries of man. And yet, selecting from the surviving buildings, we may mention, in passing, the Laksmana and Visvanatha temples in Khajuraho, the ruined temples at Kotai and Kerakot in Kaccha, and the Muktesvara and Gauri temples at Bhuvanesvara as representing the finest gems of this early phase of medieval architecture. There will, in the next phase, be built grander edifices, notable for their more evolved form and hence even more cogent appearance. But, qualitatively, the level of excellence of form and decor and their happiest marriage visibly manifest and joyously celebrated here, in the tenth century, was not to be duplicated afterwards.


  Foreword xi
  Preface xv
  Style Outline xvii
  Acknowledgments xxi
  List of Maps xxiii
  Figure References xxv
45 Later Pratiharas of Kanauj 3
46 Kacchapaghatas of Gopagiri: Phase I 15
47 Kalacuris of Tripuri 37
48 Candellas of Kalanjara and Kharjuravahaka 59
49 Later Pratiharas of Kanauj 83
50 Cahamanas of Sakambhari: Phase IIa 95
51 Cahamanas of Naddula 125
52 Guhilas of Medapata: Lower Variation, Phase II 133
53 Dvija Dynasty of Vatakara 203
54 Capas of Vardhamanapura: Phase III 213
55 Samas of Kaccha: Phase II 229
56 Paramaras of Candravati 243
57 Capotkatas of Anahillapataka: Phase II 269
58 Solankis of Anahillapataka 279
59 Paramaras of Khetakamandala 305
60 Cahamanas of Sakambhari: Phase IIb 309
61 Uparamala, phase 2a: Local Dynasties 319
62 Gurjara-Pratihara Feudatories and Successors in Malava 335
  Supplementum 344
63 Pratiharas of Rajorgadh 349
64 Northwest Frontier and West Panjab: Local Dynasties 363
65 Somavamsis: Phase I 369
  Reference Glossary 403
  Site and Temple Index 423
  Plates Volume  
  Style Code for Plate Reference ix
  Plate/Chapter Reference 2
  Plates: 1-913 3


Volume - 4

Part - I


This project has taken many years to reach the form in which it is now presented. Intended to help consolidate a generation of research, this Encyclopaedia particularly attempts to codify an appropriate technical terminology for Indian temple architecture, and to illustrate that terminology by chapters which survey the remains of temple architecture in India within a geographic and historical framework. The text and plate volumes presented here cover lower Dravidadesa: these will be followed by volumes on Upper Dravidadesa, Integrated Styles of South India (Vijayanagar and Nayak periods), and by an annotated comprehensive Glossary. North India will be covered in a similar fashion, following a scheme worked out by M.A. Dhaky in 1967. Dhaky, the Associate Director for Research at the A.I.I.S. Centre for Art and Archaeology, Varanasi, serves as Project Coordinator for the South Indian volumes, and has been joined by Krishna Deva for coordination of work on North India.

Terminology may initially overwhelm the reader; and I hope no generation of scholars will slavishly imitate the terminology; but the terms work, and through understanding the terms, their meaning and the categories they establish, the student can approach the temples he studies with a more precise perception. A short reference glossary is provided in this volume; a comparative annotated Glossary giving textual sources is under preparation at the Varanasi Centre. Consistent use of an authentic terminology can become a means to understand the logic of the temple itself.

Implicit in the organization of the Encyclopaedia is also a statement about "style," that most tantalising of art-historical constructs. Organization begins by region and period; "styles" are identified first by region, then by dynasty. Artistic traditions are taken to be rooted in a territory, given shape by dynastic patronage, then spread by the course of empire. Art remains in the hands of craftsmen, however, and "style" is seen as located in a nexus between region and patronage. The consequences of these assumptions have been left for others to consolidate, but the resonance and vitality of the scheme gives shape and reference to all information collected in this work.

The style code used throughout for chapter headings and as reference for plates comes from the following style outline:

Style Outline
Vol. I, part 1
I. Lower Dravidadesa, c. A.D. 650-1324

A. Early Period, C. A.D. 650-800
1. Early Tondainandu style, c. A.D. 650-800 Pallavas of Kanci: Phase I
2. Early Pandinadu style, c. A.D. 775-800 Pandyas of Madurai: Phase I

B. Middle Period, c. A.D. 800-1178
1. Middle Tondainadu style, c. A.D. 800-900
a. Pallavas of Kanci: Phase II
b. Banas of Perumbanavadi
2. Middle Pandinadu style, c. A.D. 850-950 Pandyas of Madurai: Phase II
3. Early Colanadu style, c. A.D. 800-1000
a. Muttaraiyars of Nemam and Sndalai
b. Colas of Tanjavur: Phase I
c. Irrukuvels of Kodumbalur
d. Paluvettaraiyars of Paluvur
4. Late Tondainadu style, c. A.D. 945-975 Rastrakutas of Mankhed: Lower Variation
5. Middle Colanadu style, c. A.D. 1000-1078 Colas f Tanjavur: Phase II
6. Pandinadu style (occupation period), c. 11th century A.D. Colas, and Cola-Viceroys of Madurai
7. Early Kerala style, c. A.D. 800-1000 Ceras of Mahodayapuram, Musakas of Kolam, and Ays of Vilinam

C. Late Period, c. A.D. 1070-1324
1. Late Colanadu style, c. A.D. 1070-1279
a. Colas of Tanjavur: Phase III
b. Pandyas of Madurai (occupation period)
c. Hoysalas of Dorasamudram (occupation period)
2. Late Pandinadu style, c. A.D. 1216-1324 Pandyas of Madurai: Phase III
3. Middle Kerala sty;e, c. A.D. 1000-1300 Ceras of Mahodayapuram and Venadu Rulers of Kollam

Vol. I, part 2
II. Upper Dravidadesa, c. A.D. 550-1326

Vol. I, Part 3
III. Integrated Styles of South India, c. A.D. 1326-1736
Conventions The system of diacritics used in this volume modifies that of Epigraphia Indica by using c, ch, and s to suit international convention; e and o are used though not needed in Sanskrit, so that e and o can be distinguished in words of Dravidian origin. Conventions for Dravidian words do not follow those of the Tamil Lexicon; they rather, agein, modify those used by Epigraphia Indica and by the Archaeological Survey of India. Words of Tamil origin, pronounced by some communities with an initial s, are spelled here with c as they are in Tamil: words of Sanskrit origin reflect the Sanskrit pronunciation. Early "Calukya" and later "calukya" spellings are based on inscriptional usage. Place names attempt to reflect local convention, though the hazards of recording place names in the field are many; temple names which end in "isvara" here follow the Sanskrit, a practice also followed by Nilakanta Sastri. M.A. Dhaky and K.R. Srinivasan have been the final authorities for place-name spelling. "English" spelling is followed in the text; punctuation is "American." Numbers have been spelled out only from one to ten. Clarity and concision have been the goal in editing.


  Preface v
  Style Outline v
  Conventions vi
  Acknowledgments vii
  List of Maps xiii
  Figure References xv
1 Andhras, Iksvakus, and Literary Sources 3
2 Pallavas of Kanci: Phase I 23
3 Pandyas of Madurai: Phase I 81
4 Pallavas of Kanci: Phase II 87
5 Banas of Perumbanavadi 107
6 Pandyas of Madurai: Phase II 111
7 Muttaraiyars of Nemam and Sendalai 125
8 Colas of Tanjavur: Phase I 145
9 Irrukuvels of Kodumbalur 199
10 Paluvettaraiyars of Paluvur 215
11 Rastrakutas of Mankhed: Lowe Variation 219
12 Colas of Tanjavur: Phase II 223
13 Colas, and Cola-Viceroys of Madurai 261
14 Ceras of Mahodayapuram, Musakas of Kolam, and Ays of Vilinam 265
15 Colas of Tanjavur: Phase III 289
16 Pandyas of Madurai (Occupation Period) 331
17 Hoysalas of Dorasamudram (Occupation Period) 333
18 Pandyas of Madurai: Phase III 339
19 Ceras of Mahodayapuram and Venadu Rulers of Kollam 347
  Plates Volume  
  Style Code for Plate Reference vii
  Plates: 1-432 5
  Reference Glossary 285
  Site and Temple Index 297


Volume - 5

Part - I


These volumes continue a series initiated two years ago by "South India: Lower Dravidadesa." They introduce for the first time the Deccano-Dravida mode of Dravida architecture found in the Deccan, a style as antique as the Dravida style of the lower South (surviving from as early as the sixth and seventh centuries A.D.) and distinct from that style, if also interdependent with it from the sixth through the tenth century A.D. This variety of Dravida architecture acted as foundation for a new form known as "Vesara" created by architects in the Deccan in the 11th century, a synthetic and original style that will form the subject of volumes that follow these in this series.

As in previous volumes, style and patronage form a web in which the many temples to be described have been embedded. The principal patrons in this region of South India in this period were the Calukyas of Badami and Vengi and the Rastrakutas of Malkhed, The primary patrons of the Vesara style, which follows in the Deccan, were the Later Calukyas and their successors, the Hoysalas, whose temples will form the bulk of the "Upper Dravidadesa, Later Phase," set of volumes to follow this set. Though major dynasties may thus be linked to major changes in architectural style, a variety of smaller kingdoms and sub-regional styles existed that form the subject of separate chapters in this Encyclopaedia. It is perhaps in the definition of such divisions that the crux of understanding style in India lies. Styles are formulated in the hands of artisans, and the fabric of craft in India was continual over a wide territory. While we must understand both "centres" and "peripheries" in studying Indian patronage, we also must understand that each group of craftsmen was central to the "style" their work expressed. The "style" of a dynasty could be formulated only from a continuum of the idioms such craftsmen created.

Throughout these volumes a style code has been used as heading for chapters and as reference for plates; this code is summarized at the front of the Plates volume and is based on the following style outline:

Style Outline

Vol. I, part 1
I. Lower Dravidadesa, c. A.D. 650-1324

Vol. I, part 2
II. Upper Dravidadesa, c. A.D. 550-1075

A. Early Period , c. A.D. 550-900
1. Karnata style, c. A.D. 550-700 Calukyas of Bhadami: Phase I
2. Karnata style, A.D. 700-750 Calukyas of Badami: Phase II
3. Tulunadu style, c. A.D. 700-900 Alupas of Udayapura: Phase I

B. Middle Period, c. A.D. 775-1075
1. Later Karnata style, c. A.D. 775-974
a. Rastrakutas of Malkhed: Upper Variation, Phase I
b. Rastrakutas of Malkhed: Upper Variation, Phase II
2. Early Andhra-Karnata style, c. A.D. 750-900 Eastern Calukyas of Vengi: Phase I
3. Later Andhra-Karnata style, c. A.D. 900-1075 Eastern Calukyas of Vengi: Phase II
4. Renandu style, c. ninth-11th century A.D. Telugu-Codas and Vaidumbas
5. Tulunadu style, c. A.D. 900-1000 Alupas of Udayapura: Phase II
6. Gangavadi style, c. A.D. 900-1000 Gangas 0of Talkad
7. Nolambavadi style, c. A.D. 850-1000 Nolambas of Hemavati
8. Malanad style, c. A.D. 775-990
a. Santaras of Humca
b. Hoysalas of Angadi

Vol. I, part 3
C. Later Period, c. A.D. 973-1326

Vol. I, part 4
III. Integrated Style of South India, c. A.D. 1326-1736

Vol, I, par 5 will contain a comprehensive, annotated glossary of architectural terms; the reference glossary that has been provided in each part has been intended only as a quick aid to the reader.

M.A. Dhaky, as coordinator, has particularly been responsible for development and expanding the style outline for this project; also must be given credit in this volume for incorporating the widest possible range of recent opinion concerning the material covered. The architecture of the Calukyas and Rastrakutas has been the subject of much scholarship in recent decades, yet it can still not be said that all chronological and historical issues have been resolved. This volume attempts to make the issue and opinions clear. What has emerged clearly from recent scholarship, however, is the originality of architecture in the Deccan, its independence, and the consistency with which styles in the region developed and interacted. By studying the interweaving of architectural motifs and ideas in this central region, something of the process of stylistic origination in Indian can be observed.


  Preface v
  Style outline v
  Acknowledgments vii
  List of Maps xi
  Figure References xiii
20 Calukyas of Badami: Phase I 3
  Supplementum 59
21 Calukyas of Badami: Phase II 71
  Supplementum 90
22 Alupas of Udayapura: Phase I 95
23 Rastrakutas of Malkhed: Upper Variation, Phase I 105
24 Rastrakutas of Malkhed: Upper Variation, Phase II 141
25 Eastern Calukyas of Vengi: Phase I 163
26 Eastern Calukyas of Vengi: Phase II 171
27 Telugu-Codas and Vaidumbas 177
28 Alupas of Udayapura: Phase II 179
29 Gangas of Talkad 185
30 Nolambas of Hemavati 205
31 Santaras of Humca 217
32 Hoysalas of Angadi 227
  Reference Glossary 299
  Site and Temple Index 247
  Plates Volume  
  Style Code for Plate Reference vii
  Plate/Chapter Reference 2
  Plates 1-656 3

Volume -6

Part - I


It gives me great pleasure to write a few lines as Foreword to this third part of Volume I of the Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture. The efficacy of following a schema which was adopted by a group of scholars, as far back as 1967, has already been established through the earlier volumes, Vol. I (parts 1 and 2) and Vol. 11 (parts 1 and 2). A new generation of archaeologists and art historians are already using the technical terminology identified in these volumes. The present volume surveys/investigates some four hundred temples of Karnataka and Telingana. The sheer volume of material collected is vast as is borne out by the impressive documentation of 1674 illustrations, 315 drawings, and 16 maps. This is perhaps the most comprehensive documentation of medieval period and the region under reference. M. A. Dhaky, in his Introduction, has competently reviewed the recent literature on the subject, specially the work of Adam Hardy, The Knrndtn Drdvidn Tradition: Development of Indian Temple Architecture in Karnataka, 7th to 13th Centuries (now published by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts under the title Indian Temple Architecture: Form and Transformation, 1995), Ajaya Jagannath Prasad Sinha, S. Settar, G. Foekema, and others; it is, therefore, not necessary for me to comment in detail on the shift of emphasis and change of perspective on the study of temple architecture.

From these studies, specially the Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture, A. Hardy's work, and the recent study of The Temple of Muktesvara at Caudaddnapura by Vasundhara Filliozat (both IGNCA publications), it appears that critical scholarship has come a long way since the days of the early pioneers in the field, e.g., Fergusson, Cunningham, Burgess, Rea, and Cousens. Valuable and basic as their works were, they surveyed and documented only pieces of archaeology including structural remains dissociated from the matrix of life on the one hand and the textual traditions on the other. Their concern was the material form. Indeed the approach continued to be followed by many distinguished Indian archaeologists until the fifties of our century.

Parallel and concurrent was the search for manuscripts, the Sastras, not only on architecture (Vastu and Silpa) but also on all other arts, natya, sungitu, and alankara. Chapters of the Agnipurdnn and the Mntsyupurdnn had been published; the third khanda of the Visnudharmottara-purdna had been brought to light and there was an active debate on the relationship of Sds•tra and Prayoga, not to be understood in their English equivalents as 'theory' and 'practice'. The discourse was most vibrant in the field of poetics and dramaturgy as is borne out by the works of P.V. Kane, and S. K. De. This was a departure from the line followed by Indologists earlier. Neither Sylvain Levi nor for that matter A. B. Keith made an attempt to apply the tenets of the Natyasastra to Sanskrit drama nor identified regional texts for studying medieval Indian theatre. The situation in the field of Indian architecture was similar. There was one group of archaeologists who studied Indian temple architecture through the application of methodological tools more appropriate for other cultures, and another set of scholars, largely Sanskritists, who indentified texts and even compiled glossaries but did not have the technical wherewithal to examine actual monuments. P. K. Acharya's Indian Architecture According to the Manasarasilpasastra and Dictionary of Hindu Architecture are a case in point. Resultantly, there was a hiatus between the study of texts and the analysis of architecture. There was no doubt a lurking feeling in both that each was inadequate and partial.

The first attempt at providing a corrective was, however, made as early as 1834 by Ram Raz who tried to relate temple architecture to living cultural traditions of south India. James Prinsep, too, tried slightly earlier to evaluate northern Indian shrines in the light of Vastusastra traditions.

It was A. K. Coomaraswamy who gave a new turn to the study of architecture, Indian and Asian, by delving deep into literary sources and related concepts and technical terminology for assessing monuments, stupas, and temples alike. Also, he was the first to unambiguously state that the "origin of any monument can be considered either from an archaeological and technical or from an aesthetic or cognitive point of view: in other words either as fulfilling a function or as expressing meaning." He went on to point out that there may be logical distinctions, but not real distinction, for the monument was both, in fact more; it was the symbol of the life of the spirit. Equally significant was his incisive analysis of P. K. Acharya's Dictionary of Hindu Architecture, and its inadequacy. At the level of understanding the evolution of form, he perceptively drew attention to the origins of monumental architecture in huts and humble dwellings. The two volumes of Essays on Indian Architecture published by the IGNCA (edited by Michael Meister) offer ample proof of the manner in which Coomaraswamy gave a new turn to the study of Indian architecture. My Forewords to these volumes identify the milestones of this new path.

Nevertheless, as in some other spheres, it was left to Stella Kramrisch finally to change the course of critical studies on temple architecture more specifically. Her approach was complimentary to, but not identical with that of Coomaraswamy. Her small, but great work, the Indian Sculpture, has already re-assessed the value of medieval Indian art and had connected the medieval factor in Indian sculpture and the evolution of regional styles. In The Hindu Temple she plunged into the primary textual material at the level of concepts (the Vedas and the Upanisads), structure (Satapatha-Brahmana) and process and manifestation (Brhat-samhita). The transformation of the concept of the Purusu into a concrete building of stones was revealed as also was the close connection of the Sastra and architectural plans and scheme of temples.

Despite these towering figures, there is yet another dimension to which attention has been given only recently. The temple no doubt is replication of the cosmos; the symbol of the transcendence and imminence, but it is the ritual which enlivens the deity, and transforms the temple into a living organism of the here and now, not a monument in the historical past. In its very conception, it is the tirtha, the place of pilgrimage where the devotee takes the journey from the outer to the inner. He moves inwards from outer light into the physical darkness of the garbhagrha, this is at the physical level. At the psychical level, he moves from the state of ignorance, the multitudes of forms (sumsara), to receive inward light and luminosity. The architectural programme is designed to facilitate this psychic journey of opening the doors of perception and form. Thus, the journey is from multiplicity to unity, from grossness to subtlety, from time to timelessness. The temple as a concept, form, function and experience is complete only when an inanimate stone is animated and empowered to transform the human. All architectural plans, details of architectural members, the outer and inner spaces - the gopuras, the sikharas and the vimanas, the ardha- and mahd-mandapas, the antaralas and the garbhagrhas, the adhisthanas and the gavaksas - are vehicles of evoking this state of illumined wonder (adbhuta).
However, the study of any manifested form needs to be analysed for understanding its many dimensions and its polyvalence of meaning and style. It is also obvious that, in Indian art in general and Indian architecture in particular, two concurrent movements, can be discerned. One a perennial life line with some immutable concepts of the world view which is sustained through all periods, regions, and levels, and the other of specificity of period, regions, locale, and level of society. The American Institute of Indian Studies, Varanasi Center, (formerly the American Academy of Benares) has attempted to survey and pro-vide classifications and categorisation of temples and has focused attention on the second movement. In doing so, the Encyclopaedia has bridged the gap between textual scholars and archaeologists. Each of the volumes, through very clearly laid out schema, facilitates the understanding of the evolution of multiplicity of styles and schools; construction techniques and function of each architectural member in the totality of the temple structure. The volumes lay emphasis on the role of patronage and dynasties as also local craftsmanship, oral traditions in the evolution of style.

The Vastusastras, like other Sastras and disciplines, have an implicit and explicit level. At the implicit level, they embody a vision, a concept. At the explicit level, they provide the technical vocabulary and metrical norms for creating architectural edifices. They also explain the evolution of distinctive features of each region and sub-region.

The Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture has come as a culminating step in the study of Indian architecture where the technical vocabulary of the texts has been applied to architectural structure. The annotated glossaries, when published, will be an authoritative source on the relationship of the texts and the monuments.

A couple of years ago, when Dr. Pradeep Mehendiratta approached the IGNCA to collaborate in this important ongoing task, we welcomed the proposal. As has been mentioned above, the IGNCA on its initiative has been supporting research and publishing works on temple architecture, each exemplifying a new methodology of comprehending the Indian temple at the level of concept, meaning, and form: The Temple of Muktesvara at Caudadanapura by Vasundhara Filliozat; Indian Temple Architecture: Form and Transformation by Adam Hardy; Ellora: Concepts and Style by Carmel Berkson constitute one series within the overall programme of IGNCA.

The IGNCA has also initiated two multidisciplinary projects, one in the south and the other in the north, namely the Brhadisvara temple in Tanjavur and the Govindadeva temple at Vrindavana with a view to examining the temple in all its dimensions, the conceptual, literary, textual, historical, epigraphical, crafts traditions, ritual calendars, and ritual treatise and performances. The results of these studies will perhaps demonstrate, in detail, what Coomaraswamy and Kramrisch, intellectually and intuitionally, had perceived but for obvious reasons could not do actual field work.
The volumes of the Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture thus find a place within IGNCA's conceptual vision. I should like to acknowledge here the contribution of the founding fathers of the American Institute of Indian Studies, particularly, Norman Brown and Edward Dimock. I have always appreciated the leadership provided by succeeding Presidents of the Institute, Joe Elder and Frederick M. Asher. The scholars who have been associated with this project ranging from K.R. Srinivasan, Krishna Deva, K.V. Soundara Rajan, Michael Meister, H. Sarkar, and M.A. Dhaky particularly deserve our profound thank for the dedicated perseverance with which the project of this magnitude is being executed. The deft and sure hand of Dr. Pradeep there will be other opportunities of meaningful and indepth collaboration.


We take pride in the production of another volume in the massive undertaking that results in the Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture. It is particularly gratifying to acknowledge the support of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, which made the publication of this volume possible, as well as the Smithsonian Institution, which has supported the research since the project's inception, and the Ford Foundation, whose recent generosity has sustained the AIlS Centre for Art and Archaeology.

We have witnessed the encyclopaedia project almost since its inception. When the project was launched, skeptics doubted that even the first volume would ever see publication. After years of intensive site documentation, resulting in tens of thousands of superbly organized photographs and countless architectural plans, the skeptics challenged the Institute to prove itself by publishing a volume. The challenge has been more than met. To date, four volumes have been published, the fifth being this one, bringing the project close to completion.

The results have been much more than books that many around the world admire. Work on the encyclopaedia has produced an unparalleled photographic archive which is used by scholars from many countries. As we move into the twenty-first century, the archive that has prospered as a result of the encyclopaedia will continue to expand as it documents a still broader range of India's visual culture. And plans are being developed to insure even broader accessibility to the materials, for example, through digitized images that can be recalled on computer screens.

The drive and dedication of a huge number of people stand behind the Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture. They include scholars and administrators, production staff both within the Institute and at our publisher, and a support staff of photographers, draughtsmen, and typists who ventured into the realm of word processing; we cannot forget, too, the staff who maintain the premises and provide the environment in which the work has been undertaken. At two ends of the project, we should acknowledge Pramod Chandra who conceived it and Michael Meister who edited volumes for many years. But we save for last the most special acknowledgement - one expressed with deepest regard and profound personal affection: to M.A. Dhaky, the real force behind the work. He has put aside his fondness for mysteries and science fiction, for plants and ghosts, to sustain a project that has drawn international acclaim. It is a project at the centre of things important to the American Institute of Indian Studies.


The present Part, as with the earlier two and likewise in two binds, is the third in Volume I series and is inevitably the largest due to the enormity of material it covers. It focuses on the buildings in the cognate styles of medieval Karnataka and of the contemporaneous Telingana region in Andhra Pradesh, which together form a vast territorial section of the Upper Dravidadesa, The coastal Andhra Pradesh (including Vengtdesa] possesses a few medieval buildings in a style closely akin to the medieval Colanadu of the Lower Dravidadesa and hence not included in this Part. Buildings described and discussed in this Part are numerous, several among' which are notable for the excellence of their architecture, and the feelings they evoke are ennobling. They were built under the political aegis and the overall patronage of the Calukyas of Kalyana, the Hoysalas of Dorasamudra, the Kakatiyas of Varangal, and the dynasties subordinate to the first and the third. Most of the buildings, however, were the result very largely of the munificence of district and regional governors, powerful generals, affluent tradesmen, and also of burghers and devout citizens, and in a few cases seemingly of monastic pontiffs.

The medieval phase of building activity, which in general began after the mid- tenth century, had been abruptly terminated after the first quarter of the 14th century by the devastating invasions of the Delhi Sultanate. When recovery was effected under the Vijayanagara dynasty, the preceding indigenous building systems and styles were replaced by a more or less homogeneous Dravidian style that had its origins in the Tamil country. This style, together with the various schools of the Nayaka dynasties that followed, will be dealt with in Part 4 of this Volume.

The basic scheme of this third Part follows the one adopted in the first two Parts already published, the detailed frame-work of which, in essence a continuation of the preceding Part, is tabulated below:

Style Outline

Vol. I, Part 1
I. Lower Dravidadesa, c. A.D. 650-1324

Vol. I, Par 2
II. A.& B. Upper Dravidadesa, Earl and Middle Period, c. A.D. 550-1075

Vol. I part 3
III. C. Upper Dravidadesa, Later Period, c. A.D. 73-1326
1. Northern Karnata style, c. A.D. 973-1250
a. Calukyas of Kalyana Phase I
b. Calukyas of Kalyana, Phase II
c. Later Kadambas of Banavasi, Hanagal, and Candrapura and Goa
d. Rattas of Kuhandimandala
e. Guttas of Guttavolal
f. Seunas of seunadesa
g. Santaras of Humca
h. Unknown dynasty of Kodanad and Kundanad
2. Southern Karnata style, c. A.D. 1047-1346 Hoysals of Dorasamudra
3. Telingana style, c. A.D. 950-1323
a. Calukyas of Vemulavada
b. Calukyas of Kalyana
c. Telugu Codas of Kandurunadu
d. Kakatiyas of Varangal
\ e. Reddis of Recerla and Pillalamarri
f. Malyalas of Kondaparti
4. Tulunadu style, c. A.D. 1000-1300 Alupas of Barahakanyapura

Vol. I, part 4
III. Integrated Style of South India, c. A.D. 1326-1736

Vol. I, part 5 will contain a comprehensive, annotated, and illustrated glossary of architectural terms; the reference glossary, provided in each Part, including the present one, is intended only as a quick aid to the reader.
The present Part incorporates three supplementums necessitated because of some recent discoveries and fresh determinations made on the stylistic grounds and revisions that had to be effected on the chronological positions of some buildings. Also, some lately received photographs, because of their illustrative importance, could not be left out and had to be accommodated, though their inclusion seems at odd or unlikely situations. Some space has been devoted in response partly to the demands in India for more detailed and more complete in response partly to the demands in India for more detailed and more complete descriptions of the buildings and partly to suggestions that come from some continental scholars for incorporating authors' reimages(other than the principal or cult icons but otherwise meant for worship ) placed in the temple-halls, including or cult including the Nandi figures, have sometimes been illustrated; for some of these further clarify the building's date and some possess, going by the medieval standards, artistic pretensions of a higher order.

The first 15 Chapters have been written by the present author, and the last one was contributed by H. Sarkar who, it is profoundly sad, is no longer with us.

Now to the terminology used in this Part. Since Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh do not have any medieval vastu-text pertaining to building traditions, the terms used here are drawn from the relevant Sanskrit textual sources of Tamilnadu, and central and western India. A few terms were also extracted from inscriptions.

For temple and ancillary structures, the medieval epoch is as important in Upper Dravidadesa as in north India. The medieval period here, too, had witnessed the blooming of the perfected architectural styles carrying a sacred building to the apex of the evolutionary pyramid. While the temples of the preceding centuries - founded in the regime of the Calukyas of Vatapi, Eastern Calukyas of Vengl, and the Rastrakutas of Manyakhetaka - are admired for the nobility, meditative expression, and dynamism of their associated divine and subsidiary figural sculptures, as also for-the high quality and vigour of their decorative carving, those that were subsequently built in the domains of the medieval dynasties are notable for further formal development in planning and the total integration of their major architectural components as well as for the harmony of their shapes and decor. The buildings now possess cogency of volumes and masses at all levels as also an organic unity of their mouldings and ornament. As a result, they present a highly articulate appearance.

For northern India, medievalism had dawned- at the beginning of the tenth century. For the upper south India it was manifest after 975, its image becoming visibly sharper from the earlier half of the 11th century. Moreover, the buildings built were prolific in number. Including those mentioned in the many inscriptions from several sites but now lost, they would number around 750, and this is one more point where Upper Dravidadesa equals, in the intensity of building activity, the north Indian productions. One other aspect where the development parallels with that in the northern country, particularly western India and Malavadesa, is the occurrence here of the externally as well as internally decorated, closed as well as semi-open, columnar halls. The analogy with the north Indian examples, however, ends here; for there are some noticeable differences in the outlook of, and the attitude towards how the exterior of the halls as well as of the vimanas should be formulated and finished. Northern Karnataka on that score opened new vistas of treatment, a dazzlingly rich variety of columns, and a whole range of sophisticated and schillarent wall patterns where figural decoration in most cases is eliminated and in a few others minimally or unostentatiously applied. For the first time the importance of figural decoration is negated. In elevation, instead, the architectural elements function as the paramount decorative devices. In the case of one special school of Hoysalanadu architecture, of course, the buildings exceptionally reflect figural and ornamental opulence, indeed with considerable insistence. While the figural carving, wherever occurring, progressively became stereotyped, rigid, and mostly uninteresting as individual works of art, the extra-figural categories of decorative carving, on the other hand, often show high qualitative levels and standards. This observation is in large measure valid for the Telingana area as well.

The medieval Karnataka and Telingana buildings and their styles had for long been neglected and hence not subjected to closer studies with analytical tools, nor had their merits and qualities received pointed attention: indeed they were sometimes held in low esteem, even in contempt. In very recent years, the situation has dramatically changed. The contributions made by these buildings to the spheres of Indian art and architecture have now begun to get recognition. Even as the operations on the present Part were in progress, works relevant to these stylistic areas by several scholars came to be known; some of these are in printed form, some still remain in the shape of unpublished dissertation. So far as the northern Karnata or the Kuntala temples are concerned, a monumental thesis by Charles Adam Hardy, "The Karnata Dravida Tradition: Development of Indian Temple Architecture in Karnataka, 7th to 13th centuries," Birmingham 1991, is currently in press and probably will have appeared in print before the present Part is published. By a thorough structural and morphological analysis against the background of the preceding buildings and their styles in Karnataka, Adam has worked out the formal origination and development of the vimana of the medieval Karnatan temple with all its major componental constituents. Then there is the Ph.D. dissertation, "Originality and Origination of Vesara Architecture," Philadelphia 1993, by Ajaya Jagannath Prasad Sinha who investigates the same problem from the angle of the historian of architecture and thus he has a differing approach with results somewhat different from Adam's. Next there is Channabasappa S. Patil's Temples of Raichur and Bellary Districts, Karnataka, 1000-1325, Mysore 1992, which describes several unknown, some less known, and a few known temples from archaeological standpoint and usefully adds to what was till now known in the field of Calukyan temples. (A. Sundara's monumental work on the Calukyan temples has been under preparation for some years, and when published, it is most likely to bring to light several hitherto unknown buildings in their historical and chronological perspectives.) For Hoysalanadu temples, two recent publications are notable, each important in terms of treatment, within its own sphere of emphasis. The Hoysala Temples, Dharwad/Bangalore 1992, by S. Settar discusses, indeed competently and comprehensively, the historical and socio-religious background of the region and the buildings it possesses. Clear and handsomely composed illustrations of the selected Hoysala temples in the second bind of the volume demonstrate the buildings' artistic and photogenic qualities. (Those interested in iconography and particularly in erotic art will, to their amazement and delight, discover in this volume the competence on that score of the Hoysala artists which closely corresponds with that of their northern counterparts.) Following Adam's methodology and approach, the architecture proper of the Hoysala vimanas has been ably analysed by Gerard Foekema of Amsterdam in his memorable work, Hoysnln Architecture: Medieval Temples of Southern Karnataka built during Hoysulo rule, Volumes I & 11, New Delhi 1994. It makes an instructive as well as a pleasurable reading, because it delineates in clearer terms the origins and the structurization processes, together with the evolution of the vimana form and the components involved. Moreover, it perceptively touches the aesthetic aspects of the Hoysala vimanas' exterior. On the Telingana buildings, the most notable is a highly informed dissertation, namely "Mode and Meaning in the Architecture of Early Medieval Telangana (c. 1000-1300)" by Phillip B. Wagoner, Madison 1986. It represents a very systematic, precise, analytical, and insightful study based on intensive field work. Mention must also be made of the Temples of South India (A study of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist monuments of the Deccan), New Delhi 1989, by J. Rama-naiah who brought to light several hitherto unknown but important buildings in Telingana territory. The present Part has been benefited particularly from the works of Patil, Foekema, Ramanaiah, and Wagoner.


  Foreword xi
  Preface xv
  Introduction xvii
  Style Outline xvii xvii
  Acknowledgments xx
  List of Maps xxiii
  Figure Reference xxv
33 Calukyas of Kalyana: Phase I 3
34 Calukyas of Kalyana: Phase II 127
35 Later Kadambas of Banavasi, Hanagal, and Candrapura and Goa 221
36 Rattas of Kuhandimandala 255
37 Guttas of Guttavolal 265
38 Seunas of Seunadesa 273
39 Santaras of Humca: Phase II 281
40 Unknown dynasty of Kodanad and Kundanad 285
41 Hoysalas of Dorasamudra 295
42 Calukyas of Vemulavada 413
43 Calukyas of Kalyana 421
44 Telugu Codas of Kandurunadu 445
45 Kakatiyas of Varangal 461
46 Reddis of Recerla and Pillalamarri 515
47 Malyalas of Kondaparti 551
48 Alupas of Barahakanyapura 557
  Reference Glossary 567
  Site and Temple Index 591
  Plates Volume  
  Style Code for Plate Reference ix
  Plate/Chapter Reference 2
  Plate 1-1674 3

Volume - 7

Part - I


On behalf of the American Institute of Indian Studies, I am delighted to launch yet another volume in the important on-going project of the Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support for many years of the Smithsonian Institution, National Endowment for the Humanities and, more recently, the Ford Foundation. Without this generosity the everyday workings of the Center for Art and Archaeology would have been greatly diminished and the production of these volumes would not have been possible.

Years ago when the project was initiated, skeptics doubted whether a single volume would ever be produced, much less the multiple ones proposed; now we are close to concluding the South India portion of the series. Originally this volume, South India: Dravidadesa, Later Phase, c. A.D. 1289-1798, that is, Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture, Vol. I, Part 4-A was to have included material from Tamilnadu; however, it was decided in the end that the extensive and very rich material from the Vijayanagara dynasty and from Kerala merited their own binding. These two bindings are the result of this decision. In the near future we will issue a subsequent binding dedicated solely to the temple architecture of Tamilnadu from the 15th to the 18th centuries authored by the Center for Art and Archaeology's Joint Director, Dr. U.S. Moorti. We anticipate that the Glossary volume pertaining to the South Indian Temple Architecture also will appear soon, thus completing this part of the project. Moreover, the Center for Art and Archaeology is in the process of posting all the images in this volume, as well as the Center's entire photographic holdings on the World Wide Web, thus making it possible not only to see these images in greater detail, but also many more that we were unable to publish here.

Many thanks must go to Dr. George Michell, who wrote the lion's share of this volume, for his hard work and tireless drive. He agreed to complete the text for the American Institute of Indian Studies even when he was busy concurrently with other publications and projects. We consider ourselves fortunate to have access to Michell's unique knowledge of Indian architecture, especially the many temples of South India published here for the first time. Contributing along with Dr. Michell in the project was Mr. Jayaram Poduval, an expert on the architecture of Kerala. Dr. U.S. Moorti of the American Institute of Indian Studies' Center for Art and Archaeology served as the Coordinator for the project, responsible for the many details and overall vision which went to making this volume the success it is. Mr. V.K. Venkata Varadhan, Center's Assistant Project Officer, as done diligently with all the previous EITA volumes, took on his shoulders of word-processing efficiently a flawless manuscript for printing. The Center's Senior Draftsmen, Mr. S. Pandian and Mr. N. Ravi, produced nearly all the plans, many of them published here for the first time. Thanks also goes to Mr. D.P. Nanda, the Center's Chief Photographer responsible for the unparalleled quality of the photographic images. Many other people, too numerous to be named, played roles in the production of this volume. But three people need to be acknowledged: Prof. Pramod Chandra, who first conceived the project some thirty years ago; Dr. Pradeep Mehendiratta, Director-General and Vice-President of the American Institute of Indian Studies, who continues to work miracles. He found money to continue the project when there was none, and through his own enthusiasm continues to inspire the Center's entire staff; and Prof. M.A. Dhaky who is the real force behind the success of the entire Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture Project. Without his intimate knowledge of all forms of Indian architecture and Sanskrit literature, this project never would have taken shape. I thank Prof. Dhaky, a long time friend and colleague, from the bottom of my heart for the years he has put into this massive project.



Of all phases of South Indian temple architecture, it is that coinciding with the Vijayanagara empire and its successor states, a period spanning the 14th to 18th centuries, that has been the most neglected in terms of scholarly research and publication. From this point of view, the chapters in this set of volumes of the Encyclopaedia, together with their accompanying drawings and photographs, represent a pioneering attempt to describe and analyze the religious monuments that are assigned to this era. However, the descriptions offered here should not be considered definitive. In spite of the considerable pains that have been taken, certain art historical problems remain unresolved, not the least of which are the foundation dates of many of the buildings, and their individual and often complex building histories. Nor are the relationships between the different regional styles fully understood, or the roles of the prevailing ruling dynasties in the formation and promotion of these styles. Much future study is needed before such difficulties can be overcome.

Only a selection of the innumerable South Indian temples belonging to the centuries under review here appears in these volumes. They are distributed according to four principal geographical zones: Karnata and Andhra in the Deccan heartland, Kanada and Malnad in western Karnata, the Tamil country, and finally Kerala, This division is justified by the historical circumstances that dictated local architectural developments in the different regions of South India.

Vijayanagara temple architecture has its mixed origins in both the Deccan and Tamil traditions, as is clear from the temples dating from the Sangama period which tend to repeat features derived from earlier styles in both these zones (Chapters 50, 51 and 55). The situation changes markedly during the rule of the Tuluvas, whose patronage led to the construction of ever larger and more elaborate monuments in a distinctive Tamil-inspired manner (Chapter 52). The essentially revivalist nature of this architectural manner was expressed through repeated references to Cola prototypes. That this era was by no means devoid of artistic quality is demonstrated by the richly-embellished mandapas with which the larger temples were provided.

The norms established under the Tuluvas were of consequence for the later evolution of Hindu and Jaina shrines, both in Karnata under a series of lesser kings (Chapters 53 and 54), and in the Kanada and Malnad zones during the period of Vijayanagara domination, followed by the rule of a local line of Nayakas (Chapters 57 and 58).

For the culmination of the Vijayanagara idiom, however, it is necessary to turn to the Tamil country, beginning with the projects of the Aravidu kings whose reigns bridged the second half of the 16th and early decades of the 17th centuries (Chapter 56). The Aravidu religious monuments attained an unprecedented scale and elaboration, as did those erected by the Nayaka governors of Tamilnadu who achieved autonomy by the beginning of the 17th century. Nor does this late Vijayanagara style in Tamilnadu come to an end with the decline of the Aravidus and the extinction of the Nayaka kingdoms, as can be seen in the projects sponsored by a series of minor rulers during the 18th-19th centuries. (These later, post-Vijayanagara period monuments, however, fall outside the scope of these present volumes.)

As in earlier centuries, Kerala religious architecture maintains its indigenous character through the use of sloping tiled roofs and intricately-carved woodwork (Chapters 59-61). Even so, attributes from neighbouring Tamilnadu were sometimes introduced, thereby bringing Kerala temples within the orbit of the larger Vijayanagara tradition.

Note on Spellings and Dates

The transliteration system adopted here for place names, temple deities; patrons, and architectural terms reflects the mix of Sanskrit and Dravidian spellings that is common in South India. This conforms to the scheme employed in the other volumes of the Encyclopaedia.

Dates throughout are given in the Christian Era (A.D.), even though this is not the chronological system employed in the original epigraphical and historical records. These documents are mostly in the Saka era for temples in Karnata, Andhra, and Tamilnadu, and the Kollam era for temples in Kerala.


  Preface xi
  Introduction xiii
  Acknowledgments xv
  List of Maps xvii
  Figure References xix
  Abbreviations xxiii
  Style Outline xxv
49 End of Hoysala and Kakatiya Domination 3
50 Sangamas of Vijayanagara: Phase I 21
51 Sangamas of Vijayanagara: Phase II 47
52 Saluvas and Tuluvas of Vijayanagara 77
53 Govdas of Yelahanka and Vodeyars of Maisuru 171
54 Bedas of Citradurga, Hiriyur, Kanakagiri, and Sorapur 187
55 Period of Vijayanagara Domination 195
56 Aravidus of Penukonda and Candragiri 205
57 Period of Vijayanagara Domination 219
58 Nayakas of Keladi, Ikkeri, and Bidnur 259
59 Samutiris of Kolikode and Kolattiris of Kannur 285
60 Perumbadappus of Kochi 319
61 Tiruvitankurs of Venad 339
  Reference Glossary 367
  Site and Temple Index 377
  Palates Volume  
  Style Code for Plate Reference ix
  Plate/Chapter Reference 2
  Plates 1-570 3

Sample Pages

Volume - 1

Part - 1

Part - 2

Volume - 2

Part - 1

Part - 2

Volume - 3

Part - 1

Part - 2

Volume - 4

Part - 1

Part - 2

Volume - 5

Part - 1

Part - 2

Volume - 6

Part - 1

Part - 2

Volume - 7

Part - 1

Part - 2

Add a review

Your email address will not be published *

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Post a Query

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Related Items