Dravidian style of temple architecture

Dravidian style of temple architecture found mainly in southern part of India. Temple on the southern part of India were used mainly for religious matter, Sometimes as administrative centres and sometime for controlling a vast area and land.

Features of DravidIan style

  1. Presence of tank fir bath.
  2. Use of viman.
  3. pillared wall.
  4. Above the viman there is a octagonal shape shikhar.
  5. Single viman.
  6. Gopuram (gateway) have sculpture of Dwarpal.
  7. E.g. Gangaikondacholapuram by Rajendra I, Brihadeshwar temple at Tanjore.

Dravida style of temple architecture

Four sub school of Dravidian style of architecture

  • Pallava Art.
  • Chola Art.
  • Nayaka Art.
  • Vijaynagar art.

Pallava school of art

  • Mahendra varman 
  1. Just the rock cut caves.
  2. The word mandap was used instead of temple.
  3. No real temple structure.
  4. E.g. Mahishasur mardini and Panch Pandav cave.

Mahishasur mardini temple at the time of Mahendra varman from Pallava school which was sub school of Dravidian style of temple architecture

  • Narsimha varman 
  1. Decoration of rock cut cave.
  2. Mandap now becomes Ratha.
  3. 6 Ratha in one cave (panch pandav).
  4. Dharmraj Yudhisthar have largest Ratha.
  5. Draupadi have smallest Ratha.

Panch pandav cave at the the time period of narsimha varman of Pallava school which is sub school of Dravidian school

  • Rajasimha varman 
  1. Real structural temple.
  2. open air carving.
  3. sculpture different from Gupta age.
  4. mora oval face, high cheeks, bones, great slenderness and freer movements of the forms.
  5. Excellency In animal representation.
  6. E.g. Kailash nath temple at Kanchipuram.
  7. Panchatayan style.

Kailash. NAth temple of Kanchipuram from the time of Rajasimha varman of Pallava school which is sub school of Dravidian school

  • Nandivarman 
  1. Started the concept of smaller temples.
  2. confined-all the features of Dravida style.

Chola school of Temple architecture 

  • Climax period of Dravidian style.
  • 10th to 11th century.
  • Viman dominated whole structure.
  • E.g. Brihadeeshwar etc.
  • Huge Lingam.
  • massive monolithic Bull.
  • Immense gopuram.

Brihadeeshwar temple of chola school which is also sub school of Dravidian style of temple architecture

Vijaynagar school of temple architecture 

  • Made around 16th century.
  • Hampi was it’s capital.
  • Secular buildings are more.
  • largest bull- Lepakshi temple.
  • open pavilion structure.
  • Highly immense Gopuram.
  • At K.D. Roy time period Gopuram’s were also known as Roy Gopuram.
  • Festive hall at vellore.

Lepakshi temple of Vijayanagar school which is sub school of Dravidian style of temple architecture

Nayaka school of Temple architecture 

  • Dominant in Madurai region ( Nayaka tribe).
  • Nayaka rose on fall of Vijayanagar empire.
  • Continued the Vijayanagar feature.
  • Minakshi sundareswara temple 1st shiva as sundareswara and 2nd his wife in form of Meenakshi.
  • They do carving on jewellery too.( like they created god’s sculpture with necklace and there is carving on the necklace too).

Meenakshi sundreswara temple of Nayaka school who's here is also sub school of Dravidian style of temple architecture

To know about the Nagara style of temple architecture click on the below link


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