Hindu temples of the Medieval Period

This article describes about the various Hindu temples that existed in the Medieval period. Read to know more about the Dravida, Nagara and the Vesara temples and information about these temples.

Hindu temples of the Medieval Period
>> At the end of ninth century, and when the temple forms in stone were explored by the Gupta-s in their empire and by the Early Western Chjalukya-s in the Malaprabha River Valley
>> Two basic types of aedicular projections have appeared by the end of the phase of the formative period of the Hindu temple.

>> Three types of temple styles are witnessed by the end of the 6th century, namely,

• Dravida
• Nagara
• Vesara

Styles of the Hindu temple

>> Nagara or Northern Temples
• square sanctuary with curvilinear pyramidal tower
>> Dravida or Southern temples
• square sanctuary with the tower of horizontal tiers of miniature shrine crowned by octagonal domical component (shikhara)
>> Vesara or temples of the Deccan
• Square sanctuary with circular – elliptical crown like tower rising in receding tiers

Hoysala Temples in the Deccan

Hoysala temples (12th - 13th centuries)

1) Chenna Kesava temple , Belur
2) Hoysaleswara temple, Halebid
3) Kesava temple, Somnathpur 1268 CE
Characteristic features of Hoysala temples
>> Temple stands on a low terrace
>> It is laid out in stellate plan – ashtabhadra plan also known as chaturasra plan

>> Elevation
• A high base of many sculptural bands
Rows of elephants, lions, horses, crocodiles(makara) mythical swans (hamsa-s), scrolling vegetal motif are separated at the eyelevel a broader band of about twelve to fifteen inches of a narrative relief of Ramayana.
• Wall with stone trellis windows of mandapa


• Scuptures of deities standing under rich vegetal canopy
• Pronouced heavily projecting cornice
>> bracket figures of female sculptures – madanakai
• Shikhara – short tower of essentially circular section
• crowning lotus petals executed in a highly ornate manner
• kalasa

>> Interior
• navaranga mandapa
• lathe turned pillars
• Exquisitely finished
• One was is a revolving pillar
>> In the garbhagriha
• Image is in black stone

Aesthetic aspects of the Hoysala temples
>> Emphasis on horizontality
>> Elaborate scheme of elevation
>> Well finished pillars of the interior
>> Rich carving of the sculpture
• workmanship recalls that of sandal wood carvers

>> Material – stone
• dark green chloritic schist
• characteristic of the particular stone

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