Dravida Temple Architecture Under Pallavas

  • The Pallavas were the pioneer of the Dravida style of architecture.
  • During the rule of Pallavas the cave architecture saw a new turn, monolithic temples and statues were built during their time. At this time the three new styles of architecture such as Anga, Mandapa, Rathas began to be built.
  • Under Mahendravarman: During his time a new style of building temples without making the use of bricks, iron, lime, wood, etc began to take place.
  • Fine examples of rock cut temples: Mahabalipuram.
  • These rock cut temples were termed as ‘Mandapas’. These Mandapas were the pillared Varamdas which consisted of Garbhagirha at the end.
  • Example: Trimurti Mandapa of Mandaggapattu, Panchapandava Mandapa of Pallvaram.
  • Under Narsimhavarman I (Mamalla style of Architecture): In Mamalla style of architecture two styles of temples can be seen they are- a) Mandapas and b) Rathas.
    • The Mandapas of Mamalla style are more ornamental as compared to Mahendravarman style of Mandapas.
    • Rathas: Free-standing monolithic shrines called ‘Rathas’ (chariots)which were constructed alongside pillared halls. They were generally built of granite stones. These rathas called as as ‘Seven Pagodas’ or ‘Seven Rathas’.
  • Under Narsimhavarman II: In this style of architecture the temples were now built by making the use of bricks, woods, stones,etc.
    • Examples: Shore temple, Ishwariya temple, Mukunda temple, etc.
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Fig: Shore Temple Mahabalipuram

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