Regional Variations and Schools of Nagara Style Part-II

East India School

  • There are three schools that developed in east India these are Assam,Bengal and Odisha School.
    1. Assam School: It appears that terracotta was the main medium of construction. The temple consists of four chambers: garbhagriha and three mandapas locally called calanta, pancaratna and natamandira.
      • The style that came with the migration of the Tais from Upper Burma mixed with the dominant Pala style of Bengal and led to the creation of the Ahom style in and around Guwahati.
image 414

2. Bengal School: Bengal witnessed a temple building spree from the late 15th century.

  • Temple architecture in Bengal got inspired from the double-roofed (dochala) or four-roofed (chauchala) structure of thatched huts in villages, which housed local deities.
    • Dochala (two-roofed style):
    • Chauchala (four-roofed style): This was a comparatively more complex structure. Here four triangular roofs placed on four walls move up to converge on a curved line or a point.
  • Temples were usually built on a square platform.
  • Interior of the temples were relatively plain, but the outer walls of these temples were decorated with paintings, ornamental tiles or teracotta tablets. In Vishnupur group of temples in Bankura district of West Bengal, such decorations reached a high degree of excellence.
  • This style also incorporated elements of the dome and multilobe arch of Islamic architecture.
  • Elements of Bengal Temple architecture were adopted outside Bengal as well. 
    image 415

    Fig: Dochala Temple

    3. Odisha School: The style consists of three distinct types of temples: Rekha Deula, Pidha Deula and Khakhara Deula. The former two are associated with Vishnu, Surya and Shiva temples while the third is mainly with Chamunda and Durga temples.

    • Also known as Kalinga School
    • The main architectural features of Odisha temples are classified in three orders, i.e., rekhapida, pidhadeul and khakra.
    • The Architecture, basically a temple is made in two parts, a tower and a hall.
    • The tower is called deula and hall is called Jagmohan.
    • The walls of both the deula and the Jagmohan are lavishly sculpted with architectural motifs and a profusion of figures. The most repeated form is the horseshoe shape, which has come from the earliest times, starting with the large windows of the chaitya-grihas. It is deul or deula which makes three distinct types of temples in Kalinga Architecture.
    • These temples usually have boundary walls.
    image 416

      Fig: Jagannath temple, Puri

      Hills School

      • There are two schools that developed in Himalayan region of India these are Kumaon,Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir School.
      1. Kumaon School:
      • The central tower surrounded by four smaller towers on each side.
      • The main entrance is located at the front of the central tower, while several other entrances are located at each of its sides.
      • These entrances are all decorated with intricate carvings depicting various scenes from mythology.
      • The main entrance faces east
      • The main temple complex includes four large halls or mandapas.
      image 417

      Fig: Jageshwar near Almora

      2. Himachal School: Wooden buildings

      • Its looks like a hut, and intricately carved wooden entrance, interior and ceiling.
      • Example: Laksna-Devi Mandir
      image 418

      Fig: Lakshana Devi temple

      3. Kashmir School: Wooden buildings with pitched roofs.

      • The main garbhagriha and shikhara are made in a rekha-prasada or latina style, the mandapa is of an older form of wooden architecture.
      • Pandrethan. temple is built on a plinth built in the middle of a tank.
      • The temple is moderately ornamented.
      image 419

      Fig: The Pandrethan temple or Pani Mandir

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