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Architectural Features (800 — 1200 AD)

Architectural Features (800 — 1200 AD)

Nagara Style:

The fundamental characteristics of the Nagara style of temples, found all over north India are the cruciform ground plan and curvilinear tower (shikhara).

They are found in the temples of Orissa, central India, western India, western India, and temples of Malwa and Khandesh.

(i)         Orissa:

  • Temples in Orissa exhibit Nagara style in its greatest purity.
  • Parasaramesvara temple of Bhuvanesvar — 8th century AD — an advance over the archetypal design of the Gupta period.
  • Mukteswara temple of Bhuvanesvar — 9th century AD — mature expression of Nagara style.
  • Lingaraja temple at Bhuvanesvar — 1100 AD — represents the Orissa style in its maturity.

(ii)        Central India:

  • Development of another variety of Nagara style.
  • Built by the Chandellas of Budelkhand between 950 Ad and 1050 AD.
  • Kandariya Mahadev temple, Vishvanatha, Tinanatha, Vaidyanatha temples are prominent.
  • Red Sandstone used for construction. Great Shikars and Mandaps.
  • Temples also known for uru-sringas (allied shikhars). Rich ornamentation.

(iii)      Western India:

  • Built by Chalukyas of Gujarat.
  • Characteristics of the Nagara style in Western India took a precise form.
  • Jain temples built at Dilwara, Mount Abu (Rajasthan).
  • The most noteworthy are the ones built by Vastupala and Tejpala.
  • In these temples, white marble has been used admirably.

(iv)      Malwa and Khandesh:

  • Under the Paramaras of Malwa.
  • Another variety of Nagara style developed and designated as Paramara type.
  • Example is Nilakantesvara temple at Udayapur in Madhya Pradesh.

Dravidian Style:

  • Initiated by the Pallavas, further developed and perfected by the Cholas, an example is the Brihadesvara temple at Tanjore.  Architectural Features (800 — 1200 AD)
  • The essential features of Dravidian style are the gopuram, the Vimana and the Shikhar. The Vijaynagar rulers in the 15th and 161h centuries added the Kalyanamandapa.  Architectural Features (800 — 1200 AD)

Vesara (Chalukyan) Style:

  • Emerged under the Chalukyas of Badami and attained its ripest expression under the Hoysalas of Halebid (Dwarasamudra).
  • The Vesara style of temple architecture is a mix of both Nagara and Dravidian features.


  • Hoysala temples are not single but double, all essential parts duplicated.
  • Hoysala shrine are built in high-plinthed star-shaped platform on which the edifice with gorgeous sculpted panels has been built. Exquisite sculptures cover the exterior wall.  Architectural Features (800 — 1200 AD)

Eg: Kesava temple and chennakesava temples at Belur.
Hoyasalesvara temple at Halebid.



Medieval History

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