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(I) Nagara Style:

The salient features of the Nagara temples found all over North India are the cruciform ground plan and curvilinear Shikara (tower).

A. Temple of Orissa:

The Orissa temples have rightly been described as exhibiting the Nagara style in its greatest purity. The Parasuramesvara temple (8th century) and the Muktesvara Temple at Bhubaneswar represents the Nagara style in Orissa.

Trip to the Chalukyan Era – VIII – Durga Temple complex – Aihole's ...

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The temple of Lingaraja at Bhubaneswar (11th century) built by Anantavarman Choda Ganga represents the Orissa style in its maturity. The Jagannatha Temple of Puri (late 12th century), the Sun-temple at Konark (built by Narasimha I, (1236-64 A.D.) are the other well-known temples.

B. Temples of Central India:

Are usually saptaratha in plan (Seven-faceted on each side) and two amalaka-silas crown the summit of the shikara. The Khajuraho temple built by the Chandelas of Jejabhukti between A.D. 950-1050 comprises Kandariya Mahadeva, Devi Jagadamba, Parsvanatha, Visvanatha temples.

C. Temples of Western India—This western Indian variation of Nagara style is also called the Solanki style after the rulers. Nilakantha Mahadeva temple at Sunak, and the Rudramal temple are the famous temples. Of the famous Jaina temples at Dilwara, Mount Abu, the most noteworthy are the ones built by Vimala in 1031 A.D. and by Tejapala in A.D. 1230.


D. Temples of Malwa and Khandesh—The Nagara style in this region is also designated as the Paramara type. The Nilakantesvara temple or Udayesvara temple at Udayapur in M.P is the finest monument of this type.

(II) Dravida Style:

Intricately carved vimana on top of the sanctum and pilloried halls. Temple architecture, particu­larly the Dravida or South Indian style reached the pinnacle of glory under the Cholas. The chief feature of a Chola temple is the vimana or the storey which was later eclipsed by the richly ornamental Gopuram or gateway.

Among the early Chola temples are the Vijayalaya Chloesvara temple at Narthamalai and Koranganatha temple at Srinivasanallur. The famous Rajarajesvara (Brihadeesvara) at Tanjore and the Gangaikondacholesvara temple is the finest specimen of the mature phase.

(III) Vesara Style:

The Vesara style also called the Chalukyan type possessed the Dravidian vimana and the Nagara- type faceted walls. The Jain temple of Lakkundi, the Muktesvara temple of Chauddadampur and the Mahadeva temple at Ittaggi are some of the example of the Vesara style. The Teli-ka-mandir at Gwalior is the only temple of North India having sikhara of the dravidian style.

(IV) Hoyasala Style:


The Hoyasalas who succeeded the later Chalukyas evolved a new style of architecture. They perhaps inherited the art-traditions of their predecessors, the Gangas, during whose rule the famous colossal Jaina image of Gomateswara was constructed by Chamunda Raya, a minister, in about 983 A.D at Sravana Belgola.

The Hoysala temples are not square but polygonal or star-shaped. The essential characteristics of these temples are the high bases or plinths which follow all the windings of the temple and thus offer a huge length of vacant space to be elaborately carved with sculptures.

The temple carvings have rows of friezes of elephants, horsemen, geese, celestial beasts and birds, and kritimukha (grotesque masks). The best know example of the Hoysala style is the famous Hoysalesvara temple at Halebid or Dvarsamudra.