Nagara Style of Temple Architecture |

Nagara Style of Temple Architecture

Syllabus: GS1/Art and Culture In Context

∙ The Ram temple in Ayodhya is designed in the Nagara style of temple architecture.


∙ The Nagara style of temple architecture emerged some time in the fifth century CE, during the late Gupta period, in northern India.

∙ It is seen in juxtaposition with the Dravida style of southern India, which too emerged in the same period.

∙ Features: Nagara temples are built on a raised plinth, with the garbha griha (sanctum sanctorum) — where the idol of the deity rests — the most sacred part of the temple.

∙ Towering over the garbha griha is the shikhara (literally ‘mountain peak’), the most distinguishable aspect of Nagara style temples.

∙ It also comprises a circumambulatory passage around the garbha griha, and one or more mandapas (halls) on the same axis as it.∙ Elaborate murals and reliefs often adorn its walls. 

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