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Day 1 – Q 3.The Vesara architecture epitomises the confluence of Nagara and Dravidian schools. Illustrate.

3. The Vesara architecture epitomises the confluence of Nagara and Dravidian schools. Illustrate.

वेसरा वास्तुकला नागर और द्रविड़ शाखााओं के संगम का प्रतीक है। उदाहरण देकर स्पष्ट करें।


The architectural principles of temples in India are described in Shilpa Shastra. Shilpa Shastra mentions three main type of temple architecture – Nagara or the Northern style, the Dravida or the Southern style and the Vesara or Mixed style.


Nagara style

The style of temple architecture that became popular in northern India is known as Nagara. Nagara style was developed regionally each region manifesting its own particular qualities.

Dravida Style

Dravida style of temple architecture became popular in South India. Dravida style of temples was developed dynastically, however the major features of these temples remained common across the dynasties.

Vesara Style

In the mid-seventh century, a distinct style of temple architecture grew in Karnataka region under the patronage of Chalukya rulers. The temples in this region follow a hybridised style which combines the features of both Nagara and Dravida styles.

Similarities and differences of three styles:

Northern regionSouthern regionDeccan region(Between the Vindhyas and Krishna river)
Developed regionally each region manifesting its own particular qualitiesDeveloped dynasticallyMixture of two styles Hybrid style. It was developed both regionally and dynastically.
Ground Plan: Mostly Square shaped Ground Plan: Mostly Square shapedGround Plan: increasingly complex, including start like plan
Curvilinear tower (Shikhara built over garbhagriha) gradually curving inwardPyramidical Tower (Vimana) with several stories in receding dimensionThe shape of tower was Pyramidical but height was reduced (Miniature Vimanas)
Multiple ShikharasSubsidiary shrines are either incorporated within the main temple tower, or located as distinct, separate small shrines beside the main temple.Multiple shrines are present side by side
Squared hallSquared hallSquared hall
Sanctum GarbhagrihaSanctum GarbhagrihaSanctum Garbhagriha
Gopurams are absentGopurams are presentGopurams may or may not be present
A water tank may or may not be presentA water tank is present at the front of temple from where water is drawn for sacred purposesA water tank may or may not be present
Compound walls are absentenclosed within a compound wallCompound walls may or may not be present
Examples – Dashavatara temple (Deogarh), Vishwanatha temple(Khajuraho), Lakshman Temple (Khajuraho), Jagannath temple (Puri)Examples – Shore temple (Mahabalipuram), Brihadiswara temple (Thanjavur), Meenakshi Temple (Madurai)Examples – Badami temple, Durga Temple (Aihole), Virupaksh Temple (Pattadkal), Keshava Temple (Somnathpur


From above tabular observations it can be seen that, Vesara temple architecture, besides its own features, is mixture of Dravidian and Nagara temple architectures.

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