Dravidian Temple Architecture

What strikes one first on a visit to a Hindu temple in Tamil Nadu, India are the towering Gopurams (pyramidal gateway towers)with their hundreds of colorful stucco figures, the beauty of the many pillared halls, the intricacy of the sculptures of a bygone era, the many temple tanks, and pillared corridors and circumambulatory pathways of stone. A seemingly chaotic array,though on closer observation, one finds that there is order and an underlying pattern in the design and construction of the temples and temple complexes.

Architecture of a Tamil Nadu temple
Architecture of a Tamil Nadu temple
A pillared hallway serves as a classroom
A Thevaram recital in progress in a pillared hallway in the Ardhanareeswara temple, TN,India

Temples were built with strict adherence to the rules laid down in the Agamas and the Silpa sastras. While the Agamas are non-vedic traditional manuals on a vast range of subjects including Temple architecture, Silpa sastra literally means the Science of arts and crafts of which we find the finest specimens in the temples. This style of architecture is known as the Dravidian style of architecture.




24 thoughts on “Dravidian Temple Architecture”

      1. I did… I am seeing them for the first…i am a tamilian from Mumbai but I have never left mumbai so looking at ur wondrous pictures leaves me breathless and I am kinda living vicariously via these pics… Keep posting they are wonderful

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Beautiful! south Indian temples fortunately survived during Mogul rules. those pillars must have witnesses so much of history, I sometimes wonder if those stones could talk?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hi, thanks for your comment on my blog too.
    I got interested in your blog mainly as we share common interest.
    My main blog is on ‘My Pilgrimage’.
    I love visiting Temples and chitra-mypilgrimage.blogspot.com would show you what I post abt.
    Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The post was in response to WordPress Weekly photo challenge- a tentative first time for me and the reason for the two short paragraphs.As you observed sir, it is a very interesting subject.


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