Hindu Temple Architecture

Architecture of India from antiquity was heavily influenced by religion. This is parallel to the effect of Christianity in Europe and that of Islam in the Middle East; both created larger and taller structures and then embellished them with sculptures and artifacts. European countries also built large forts, for protecting themselves from invaders. Mausoleums are the other structures that revealed architectural prowess of the Islamic countries. In far-flung countries around the world, palaces for housing their monarchs were other structures that competed for opulence; this was the case in India as well. What is unique in India, however, is the fact that the innumerable Islamic invasions resulted in the destruction of the architectural edifices, as a part of cultural cleansing the Muslim invaders routinely indulged in. It is thus unknown how much of the structures that Indians had built from antiquity, were actually obliterated but the marauding Islamic invaders.

Indian architecture can be divided into temple architecture, mausoleums and tombs and palaces. The temple structures are further divisible into Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples. Hindu temple architecture can be further divided into North Indian and South Indian, as they have some subtle differences. Peppered across the nation are another group of structures, those of European origin. These are usually functional buildings, such as seat of government or railway stations; nonetheless, they are interesting and, imposing in many cases. We will give below photographs or the structures in the order as outlined above.

Uttar Pradesh

The photographs below showcase the buildings and temples that line the Ganga river in Varanasi, the holiest center of pilgrimage for the Hindus. Varanasi has another distinction; it is the oldest, continuously inhabited town in the world. It is visited by millions of Hindu devotees yearly from all over India and the Hindus from abroad. After the Varanasi pictures, we travel across India to cover other Hindu temples that are of interest from architectural view point.


ISKCON TEMPLE


PAGAL BABA TEMPLE


VISHWESWARA TEMPLE


GOVIND DEV TEMPLE

Jammu & Kashmir


SRINAGAR


Rajarani Temple

Delhi


LOTUS TEMPLE


ISKCON TEMPLE


Akshardham

West Bengal


Dakshineswar Kali Temple

Orissa


Lingaraj Temple


Sun Temple


Konark Sun Temple, inside view


Rajarani Temple

Assam

Manipur


Shree Govindajee Temple


A Sanamahi Temple at Kangla

Jharkhand


JAGANNATHPUR TEMPLE

Madhyapradesh


Omkareshwar Temple

Khajuraho


A KHAJURAHO TEMPLE

Rajasthan


SATI MATA TEMPLE

Gujarat


Somnath Temple

Karnataka


Somnathpur: Hoysala Dynasty


Virupaksha Temple


Kukke Subramanya Temple

Andhra (Seemandhra)


GOPURAM OF NARASIMHASWAMY TEMPLE

Tamil Nadu

Rameshwaram


Ramanatha Swamy Temple

Thanjavoor


Brihadeswara Temple

Madurai


Meenakshi Temple, Tower 1

Thiruvannamalai


Shiva-Parvati Temple

East: Chidambaram


Kali Temple


Kapaleeswarar Temple


Mamallapuram: Rock art at Shore Temple

Periyakoyil




MADURAI MEENAKSHI TEMPLE COMPLEXES: INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR FEATURES