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What is the Nagara style of architecture of the Ayodhya temple?

In the present day marks the grand and historic consecration ceremony of the Ram mandir in Ayodhya and the joy across the occasion is palpable. Whereas VVIPs from throughout the nation and world can be in attendance for the occasion in the present day (22 January), the temple will open its doorways to devotees beginning tomorrow (23 January).

And those that go to the mandir, are in for an architectural marvel. Constructed by Chandrakant Sompura and his son, it has been designed within the Nagara-style of structure and is constructed with no metal or iron.

However what precisely is the Nagara-style of structure? What’s the connection of this model with Hinduism?

Right here’s what we all know.

Origins of Nagara-style structure

Earlier than we delve into the origin of this model of structure, we clarify what it means. The phrase nagara means metropolis. Because of this this model is carefully related to city structure. In keeping with consultants, the Nagara-style of structure emerged round fifth century CE, through the late Gupta interval, in northern India.

Whereas it could have flourished through the Gupta interval, it developed by way of varied regional kingdoms and empires that dominated over the northern components of India. Specialists state that India had two types of structure — Nagara and Dravidian. Whereas the previous was extra outstanding within the North, the latter model emerged within the South.

Catch all the LIVE updates from the Ram mandir consecration ceremony HERE

There are additionally consultants who observe that calling it a mode is wrong. In reality, Adam Hardy wrote in his extremely influential The Temple Structure of India, “Nagara and Dravida could also be known as ‘styles’, however they cowl huge areas and time spans.

Ram mandir Whats Nagara style of architecture of the Ayodhya temple
A view from contained in the Ram mandir in Ayodhya. The temple is being constructed utilizing the Nagara model of structure and no iron or metal has been used for its building. Picture Courtesy: @ShriRamTeerth/X

“Languages’ seems a [more] suitable term, in that each is a system providing a ‘vocabulary’, a kit of parts, along with a ‘grammar’ which regulates the ways of putting the parts together,” he wrote.

Through the years, many temples have been designed within the Nagara-style. As an example, the Solar Temple in Odisha’s Konark, the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple in Khajuraho, and the Jagdish temple in Udaipur.

Vital options of Nagara-style of structure

This model of building has some vital options. Some of the outstanding options of this model its tower-like constructions, often known as ‘shikhara’ or spires, which rise vertically, symbolising the sacred mountain, Mount Meru, thought of to be the centre of the bodily, metaphysical and religious dimensions in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist cosmology.

One other vital characteristic of temples constructed within the Nagara-style of structure is that they’re constructed on a raised plinth, with the sanctum sanctorum, the garbha griha, being essentially the most sacred a part of the temple. Furthermore, the ‘garbha griha’ is at all times situated instantly under the very best shikhara.

Ram mandir Whats Nagara style of architecture of the Ayodhya temple
A typical plan of Nagara model temple. Picture Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

In keeping with an article printed by The Architects Diary titled ‘Nagara Type Temple Structure: Masterpieces in Stone, the format of Nagara model temples follows a definite sample, reflecting the cosmic order and the journey of the soul in direction of liberation.

Also read: Stone from Rajasthan, granite from Telangana: How Ram Temple in Ayodhya will have features from across the country

On the core of the temple is the Vastu Purusha Mandala, a sacred diagram representing the cosmic man. The temple’s plan is aligned with this mandala, making certain that the deity’s sanctum aligns with the cosmic forces.

Subsequent comes the garbha griha, the place the deity is positioned. Usually sq., this chamber is a logo of the womb of creation. The location of the deity inside this sacred area is meticulously calculated to take care of concord with cosmic energies.

Across the garbha griha is the circumambulatory path known as the pradakshina patha. This permits guests to stroll in a clockwise path across the deity.

All Nagara-style temples can even characteristic a mandapa, or congregation corridor, serves as a communal area for rituals, gatherings, and celebrations. Supported by intricately carved pillars, the mandapa’s design is commonly open, permitting devotees to take part in ceremonies. The pillars themselves are adorned with sculptures depicting deities, mythological narratives, and celestial beings, contributing to the immersive religious expertise.

Variations in Nagara-style structure

Throughout the Nagara-style of design, there are variations on the premise of what the shikhara seems like. In keeping with Adam Hardy, there are 5 variations — Valabhi, Phamsana, Latina, Shekhari, and Bhumija.

Within the Latina variation, there’s a easy shikhara with sq. bases and inwardly curved partitions with pointed apexes. In the meantime, the Shekhari form has connected sub-spires or spirelets, echoing the principle form. The Bhumija, then again, has miniature spires, in horizontal and vertical rows, all the way in which to the highest, making a grid-like impact on every face.

Ram mandir Whats Nagara style of architecture of the Ayodhya temple
The Konark Solar Temple in Odisha, an instance of Orissan Nagara model temple structure. Picture Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Totally different colleges of Nagara-style structure

The temples in Nagara model have additionally developed geographically, taking over options of the place the place it’s constructed. There’s the Orissan Nagara, which is characterised by its towering shikhara and beautiful stone carvings.

Other than Orissan Nagara, there’s additionally the Rajasthani Nagara. The principle attribute characteristic of this faculty is the fortified partitions and ornate entryways. The Gujarati Nagara model is thought for its class and ease. What units them other than their northern counterparts is that the shikharas are comparatively modest in top.

Moreover, there’s the Karnataka Nagara which have a extra subdued and tapering shikhara in comparison with their northern counterparts. The emphasis is commonly on detailed carvings on pillars and partitions, depicting scenes from mythology.

Final however not the least is the Central Indian Nagara. Temples on this model typically characteristic a wide range of spire shapes, together with the stepped shikhara.

With inputs from businesses

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