Vastu-shastra (5): Temple Architecture

by D. N. Shukla | 1960 | 69,139 words | ISBN-10: 8121506115 | ISBN-13: 9788121506113

This page describes Prasada styles (D): Vavata (Varata) which is chapter 4 of the study on Vastu-Shastra (Indian architecture) fifth part (Temple architecture). This part deals with This book deals with an outline history of Hindu Temple (the place of worship). It furtherr details on various religious buildings in India such as: shrines, temples, chapels, monasteries, pavilions, mandapas, jagatis, prakaras etc. etc.

Chapter 4 - Prāsāda styles (D): Vāvāṭa (Vārāṭa)

As indicated before, the Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra has no place for Vesara Besides Nāgara, Drāviḍa, it has described two more styles, Vāvāṭa (Vairāṭa) and Bhūmija. As regards the former as many as twelve types of temples (vide Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra Digbhadrādi-prāsāda-lakṣaṇa, the 64th) in this order have been described in the text. This order of Vāvāṭa Prāsādas is also referred to in Aparājita-pṛcchā. The Hayaśīrṣa Pañcarātra also refers to it (vide Chapter 18). Again Vārāṭa temples having storeyed pyramidal super-structure are referred to in Kāmikāgama.

Unlike Vesara, this word Vāvāṭa (for Vairāṭa) seems to be a territorial division like Drāviḍa. It being derived from Varada (Berar) designates Vidarbha (Berar), which in the opinion of Dr. Kramrisch extended from the river Kṛṣṇā to about the Narmadā.

It may be, however, pointed out that in the opinion of Dr. Kramrisch “the extant temples in this region however, neither conform to the description of Vārāṭa (Vāvāṭa) Prāsādas in the Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra Ch. LXIV, nor with that in the ‘Kāmikāgama’. The descriptions would more closely fit the temples known as Chalukyans.

With due respect, I would submit that the Chalukyan temples had two phases, the early Chalukyan as represented in temples at Ai hole, Badami and Pattadakal and the later Chalukyan as represented in the most artistic super-structure of Hoysala temples at Mysore. Some of the specimens of the first phase, I have already classed them as to be the illustrations of the pillared hall-temples—the Chādya Prāsādas having double or triple roofs. They belong to 6th and 7th century A.D. The later temples, however, rose after 1050 A. D. Naturally, therefore, it does not fit in with this characteristic of the architectural style. Moreover, the descriptions of these temples at we meet in the text, provide us with ample justification to say that they more or less developed under the influence of the Universal style, the Nāgara. The Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra shows the Vārāṭa temples as similar in plan to Nāgara temples. They have retained their pyramidal characteristic as their super-structure does not seem to have been curvilinear. Hence it appears, like Vesara, Vāvāṭa is a mixed style—a regional style developed with characteristics of two prominent styles—Nāgara and Drāviḍa. More I will say on these, in the subsequent chapters—VI and XI.

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