Early Chola Temples

by S. R. Balasubrahmanyam | 1960 | 105,501 words

This volume of Chola Temples covers Parantaka I to Rajaraja I in the timeframe A.D. 907-985. The Cholas of Southern India left a remarkable stamp in the history of Indian architecture and sculpture. Besides that, the Chola dynasty was a successful ruling dynasty even conquering overseas regions....

Silpa Sastras mention six main parts of a Prasada. They are the adhishthana (basement), the pada (foot or pillar), prastara (entablature), gala (neck or ceiling), sikhara (roofing) and stupi (finial). There is an inscription at Tillaisthanam which incidentally mentions the various parts of the temple-structure on which this inscription was engraved. The parts mentioned are: ardhamandapa, snapana-mandapa, uttiram, potigai, jagati, pattigai, kandam, and kumudam (No. 31 of 1895).

The adhishthana is the lowest part of a shrine. It is the basement on which the pillars of the shrine stand. It consists of a number of mouldings (padai). They are upana (with or without padma), jagati, kumudam, gala, kampa, gala and pattika.

Below the adhishthana, we have the upa-pitha which some silpins consider optional. It may have the same number of angas (padai) as the adhishthana. This is meant to give stability and beauty to the building.

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