Comparison between Nagara and Dravidian style of temple architecture

Consider the below statements with regard to Nagara and Dravidian Style of Temple Architecture:

Images such as Mithunas and the river goddesses as door keepers guarding the temple are common sight in the Dravida style of temple architecture.
The north Indian idea of multiple shikharas rising together as a cluster was not popular in dravida style.
A large water reservoir or a temple tank enclosed in the complex is general in south Indian temples.
Which of the statements above is/are correct?

a       3 only
b       1 and 3 only
c       2 and 3 only
d       1, 2 and 3
Explanation:

Solution (c)

Comparison between Nagara and Dravidian style of temple architecture

·         In north Indian temples we can see images such as Mithunas (erotic) and the river goddesses, Ganga and Yamuna guarding the temple. But in the Dravida style of temple architecture, instead of these sculptures, we can see the sculptures of fierce dvarapalas or door keepers guarding the temple.

·         A large water reservoir or a temple tank enclosed in the complex is general in south Indian temples.

·         Subsidiary shrines are either incorporated within the main temple tower, or located as a distinct, separate small shrine besides the main temple.

·         The north Indian idea of multiple shikharas rising together as a cluster was not popular in dravida style.

·         At some of the most sacred temples in south India, the main temple in which the garbhagriha is situated has, in fact, one of the smallest towers.

·         This is because it is usually the oldest part of the temple.

·         When the population and the size of the town associated with the temple increased, it would have become necessary to make a new boundary wall around the temple (and also associated structures).

·         An example for this is the Srirangam temple at Thiruchirapally, which has as many as seven concentric rectangular enclosure walls, each with gopurams.

·         The outermost is the oldest while the tower right in the centre housing the garbhagriha is the oldest.

Do you know?

Just as the nagara architecture has subdivisions, dravida temples also have subdivisions. These are basically of five different shapes:

a)      Kuta or caturasra – square

b)      Shala or ayatasra – rectangular

c)      Gaja-prishta or vrittayata (elephant backed) –elliptic

d)      Vritta – circular

e)      Ashtasra – octagonal

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