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Ayodhya's Ram Temple, a 3-Storey Structure with Nagara Style Architecture

  • Category
    Art and culture
  • Published
    13th Aug, 2020

The Ram Temple in Ayodya will be built in the Nagara style of architecture and on the lines of North Indian temple architecture. It will comprise three stories with pillars and domes. It will be double the size of the previous planned design.

Context

The Ram Temple in Ayodya will be built in the Nagara style of architecture and on the lines of North Indian temple architecture. It will comprise three stories with pillars and domes. It will be double the size of the previous planned design.

About

The Nagara or North Indian Temple Architecture:

  • The Nagara style is mainly associated with the land between the Himalayas and Vindhyas.
  • The basic plan of Nagara temple is square, with a number of graduated projections (rathakas) in the middle of each face which gives it a cruciform shape in the exterior.
  • A temple tower or a conical or convex shikhara marks the elevation of the temples.
  • The shikhara consists of several layers of carved courses usually crowned by an amalaka (notched ring stone).
  • The two basic factors of the style- the cruciform plan and the curvilinear shikhara are visible in northern temples from the 6th century CE, in the late Gupta period.
  • Earlier temples began with a single projection on each face and the plan came to be known as triratha. Later in the course of time, the number of projection was increased. The Dashavatara temple at Deogarh, UP, and the brick temple at Bhitargaon, UP are examples of early Nagara style of temples.

Basic components of a temple:

  • Garbhagriha or Sanctum: Earlier, it was just a small cubicle with a small entrance but as time passed, it grew into a large chamber. It houses the idol or image of the deity. 
  • Mandapa:The entrance to the temple and it features space for a large number of worshippers to gather at this place. It can be described as a hall which has a roof supported by a number of pillars.
  • Shikhar or Vimana:It is a mountain-like spire which is generally seen in the temples that were constructed after fifth century AD. In North India style, it is called Shikhar while in South India it is called Vimana. Shikhar has a curved shape while Vimana has a pyramidal tower-like shape. 
  • Antrala or vestibule:The mandapa in front of garbhagriha is called as Antrala or vestibule.
  • Mahamandapa or Gudhamandapa: The large wall in front of Antarala is called Mahamandapa or Gudhamandapa.
  • Ardhamandapa or half porch: There is also a smaller mandapa in front of Mahamandapa which is called as Ardhamandapa or half porch. This is followed by Dwara or doorways.
  • Pradakshinapath:The garbhagriha is surrounded by a corridor or circulatory path called Pradakshinapath.

Background

  • The design was revamped after the Supreme Court in 2019 paved the way for the construction of a temple at a spot in Ayodhya where devotees believe Lord Ram was born.
  • The court directed the Centre to allot an alternative five-acre plot for building a new mosque in Ayodhya.
  • The mosque in Ayodhya was demolished in December 1992 by 'karsevaks' who claimed an ancient Ram temple had stood on the same site.

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