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Indian Temple Architecture
Gupta Period (320 AD –
480 AD)• After the decline of Mauryans, Gupta rulers rose to power
• The Gupta period in Indian history is known as the
Golden Age of India.
• Era of the most advanced civilization, flush with wealth,
higher education, trade with foreign countries, and an
overall happy life.
• Religious tolerance and freedom of worship
• Period of Hindu renaissance.
• Emperor Ashoka promoted Buddhism, but Gupta rulers
showed a preference for Hindu religion
• Music, architecture, sculptures and painting were at its
• Various copper statues images of Buddha reflect the
craftsmanship of the Gupta period.
• After the death of the last Gupta ruler in 570 AD, the
Gupta empire declined and broke off.
PI = 3.1416
Principal architectural features of a temple
Mini Shikhara repeating themselves
2 types make up the Indian
Indo-Aryan (north)Sculpture on a mass scale
Little structural inventiveness or technical ingenuity
Structure to stand-piling of massive blocks one on
top of the other ensured stability without using
Fine appreciation of mass & value &
effects of shadow to a marked degree
Reduced in appearance to a fortress
Raise the gates of the fortress to the level of architecture
Gopurams-entrance gateways of the temple cities of the south
Makeshift battlements around their cities, towns-the temples
Importance of the temple
within the city precincts
without in altering the
form of the temple
Natural population increase
Erect yet another wall around
the existing one
City grew much like the annular
rings of a tree
Great temple of Srirangam at
Rectangle dynamic form
Towering, massive &
Buddhist and Hindu Temples during the
Mauryan and Gupta Periods
• During the Mauryan period,
temples were small, stone
structures with one or two
rooms and flat roofs.
• During the Gupta period, the
temples were more complex,
with huge towers and intricate
• Some Buddhists carved entire
temples out of mountainsides.
• The temples at Ajanta and
Ellora are two of the most
famous of this type of
• Another type of Buddhist
temple was the stupa.