Nagara style

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The Ram temple in Ayodhya will be inaugurated on January 22. The complex is in the Nagara style of temple architecture, designed by 81-year-old Chandrakant Sompura and his 51-year-old son Ashish.

About the Nagara style

  • Nagara architecture is a classical architecture of temple design in northern India, contrasted with Dravida architecture in southern India.
  • Nagara temples have a shikhara (mountain peak) over the garbha griha (sanctum sanctorum), a circumambulatory passage around it, and one or more mandapas (halls).
  • Shikhara is a symbolic representation of the cosmic order and the divine presence.
  • There are five modes of shikhara design: Valabhi, Phamsana, Latina, Shekhari, and Bhumija.
    • Valabhi and Phamsana are Early Nagara modes, derived from barrel-roofed wooden structures.
    • Latina is a single, slightly curved tower with four equal sides, ominant for three centuries.
    • Shekhari and Bhumija are composite Latinas with attached sub-spires or miniature spires, creating a complex and ornate appearance.
  • These modes are scholastic classifications, not rigid categories. There is much variation and innovation within and across these modes.

Q1) What is shikhara?

In North Indian temple architecture, the superstructure, tower, or spire above the sanctuary and also above the pillared mandapas (porches or halls); it is the most dominant and characteristic feature of the Hindu temple in the north.

Source: What is the Nagara style, in which Ayodhya’s Ram temple is being built