DMPQ- . What do you understand by the Nagar Style of temple Architecture? How is it different from the Dravidan Style?

The Nagara style or Prasada style has become quite popular in North India. In this style, it is common to build a temple on a stone platform and unlike South Indian temples, these temples don’t have boundary walls or gateways. Earlier, there was only one shikhara built but as time passed, the complexities also increased which reflected as the number of shikharas increased with one main out of them. This made it look as mountain-like structure. The shikharas, walls, pillars, roofs over garbhagriha and mandapa were decorated with floral and geometrical patterns as well as with images of gods and goddesses and some scenes from mythologies.  In the later temples, some more mandapas were added. The mandapa in front of garbhagriha is called as Antrala or vestibule. The large wall in front of Antarala is called Mahamandapa or Gudhamandapa. 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. The garbhagriha is surrounded by a corridor or circulatory path called Pradakshinapath. Through this pradakshinapath, devotees can move around the garbhagriha. Sometimes, Gavaksha or small windows are also added for the passing of light and air through the entire inner space.

Differences with Dravida style

  • Peaks of Nagar style temple were curved whereas Dravid style temples have peaks made in pyramid shape.
  • Nagar style have Pinnacle (Kalash) on their peaks where Dravid style temples have stupa like structure on their peaks.
  • In comparison to Dravidian temples, Nagar temples were made on higher terrace or platform. Ponds were not made within Nagar styled temples whereas Ponds were one of the main features of Dravid style.
  • Giant entry gate was not required in Nagar style whereas giant entry gates (Gopuram) were one of the main features of Dravidian style of temples.
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