Posted by: itsme | March 28, 2011

101 Images of Hindu Art and Architecture

You may click on each picture for an enlarged version.

Carved out of a single rock in the courtyard of Veerabhadra Temple. Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh.

Carved out of a single rock in the courtyard of Veerabhadra Temple. Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh.

Temples of the Lakshmi Narayan complex are built close to one another as a cluster. Chamba, Himachal Pradesh.

Temples of the Lakshmi Narayan complex are built close to one another as a cluster. Chamba, Himachal Pradesh.

Lord Shiva seated amidst his admirers as depicted on one of many ceiling paintings. Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh.

Lord Shiva seated amidst his admirers as depicted on one of many ceiling paintings. Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh.

Jewellery and ornamented apparel have always been high points of Indian sculptural art. Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh.

Jewellery and ornamented apparel have always been high points of Indian sculptural art. Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh.

Claimed to be the largest Nandi in the world, this comes to us from the Vijayanagar Period. Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh.

Claimed to be the largest Nandi in the world, this comes to us from the Vijayanagar Period. Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh.

A common colour scheme in South Indian temple towns marking temple boundaries. Kalahasti, Andhra Pradesh.

A common colour scheme in South Indian temple towns marking temple boundaries. Kalahasti, Andhra Pradesh.

This sculpture of Vishnu is an excellent example of supreme Pala art. National Museum, Delhi.

This sculpture of Vishnu is an excellent example of supreme Pala art. National Museum, Delhi.

Nandi in the far north has a stylistic form of its own. Chamba, Himachal Pradesh.

Nandi in the far north has a stylistic form of its own. Chamba, Himachal Pradesh.

Capitals of this mandapa show unending varieties of inverted lotus motifs. Simhachalam, Andhra Pradesh.

Capitals of this mandapa show unending varieties of inverted lotus motifs. Simhachalam, Andhra Pradesh.

A Naga becomes a decorative form to a spout that drains holy offerings from the inner sanctum. Simhachalam, Andhra Pradesh.

A Naga becomes a decorative form to a spout that drains holy offerings from the inner sanctum. Simhachalam, Andhra Pradesh.

Bronze sculptures as these are used in temple processions. Mukhalingam, Andhra Pradesh.

Bronze sculptures as these are used in temple processions. Mukhalingam, Andhra Pradesh.

Shikara of a ruined temple shows imperfection in the restoration process. Mukhalingam, Andhra Pradesh.

Shikara of a ruined temple shows imperfection in the restoration process. Mukhalingam, Andhra Pradesh.

Stone wonders of the Lingaraja Temple complex. Bhubaneshwar, Orissa.

Stone wonders of the Lingaraja Temple complex. Bhubaneshwar, Orissa.

A multi-tiered aedicule flanked by rising naga devatas. Bhubaneshwar, Orissa.

A multi-tiered aedicule flanked by rising naga devatas. Bhubaneshwar, Orissa.

At the Parasurameshwara Temple, this emaciated body and shrivelled breasts suggest Chamundeshwari. Bhubaneshwar, Orissa.

At the Parasurameshwara Temple, this emaciated body and shrivelled breasts suggest Chamundeshwari. Bhubaneshwar, Orissa.

A unique torana arch leading to the Mukteshwar Temple. Bhubaneshwar, Orissa.

A unique torana arch leading to the Mukteshwar Temple. Bhubaneshwar, Orissa.

At the famous Sun Temple, the magnificent pyramidal jagamohan must have once been dwarfed by the main shikara which is today missing. Konark, Orissa.

At the famous Sun Temple, the magnificent pyramidal jagamohan must have once been dwarfed by the main shikara which is today missing. Konark, Orissa.

One of many chariot wheels that are the finest expressions of Indian temple art. Konark, Orissa.

One of many chariot wheels that are the finest expressions of Indian temple art. Konark, Orissa.

Jagannath Puri is a form of worship popular all over Orissa. Udayagiri, Orissa.

Jagannath Puri is a form of worship popular all over Orissa. Udayagiri, Orissa.

Stone slabs as these are common for deity and hero worship. Naggar, Himachal Pradesh.

Stone slabs as these are common for deity and hero worship. Naggar, Himachal Pradesh.

Woodcarving at the Tripura Sundari Temple. Naggar, Himachal Pradesh.

Woodcarving at the Tripura Sundari Temple. Naggar, Himachal Pradesh.

A pillar shows three common motifs of Hindu temple art - purna kumbha, half lotus medallion and kirtimukha. Alampur, Andhra Pradesh.

A pillar shows three common motifs of Hindu temple art - purna kumbha, half lotus medallion and kirtimukha. Alampur, Andhra Pradesh.

The Hidimba Devi Temple set within a forest clearing is in distinct pagoda style. Manali, Himachal Pradesh.

The Hidimba Devi Temple set within a forest clearing is in distinct pagoda style. Manali, Himachal Pradesh.

Superb work of miniature reliefs on a mandapa pillar. Hanamkonda, Andhra Pradesh.

Superb work of miniature reliefs on a mandapa pillar. Hanamkonda, Andhra Pradesh.

Once part of a ceiling, this kirtimukha in sharp relief is just one of many wonders of Kakatiya art. Warangal, Andhra Pradesh.

Once part of a ceiling, this kirtimukha in sharp relief is just one of many wonders of Kakatiya art. Warangal, Andhra Pradesh.

Beheaded sculptures of deities line the corridor circling the main temple at the Chausath Yogini Temple. Bheraghat, Madhya Pradesh.

Beheaded sculptures of deities line the corridor circling the main temple at the Chausath Yogini Temple. Bheraghat, Madhya Pradesh.

Temples built by the Chandelas show towering shikaras, projected balconies and mandapas with beautiful canopies. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.

Temples built by the Chandelas show towering shikaras, projected balconies and mandapas with beautiful canopies. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.

The grandest of these temples have projected balconies and towering shikaras packed with reliefs. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.

The grandest of these temples have projected balconies and towering shikaras packed with reliefs. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.

Perhaps a symbol of the Chandela rulers, this lion rears over a half-man, half-woman warrior. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.

Perhaps a symbol of the Chandela rulers, this lion rears over a half-man, half-woman warrior. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.

The Kandariya Mahadeo Temple is the architecturally most impressive. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.

The Kandariya Mahadeo Temple is the architecturally most impressive. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.

The simplicity of this shikara gives it an impressive perspective. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.

The simplicity of this shikara gives it an impressive perspective. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.

Not a typical temple, the Chaturbhuj Temple borrows partly from Hindu palace architecture. Orchha, Madhya Pradesh.

Not a typical temple, the Chaturbhuj Temple borrows partly from Hindu palace architecture. Orchha, Madhya Pradesh.

Anantasheyana fills a section of the ceiling at the Laxminarayana Temple. Orchha, Madhya Pradesh.

Anantasheyana fills a section of the ceiling at the Laxminarayana Temple. Orchha, Madhya Pradesh.

These magnificent cenotaphs are today a favourite haunt for vultures. Orchha, Madhya Pradesh.

These magnificent cenotaphs are today a favourite haunt for vultures. Orchha, Madhya Pradesh.

The opulent interiors of the Saas-Bahu Temple. Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh.

The opulent interiors of the Saas-Bahu Temple. Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh.

The tale of Gajendra moksha. Deogarh, Madhya Pradesh.

The tale of Gajendra moksha. Deogarh, Madhya Pradesh.

The most famous masterpiece of Indian art comes from the Gupta Period. Deogarh, Madhya Pradesh.

The most famous masterpiece of Indian art comes from the Gupta Period. Deogarh, Madhya Pradesh.

High relief cut into solid rock depicts the Varaha avatar. Udaygiri, Madhya Pradesh.

High relief cut into solid rock depicts the Varaha avatar. Udaygiri, Madhya Pradesh.

Damsels adorn the entrance to the inner sanctum. Bhojpur, Madhya Pradesh.

Damsels adorn the entrance to the inner sanctum. Bhojpur, Madhya Pradesh.

This cenotaph has a pyramidal tower, a mandapa, a sanctum and a corridor running around it. Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

This cenotaph has a pyramidal tower, a mandapa, a sanctum and a corridor running around it. Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

Apsidal form seen in this Keralan temple is perhaps inspired by the great Durga Temple of Aihole. Madhur, Kerala.

Apsidal form seen in this Keralan temple is perhaps inspired by the great Durga Temple of Aihole. Madhur, Kerala.

Tanks have always been an important element of temple architecture. Modhera, Gujarat.

Tanks have always been an important element of temple architecture. Modhera, Gujarat.

Symmetry and beauty of this domical ceiling are breathtaking. Modhera, Gujarat.

Symmetry and beauty of this domical ceiling are breathtaking. Modhera, Gujarat.

Kalki avatar is sculpted to a level of almost perfection at the Rani-ki-Vav. Patan, Gujarat.

Kalki avatar is sculpted to a level of almost perfection at the Rani-ki-Vav. Patan, Gujarat.

The famous Rani-ki-Vav stepwell is packed with reliefs of the highest art. Patan, Gujarat.

The famous Rani-ki-Vav stepwell is packed with reliefs of the highest art. Patan, Gujarat.

A grand cenotaph packed with exquisite reliefs catches the evening light. Bhuj, Gujarat.

A grand cenotaph packed with exquisite reliefs catches the evening light. Bhuj, Gujarat.

On a cenotaph, a dancer is caught in the act of tying her anklets; or is it untying? Bhuj, Gujarat.

On a cenotaph, a dancer is caught in the act of tying her anklets; or is it untying? Bhuj, Gujarat.

There are plenty of temples in India that survive in stark ruins. Kera, Gujarat.

There are plenty of temples in India that survive in stark ruins. Kera, Gujarat.

At the Koodal Manikyam Temple, this structure called the kootambalam is a place of dance rituals dedicated to the gods. Irinjalakuda, Kerala.

At the Koodal Manikyam Temple, this structure called the kootambalam is a place of dance rituals dedicated to the gods. Irinjalakuda, Kerala.

Elephants are often gracefully retired from hard labour by becoming participants of temple rituals. Irinjalakuda, Kerala.

Elephants are often gracefully retired from hard labour by becoming participants of temple rituals. Irinjalakuda, Kerala.

Keralan temples usually have sloping roofs, projected gables and hundreds of oil lamps on their walls. Kodungallur, Kerala.

Keralan temples usually have sloping roofs, projected gables and hundreds of oil lamps on their walls. Kodungallur, Kerala.

Wooden lattice work nailed with oil lamps on temple walls is a universal feature in Keralan temples. Thiruvanchikkulam, Kerala.

Wooden lattice work nailed with oil lamps on temple walls is a universal feature in Keralan temples. Thiruvanchikkulam, Kerala.

The shikara of the Ghrishneshwar Temple is stylistically unique but in its pyramidal form resembles at best the famous gopuram of Tanjavur. Ellora, Maharashtra.

The shikara of the Ghrishneshwar Temple is stylistically unique but in its pyramidal form resembles at best the famous gopuram of Tanjavur. Ellora, Maharashtra.

The wonder of Ellora is largely due to the Kailasa Temple carved out of solid rock. Ellora, Maharashtra.

The wonder of Ellora is largely due to the Kailasa Temple carved out of solid rock. Ellora, Maharashtra.

Mythical creatures named yalis colourfully decorate a temple entrance. Suchindram, Tamil Nadu.

Mythical creatures named yalis colourfully decorate a temple entrance. Suchindram, Tamil Nadu.

Snake workship is prevalent all over India but here an entire town derives its name from the main temple. Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu.

Snake workship is prevalent all over India but here an entire town derives its name from the main temple. Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu.

A temple door has miniature sculptural reliefs in painted wood. Thiruchendur, Tamil Nadu.

A temple door has miniature sculptural reliefs in painted wood. Thiruchendur, Tamil Nadu.

Rock-cut relief of the Hindu Trinity in one of the caves. Ellora, Maharashtra.

Rock-cut relief of the Hindu Trinity in one of the caves. Ellora, Maharashtra.

Brightly painted vehicles for carrying temple idols during street processions. Madurai, Tamil Nadu.

Brightly painted vehicles for carrying temple idols during street processions. Madurai, Tamil Nadu.

The famous perspective of the longest temple corridor in the country. Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu.

The famous perspective of the longest temple corridor in the country. Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu.

Sandstone sculptures of Ganesha protected from neglect and vandalism. Barsoor, Chhattisgarh.

Sandstone sculptures of Ganesha protected from neglect and vandalism. Barsoor, Chhattisgarh.

A superb sculpture of Trivikrama. Rajim, Chhattisgarh.

A superb sculpture of Trivikrama. Rajim, Chhattisgarh.

Masterpieces of pillar art from the Vijayanagar Period. Srirangam, Tamil Nadu.

Masterpieces of pillar art from the Vijayanagar Period. Srirangam, Tamil Nadu.

The spectacular gopuram is one of the largest in the world. Srirangam, Tamil Nadu.

The spectacular gopuram is one of the largest in the world. Srirangam, Tamil Nadu.

The shikara of this temple is unique in its packing of tiny shikaras. Bhoramdeo, Chhattisgarh.

The shikara of this temple is unique in its packing of tiny shikaras. Bhoramdeo, Chhattisgarh.

This massive vimana is an engineering marvel of the Cholas. Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu.

This massive vimana is an engineering marvel of the Cholas. Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu.

Ancient Tamil script document some of the history associated with the Big Temple. Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu.

Ancient Tamil script document some of the history associated with the Big Temple. Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu.

Balustrades carved out as an elephant at the Big Temple. Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu.

Balustrades carved out as an elephant at the Big Temple. Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu.

Lakshmana Temple shows wonderful precision in which a single articulation spans many bricks. Sirpur, Chhattisgarh.

Lakshmana Temple shows wonderful precision in which a single articulation spans many bricks. Sirpur, Chhattisgarh.

Lingotbhavar is a recurring image in Chola temple art. The wall shows faded paintings on religious themes. Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu.

Lingotbhavar is a recurring image in Chola temple art. The wall shows faded paintings on religious themes. Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu.

A typical South Indian temple gopuram at the Sarangapani Temple is packed with colourful details. Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu.

A typical South Indian temple gopuram at the Sarangapani Temple is packed with colourful details. Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu.

A crowning ceremony performed by Lord Shiva himself. Gangaikondacholapuram, Tamil Nadu.

A crowning ceremony performed by Lord Shiva himself. Gangaikondacholapuram, Tamil Nadu.

Old cenotaphs stand right next to the main Buddhist temple. Bodh Gaya, Bihar.

Old cenotaphs stand right next to the main Buddhist temple. Bodh Gaya, Bihar.

Temple carts are often masterpieces of wood sculpture and carpentry. Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu.

Temple carts are often masterpieces of wood sculpture and carpentry. Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu.

Mouldings rise in neat lines from the base of a shikara. Gaya, Bihar.

Mouldings rise in neat lines from the base of a shikara. Gaya, Bihar.

The Shiva linga is often said to represent the phallus and at the Vishnupad Temple it is depicted quite literally. Gaya, Bihar.

The Shiva linga is often said to represent the phallus and at the Vishnupad Temple it is depicted quite literally. Gaya, Bihar.

Lingas are carved on the rocks on the way to the temple on the hill. Barabar Hills, Bihar.

Lingas are carved on the rocks on the way to the temple on the hill. Barabar Hills, Bihar.

Brahma Kund is an important place of Hindu pilgrimage and holy cleansing. Rajgir, Bihar.

Brahma Kund is an important place of Hindu pilgrimage and holy cleansing. Rajgir, Bihar.

Temples were built in many spaces, outer and inner, with gopuras over gateways connecting them. Gingee, Tamil Nadu.

Temples were built in many spaces, outer and inner, with gopuras over gateways connecting them. Gingee, Tamil Nadu.

A composite pillar consists of slender columns joined to central supports. Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu.

A composite pillar consists of slender columns joined to central supports. Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu.

Supreme Pallava art is apparent in the majestic manner in which these lion pillars stand. Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu.

Supreme Pallava art is apparent in the majestic manner in which these lion pillars stand. Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu.

A temple by the banks of the Ganges leans dangerously. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

A temple by the banks of the Ganges leans dangerously. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

The locality around famous temples are often crowded, colourful and lively. Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.

The locality around famous temples are often crowded, colourful and lively. Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.

Krishna lifting the mountain on which this temple stands. Govardhan, Uttar Pradesh.

Krishna lifting the mountain on which this temple stands. Govardhan, Uttar Pradesh.

One of many grand cenotaphs stand almost like airy palaces. Govardhan, Uttar Pradesh.

One of many grand cenotaphs stand almost like airy palaces. Govardhan, Uttar Pradesh.

Remains of an once grand temple stand in the courtyard with their spectacular reliefs. Abhaneri, Rajasthan.

Remains of an once grand temple stand in the courtyard with their spectacular reliefs. Abhaneri, Rajasthan.

With chhatris, chhajjas, stellate form and trabeate pillared mandapa, this is typical Hindu architecture. Bundi, Rajasthan.

With chhatris, chhajjas, stellate form and trabeate pillared mandapa, this is typical Hindu architecture. Bundi, Rajasthan.

Packed running reliefs at the base of temples are typical of Hindu art. Chittorgarh, Rajasthan.

Packed running reliefs at the base of temples are typical of Hindu art. Chittorgarh, Rajasthan.

The typical rekha nagara shikara over the sanctum and vesara shikara over the mandapa are typical of North Indian temple architecture. Chittorgarh, Rajasthan.

The typical rekha nagara shikara over the sanctum and vesara shikara over the mandapa are typical of North Indian temple architecture. Chittorgarh, Rajasthan.

The serpentine torana arch, here seen at the Sas-Bahu Temple, is one of the highlights of Indian art. Eklingji, Rajasthan.

The serpentine torana arch, here seen at the Sas-Bahu Temple, is one of the highlights of Indian art. Eklingji, Rajasthan.

At the Surya Temple, the temple architects aimed to awe the visitor by packing the outer walls with reliefs. Ranakpur, Rajasthan.

At the Surya Temple, the temple architects aimed to awe the visitor by packing the outer walls with reliefs. Ranakpur, Rajasthan.

This aedicule with an elaborate canopy depicts Narasimha avatar. Osiyan, Rajasthan.

This aedicule with an elaborate canopy depicts Narasimha avatar. Osiyan, Rajasthan.

The sanctum of an Assamese temple at the Kalashetra is quite unique. Guwahati, Assam.

The sanctum of an Assamese temple at the Kalashetra is quite unique. Guwahati, Assam.

The shikara of the Kamakhya Temple is neither the typical South Indian nor North Indian in style. Guwahati, Assam.

The shikara of the Kamakhya Temple is neither the typical South Indian nor North Indian in style. Guwahati, Assam.

Almost in the middle of nowhere, Ganesha sits on a rock. Tezpur, Assam.

Almost in the middle of nowhere, Ganesha sits on a rock. Tezpur, Assam.

The shikaras here may claim antiquity but they are clearly not. Haridwar, Uttarakhand.

The shikaras here may claim antiquity but they are clearly not. Haridwar, Uttarakhand.

Stone shikaras rise simply over the sanctum and only a few suggest a collapsed mukhamandapa. Baijnath, Uttarakhand.

Stone shikaras rise simply over the sanctum and only a few suggest a collapsed mukhamandapa. Baijnath, Uttarakhand.

Shikaras rise together in a packed temple complex. Jageshwar, Uttarakhand.

Shikaras rise together in a packed temple complex. Jageshwar, Uttarakhand.

The sukhanasi is prominent and so are the wooden canopies designed to protect the shikara from winter snowfall. Dandeshwar, Uttarakhand.

The sukhanasi is prominent and so are the wooden canopies designed to protect the shikara from winter snowfall. Dandeshwar, Uttarakhand.

Bells are an essential part of worship in Indian temples. Kangra, Himachal Pradesh.

Bells are an essential part of worship in Indian temples. Kangra, Himachal Pradesh.

Rock-cut temples come complete with a tank cut into the bedrock. Masroor, Himachal Pradesh.

Rock-cut temples come complete with a tank cut into the bedrock. Masroor, Himachal Pradesh.

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Responses

  1. This is such an extensive collection of photographs. I particularly liked your observation of the colour scheme for temple boundaries. I’ve often wondered why they are painted in this way.

  2. Wonderful images !! Thank you !!
    Ed

  3. these are very nice photos. i have visited almost half of these monuments. i had a great time there.

  4. Most enchanting

  5. […] Source: ┬áIndian journeys […]

  6. It is very unfortunate that you only two Images from Bihar is included while uncountable numbers of Rock cut Images, Paintings, historical monuments and antiquities are there.
    but this collection is also very interesting. Thanks

  7. The tremendous amount of resources that went into making this many exhaustively ornamental temples & complexes, this is simply beyond imagination.
    This may have been what inspired British East India officials to favor over ornimental architecture in London.
    In the USA, many lands are nearly untouched, our cities have spartan or industrial architecture, and the structures are designed with a useful life of 80yrs. The government bldgs seem designed for 300yrs.
    Architecture with a usefulness that spans thousands of years isn’t even considered, whereas in India, that is the rule for these structures, then to ornimant them exhaustively with impossible scultures.
    Some of these may have come from the civilization that was global in scope prior to the recent inter-glacial warmng that ended about 5,500 yrs ago.

  8. Hi

    It is indeed a great piece of work. Let me congratulate you for the stupendous work on Indian temple architecture. Traveling is good I agree with you. Its my passion too.

  9. super , congratulate

  10. Nice collection of images. Thank you. I would like to share a website called http://www.templedetails.com which has some more information about the famous temples which has to be shared.

  11. Mehathi, saw your website. Nice effort in collecting lot of information and pictures on India temples.

  12. I am happy to see the Hindu Temples.

  13. i felt great pleasure in seeing great temples of india and sculptures.

  14. Great to know about it. Can you please include Karnataka temple as well in this list ?

    • Karnataka has wonderful temples but when I toured Karnataka I did not take any camera with me. Hence I don’t have any photos of the same.


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