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Kalinga Nagara Structure – Rekha, Pidha & Khakhra Deula

Kalinga Nagara model of temple structure comes from Odisha.

Nagara model is usually used for North Indian Temple structure. It was so widespread and outstanding that the temples with Nagara affect are distributed throughout in India from the Himalayas until Northern Karnataka and from Gujarat until Odisha. There are various regional variations and nuances of Nagara model. The regional growth that occurred in Odisha is probably the most exceptional one.

The Odisha model of temple structure can also be accorded as Kalinga Nagara model. It is vitally near the unique Nagara typology seen within the Northern and the Central components of the nation. Since Odisha was acknowledged because the Kalinga desha, the model of structure that developed inside it was recognized by the identical title as that of the area.

Konark Solar Temple – Because it was

The area of Odisha has been very wealthy in its cultural features. Temples being an important ones. Like the remainder of India, Odisha witnessed settlement and growth of varied cults in historic instances. The Kalinga Nagara model of temples in Odisha have gigantic peak and might be outlined as one of many peculiarities of Odisha structure. Probably the most outstanding examples of this model might be seen from the interval of 10th CE to 12th CE. Largely in the course of the rule of the Ganga Dynasty.

Parts of a Kalinga Nagara Fashion Temple

In Kalinga model, the temple includes two main components specifically – Garbha Griha and the Mandapa positioned in the identical axis, which was additional divided on the premise of decorative projections. Within the later interval, there was additionally an addition of extra Mandapas comparable to Bhoga Deula meant for Bhoga providing and Natya Deula for the Dance performances.

On uncommon events, we do additionally see an impartial Torana or a gateway erected in entrance of the temple. For example, the Mukteshwar temple from Bhubaneshwar is flanked by a free-standing Torana. The Torana is nothing however a thick arch balanced on two free-standing pillars.

Totally different Kinds inside Kalinga Nagara Temples

Stylistically talking the Kalinga Nagara model includes three typologies i.e. Rekha Deula, Pidha Deula, and Khakhra Deula. All these had been well-practiced and bear the best of them specimens. It’s to notice right here that in virtually each instance falling underneath the above-mentioned classes, we see adjustments and refinement within the execution of architectural parts. Virtually all of the temples in these classes run on the sq. plan solely. Besides the Khakhra Deula which has an oblong plan attributable to its barrel-roof superstructure. Other than these fastened plans, the adjustments that occurred had been solely on the outer components of the temples.

The Torana, Pidha Deual and Rekha Deula at Mukteshwar temple, Bhubaneswar
The Torana, Pidha Deual and Rekha Deula at Mukteshwar temple, Bhubaneswar

The primary two typologies are probably the most generally seen architectural types within the temples of Odisha.

Rekha Deula

Rekha Deula is usually the Shikhara above the sanctum sanctorum. The Rekha Deula is etymologically known as “curvilinear temple” as a result of the Shikhara right here is curvilinear with much less density within the decrease half however extremely dense within the higher half. In Rekha Deula, strains across the Shikhara run from the bottom of the temple until the topmost a part of the superstructure. In contrast to the Latina Nagara model the place the central line begins from Jangha right here the strains originate from the bottom of the Shikhara.

Rekha Deula (Shikhar) of Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar
Rekha Deula (Shikhar) of Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar

The well-known temple of Lingaraja at Bhubaneshwar and Jagannatha at Puri are two outstanding and gigantic examples of Rekha Deula. The Lingaraja which is dated about 1100 CE proved to be the benchmark for a lot of temples in Odisha. In few years Jagannatha Temple at Puri reached the large grandeur and dignity of Lingaraja Temple. The far-famed Solar temple of Konark constructed in the course of the reign of Narasimha I (1238-1264 CE) surpassed Lingaraja in its execution and scale of development. Nonetheless grand and spectacular in its ruins, Konark Temple is the unknown thriller of Kalingan model.

The Rekha Deula is broadly divided into three main components from backside to prime:-

  • Bada (Perpendicular Wall)
  • Gandi (Shikhara or Superstructure)
  • Mastaka (Kalasha or High)

Pidha Deula

The Pidha Deula is etymologically known as “flat seat temple” as a result of the Shikhara right here is sort of a stepped however compressed pyramid. It’s marked by a collection of flat platforms positioned one over the opposite, in diminishing order, every one representing a storey. It’s topped by an Amalaka as a rule.

Pidha Deul (Shikhar) of Bhaskareswar Temple, Bhubaneswar
Pidha Deul (Shikhar) of Bhaskareswar Temple, Bhubaneswar

The Pidha Deula is usually seen because the axially situated Mandapas within the entrance of Garbha Griha as an annexure to the primary temple. Bhaskareshwar Temple at Bhubaneshwar is, nevertheless, the one recognized free-standing specimen of Pidha Deula model. Right here the Pidha Deula is serving as the primary superstructure of the temple.

Khakhra Deula

Khakhra Deula is an elongated, barrel-roof formed shrine. This may very well be known as the Kalingan interpretation of Vallabhi shrines (Nagara type of temples typically seen within the Himalayan area). This manner is impressed by the Shala component seen in Buddhist structure.

Vallabhi Temple, Jageshwar, Uttrakhand, Kalinga Nagara
Vallabhi Temple, Jageshwar, Uttrakhand

The Shala in its elongated kind supplies a big span to the Garbh Griha in order that it positive aspects a decisive peak from exterior. Khakhra Deula is preceded by a Mandapa with a flat roof. Khakhra Deula is likely one of the most particular architectural kinds in Kalingan model which might be seen throughout Odisha. Probably the most well-known instance of this model is Vaital Deula, Bhubaneshwar, and Varahi Deul, Chaurashi in Odisha.

Varahi Temple, Prachi valley, Kalinga Nagara
Khakhra Deula (Shikhar) of Varahi Temple, Chaurashi

Thus one can clearly observe how numerous the Kalinga Nagara model is. You will need to perceive every side of its varied kinds to totally admire them. Virtually each variation on this showcases an affidavit of age-long developments in varied features comparable to artwork, tradition, and spiritual beliefs.

Vaitala Temple, Kalinga Nagara, Bhubaneshwar
Vaitala Temple Bhubaneshwar

The regional variation of this temple architectural kind is likely one of the essential contributions within the subject of Indian Temple Structure. One can clearly agree on how the regional understanding and information of Odisha gave a brand new form and path to the prevailing architectural vocabulary of Nagara model. That is certainly one of many lovely gem embedded within the numerous architectural heritage of India.

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Ar Sushant Bharti is a Conservation Architect. He graduated from the Faculty of Planning & Structure, New Delhi with a Bachelor’s diploma in structure from Vastukala Academy School of Structure. Keenly all for understanding the cultural side of India. His primary space of analysis is across the ‘Cultural Heritage of Braj’ and ‘Indian Temple Structure’. Presently, he’s working as a Analysis Assistant on the Nationwide Museum Institute, Nationwide Museum, Janpath, New Delhi.

Learn Sushant’s posts on

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