Phases of Cave Architecture (1st to 3rd), Dravidian Cave Architecture & Kailasha Temple for Kerala PSC

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Phases of Cave Architecture

Image of Cave Architecture

Image of Cave Architecture

Image of Cave Architecture

3 definite phases

1st phase or earliest phase-2nd B.C. to 2nd A.D.

  • Related exclusively to early budhhism

  • Buddha was represented symbolically

  • Major excavations-chaitya and vihar

  • Practised in less permamnent materials like wood.

  • Ex-karla, kanheri, Nasik,Bhaja,Bedsa caves.

2nd phase-5th to 7th century

  • Elimination of timber

  • Introduction of the image of the Buddha

  • The plan of excavations-specially for chaitya remained the same as before.

  • Vihar - some changes-housed the image of Budhha

3rd phase-or the last phase-7th to 10th century.

  • The hindus and Jains extended the Buddhist architectural tradition

  • With some modifications-suitable to their rituals

Dravidian Cave Architecture

Image of Dravidian Cave Architecture

Image of Dravidian Cave Architecture

Image of Dravidian Cave Architecture

  • Dominant features

  • The Mandapa-open pavallion excavated out of a rock-simple columned hall with two or more cells

  • The Ratha-monolithic shrine carved out of a single rock

Kailasha Temple

Image of Kailasa Temple

Image of Kailasa Temple

Image of Kailasa Temple

  • One of the grandest monolithic excavations in the world.

  • A two storeyed gateway resembling a South Indian Gopuram opens to reveal a U shaped courtyard.

  • The courtyard is edged by columned galleries three storeys high.

  • The temple itself is a tall pyramidal structure reminiscent of a South Indian Dravidian temple.

  • Most of the deities at the left of the entrance are Shaivaite (followers of Shiva) while on the right hand side the deities are Vaishnavaites (followers of Vishnu).

  • There are two Dhvajastambhas (pillars with the flagstaff) in the courtyard.

  • The grand sculpture of Ravana attempting to lift Mount Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva, with his full might is a landmark in Indian art.

  • The temple is a splendid achievement of Rashtrakuta Karnataka architecture.

  • This project was started by Krishna I (757–773) of the Rashtrakuta dynasty

  • Its builders modelled it on the lines of the Virupaksha Temple in Pattadakal.