Phases of Cave Architecture-1st to 3rd, Dravidian Cave Architecture & Kailasha Temple for RSET

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Phases of Cave Architecture

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

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

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.

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