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Classification of Hindu Temples

North Indian Temple Structure - Nagara Style

In the North Indian style, the shrine is a square at the centre, but there are projections on the outside leading to cruciform shape. When there is one projection on each side, it is called triratha, 2 projections - pancharatha, 3 projections - saptharatha, 4 projections - navaratha. These projections occur throughout the height of the structure. This style is found mostly in Orissa, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

The temples of Orissa are the ones which can be described as the typical Nagara style. These temples escaped the destruction due to invasion. The temples as well as the literature laying down the rules and mode of construction have been well preserved in Orissa.

In this style, the structure consists of two buildings, the main shrine taller and an adjoining shorter mandapa. The main difference between the two is the shape of the Sikhara. In the main shrine, a bell shaped structure adds to the height. As is usual in all Hindu temples, there is the kalasa at the top and the ayudha or emblem of the presiding deity.

Some of the temples of this style are :
The Parasurameswara temple at Bhuvaneshwar
Brahmesvara temple in Bhuvaneshwar
Lingaraja temple
Anantha Vasudeva temple
Rajarani temple
Sun temple at Konarak
Jagannath temple at Puri

Western Indian & the Deccan Style
South Indian Style