TYPES OF TEMPLES FOUND IN ODISHA
Odisha is famous for temple architecture and with varieties of temples presents the Kalingan School of Architecture in its well-developed forms. According to Silpa Sastras, there are three different types of temples in the Kalingan School. These are ‘Rekha', ‘Bhadra' or ‘Pidha' and ‘Khakhara'.
The sanctum of the temple is either rekha or a khakhara type deula. Similarly, the mukhasala is either a flat-roofed rectangular hall or square hall with the roof arranged in pidhas. Majority of the sanctums are of rekha type and whereas the khakhara type is limited to a few Sakta temples. The mukhasalas of the temples of formative phase are flat-roofed rectangular halls while in later period, the pidha deulas were introduced.
The rekha temple or the vimana is characterized by a curvilinear superstructure. It can be divided into four parts. The four divisions are pista, bada, gandi and sira or mastaka. From the bottom to the finial, each part of the temple has a separate name. The Odishan craftsmen considered the temple as the body of the Cosmic Being. Therefore, the different parts of the temple are named after limbs of the body. Just as the different parts of a human body are organically related to each other, so the different divisions of the temple bear vital relationship with each other and are integrated into an artistic composition.
The cella where the presiding deity is enshrined - conceived as the womb of the Cosmic Being and thus called Garbhagriha. Like the womb it is intensely dark. The dim light of the earthen lamp along with the fragrance of the flowers, incense; it creates an atmosphere of solemnity where a devotee can fix his mind in meditating his beloved God.
The Pista is not a compulsory feature. This is generally found in temples erected in the Ganga epoch.
The constituent elements of the Bada are pabhaga, jangha, and baranda. This type of trianga bada is found in temples belonging to the earlier phase of the style. In later temples, the bada is composed of five elements; pabhaga, tala jangha, bandhana, upara jangha, and baranda. The pabhaga denotes the bottom part of the wall and is composed of mouldings called khura, kumbha, pata, kani and basanta. The baranda forming the topmost part of the bada is composed of a series of seven or ten mouldings.
The Gandi of the rekha deula inclines inward in a convex curve, this being more pronounced towards the top in later temples. It is divided into several pagas by the continuation of the projections of the bada. In a temple of Triratha plan, we find two types of pagas. The central projection or paga is known as Raha-paga having two projections known as Kanika-pagas on both sides. These Triratha temples generally belong to the formative phase. With the evolution, Triratha pattern changed to Pancha-ratha pattern having two are more pagas. The new pagas are known as Anuratha-pagas which is placed in between Raha-paga and Kanika-paga. In a Sapta-ratha temple, another two pagas added in between Anuratha and Kanika known as Anuraha. In Navaratha temples, Pariraha pagas added on either side in between the Anuraha and Kanika pagas. Kanika pagas are further subdivided in to a number of horizontal sections or storeys (bhumi) by the miniature amla (ribbed disc resembling the amlaka fruit), called bhumi amla. Sometimes the gandi is decorated with anga-sikharas. The central raha is relieved with a prominent chaitya window design.  The gandi ends with the bisama, the topmost course, with or without paga divisions scaling the spire.
The Mastaka of the Deula consists of the beki, the amla, the khapuri, the kalasa and the ayudha. The beki separates the square gandi from the circular crowning elements. The amla in the case of later temples is supported by dopichhalions at the corners and figures of Vimanapalas placed on the centre of the raha. Above the amla comes the khapuri or the skull, and on it is placed the kalasa or water-pot and ayudha or the weapon of the deity to whom the temple  is dedicated. The dhvaja or banner is placed at the pinnacle of the temple.
There is no difference between Rekha temple and Pidha temple in the treatment of the bada, but they differ in the disposition of the gandi. The gandi of the jagamohana is of pyramidal shape. It is composed of a number of pidhas or horizontal platforms, piled up in the form of a pyramid. The pidhas rapidly decrease in size from bottom upwards. The diminution proceeds until the topmost pidha is half in size to the lower most one. The pidhas may be arranged in one or two tiers, with moderate height of vertical wall intervening between them. Each of these tiers is called a potala. The cross-section at any point of the gandi is square. Above the gandi comes the mastaka, composed of several elements which are circular in cross-section. First comes the beki, then the ghanta, an enormous ribbed structure shaped like a bell. On the top of the ghanta is a succession of beki, amla, khapuri and kalasa as in the Rekha.
The Khakhara temple is very unique in its style. This type is very limited in Odisha. This is exclusively meant for the Sakti worship. The gandi of the khakhara is composed either like that of a rekha or of a pidha with certain minor differences. The plan of the deula is oblong, and its mastaka is distinguished by its barrel vaulted elongated roof called khakhara by the treatisers due to its faint resemblance to kakharu or voita kakharu. Over the khakhara are placed either miniature amlas or kalasa flanked by lions. The khakhara type is limited to six examples in Bhubaneswar, but miniatures of this type were very extensively employed as a decorative motif on the body of Rekha or Pidha temples and the type has a wider distribution. Except these three types of temples, we also find another two types of temples known as Gauriya temple and Hypaethral temple in Odisha.
Gauriya type originated in Eastern India as a result of the impact of the west in the sphere of Indian Architectural activities. It is said to be the combination of the Gothic style and the Indo
Aryan style of architecture. There are a few Gauriya temples in the district of Mayurbhanj and there are only two examples of this type of temples in the town of Puri; one beside the Markandeya tank and the other at the gateway of Uttara Parsva monastery.
Hypaethral temple is a circular temple in the ground plan without the roof belonging to the Sixty-four yoginis placed in the wall of innerside. Of the extant Yogini temples, four are located in the Gwalior-Bundelkhand region (the ones at Khajuraho, at Bheraghat near Jabalpur, at Mitauli near Gwalior and at Dudhai near Lalitpua), while other two are in Odisha (the ones at Hirapur near Bhubaneswar and at Ranipr-Jharial in Bolangir disrict).
1. P. Acharya; Studies in Orissan History, Archaeology and Archives; 1969; P.386.
2. M.A Dhaky; The Indian Temple Forms; 1977; P.7.
3. E. Tomory; A History of Fine Arts in India and The West; 2004; p.91.
4. A.N. Parida; Early Temples of Orissa; 1999; p.25.
5. K.S. Behera; Temples of Orissa; 1993; p.1.
7. A.N. Parida; op.cit; p.25.
8. K.S. Behera; op.cit; p.3.
9. Ibid; pp.3-4.
10. N. Senapati (Ed.); Orissa District Gazetteers; Puri; 1977; p.70.
11. A.N. Parida; op. cit.; p.25.
12. K.S. Behera; op. cit.; p.4.
13. A.N. Parida; op.cit; p.26.
14. K.S. Behera; op. cit.; p.4.
15. Ibid; pp.4-5.
16. R.P. Mohapatra; "Traditions in Architecture" in Orissa Sahitya Akademi (Ed.); Art Traditions in Orissa; 1988; p.15.
18. K.S. Behera; op.cit; p.5.
19. Orissa Sahitya Akademi (Ed.); op.cit; p.16.
20. K.S. Behera; op.cit; p.5.
21. N.Senapati (Ed.); op.cit; p.70.
22. K.S.Behera; op.cit; p.6.
23. Ibid; p.5.
24. N.K. Bose; Canons of Orissan Architecture; 1932; p.78 & N. Senapati (Ed.); op.cit; p.70.
25. N. Senapati (Ed.); op.cit; p.71.
26. Orissa Sahitya Akademi (Ed.); op.cit; pp.16-17.
27. N.K. Bose; op.cit; p.70.
28. N.K. Bose; op.cit; p.78.
29. P. Acharya; op.cit; p.386.
30. F. Brighenti; Sakti Cult in Orissa; 2001; p.298.
Anjaliprava Sahoo is a M. Philosophy Student, Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture & Archaeology, Bhubaneswar
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