In transcribing the following paragraphs from the rough text in the Internet Archive online version, I have changed the formatting for easier reading, added images that appear in the original and also ones that come from other sources and I have omitted cross references to comparative material, such as examples from ancient Greece. — George P. Landow]


Hindu (Dravidian) Architecture: Ellora. The “Rath” (Temple of Kailos), showing the scarp of rock, an example of Monolithic Free Standing Temple, curt out of solid rock, so that external façades are visible.

The rock-cut examples known as "Raths" at Mahavellipore (near Madras), and Ellora (A.D. 750-950), are peculiar (No. 275). They differ from other rock-cut examples, being monolithic free standing temples, the surrounding rock being cut away so that external facades are visible.


The normal type, as in the Jaina examples, has a square vimana to contain the image of the deity, and is crowned with a many-storied pyramidal roof; in front is a "mantapa" or porch (No. 276). In addition are the "choultries" or halls of 1,000 columns, placed close to the Temples, and the characteristic "gopuras," or gate pyramids (No. 277), forming entrances to the inclosures which usually surround the shrines. In conjunction are planned the shrines, lakes (or tanks of water for religious purposes), and flights of steps ; such are often grouped with little regard to symmetry, and enclosed by a high wall, as in Egyptian temples.

Left: Hindu (Dravidian) Architecture: Tanjore. “The great Temple from the northeast, showing the thirteen-stories pyramidal sikra.” (no. 276). Right: Mandura. (no. 277). [Click on images to enlarge them.]

Tarputry. (No. 278). “Portion of Entrance to the Old Temple.” Click on image to enlarge it.

Tanjore (fourteenth century), with its thirteen-storied highly-enriched pyramidal sikra (No. 276), Mandura (A.D. 1623-1645), with its celebrated Gopura (No. 277), and Choultrie, 333 feet by 105 feet, and columns with life-sized sculptured figures attached; Seringham (seventeenth century), with its fifteen great gopuras, Tinnevelly, with its double temple and hall of 1,000 columns, Conjeveram, Vellore (A.D. 1350), Tarputry (No. 278), and Chillambaram (seventeenth and eighteenth century), are the best known monuments.

Related material


Fletcher, Banister, and Banister F. Fletcher. A History of Architecture on the Comparative Method for the Student, Craftsman, and Amateur. 5th ed. London: B. T. Batsford, 1905.

Last modified 12 December 2018