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Religion 101: Decoding The Grand Hindu Temple Architecture

morib temple hindu architecture

The architecture of Hindu temples like this in Morib evolved over a period of more than 2,000 years and there is a great variety in this architecture but it has the same key elements.

Hindu temples are of different shapes and sizes – rectangular, octagonal, semi-circular – with different types of domes and gates. Temples in southern India have a different style than those in northern India. Although the architecture of Hindu temples is varied, they mainly have many things in common.

The 6 parts of a Hindu Temple:

1. The Dome and Steeple: The steeple of the dome is called ‘shikhara’ (summit) that represents the mythological ‘Meru’ or the highest mountain peak. The shape of the dome varies from region to region and the steeple is often in the form of the trident of Shiva.

2. The Inner Chamber: The inner chamber of the temple called ‘garbhagriha’ or ‘womb-chamber’ is where the image or idol of the deity (‘murti’) is placed. In most temples, the visitors cannot enter the garbhagriha, and only the temple priests are allowed inside.

3. The Temple Hall: Most large temples have a hall meant for the audience to sit. This is also called the ‘nata-mandira’ (hall for temple-dancing) where, in days of yore, women dancers or ‘devadasis’ used to perform dance rituals. Devotees use the hall to sit, meditate, pray, chant or watch the priests perform the rituals. The hall is usually decorated with paintings of gods and goddesses.

4. The Front Porch: This area of the temples usually has a big metallic bell that hangs from the ceiling. Devotees entering and leaving the porch ring this bell to declare their arrival and departure.

5. The Reservoir: If the temple is not in the vicinity of a natural water body, a reservoir of fresh water is built on the temple premises. The water is used for rituals as well as to keep the temple floor clean or even for a ritual bath before entering the holy abode.

6. The Walkway: Most temples have a walkway around the walls of the inner chamber for circum-ambulation by devotees around the deity as a mark of respect to the temples god or goddess.

Point source: Slideshare

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Interestingly there is also a great deal of science behind the Hindu Temple:-

There are thousands ofHindu temples all over India of different sizes, shapes and locations but not all of them are considered to be built in the Vedic way. It is said that a temple should be located at a place where the earth’s magnetic wave path passes densely.

The main idol is placed in the core centre of the Hindu temple. In fact, the temple structure is built after the idol has been placed. The place of the deity is where the earth’s magnetic waves are found to be maximum.

In a Hindu temple, the chamber of the god is closed on three sides. This increases the effect of all energies. The lamp that is lit radiates heat energy and also provides light inside the sanctum to the priests.

The ringing of the bells and the chanting of prayers take a worshiper into a trance, thus not letting their mind waver. The fragrance from the flowers and the burning of camphor give out the chemical energy that creates a good aura. The effect of all these energies is supplemented by the positive energy from the idol, the copper plates and the utensils used while worshipping God.

A temple bell is another scientific phenomenon; it is not just your ordinary metal. It is made of various metals including cadmium, lead, copper, zinc, nickel, chromium and manganese. Each of these bells is made to produce such a distinct sound that it can create unity in your left and right brain.

The moment you ring that bell, it produces a sharp but lasting sound which lasts for a minimum of seven seconds in an echo; good enough to touch your seven healing centres or chakras in your body.

It is necessary to walk barefoot while you enter the core centre of the temple; shoes and slippers are used everywhere; Hence, they tend to get all the impurities like dirt, germs etc which spoil the pure environment of the temple and are the source of negative energy.

(Source: Prezi)

3 thoughts on “Religion 101: Decoding The Grand Hindu Temple Architecture”

  1. Thanks for the info and image. It’s highly useful for those who want to learn about temple architecture. Concise and easy to understand. Will use it to spread the information. Thanks again.

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