31 Facts About Hindu temple


Hindu temple, or mandir or koil in Indian languages, is a house, seat and body of divinity for Hindus.

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The symbolism and structure of a Hindu temple are rooted in Vedic traditions, deploying circles and squares.

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Hindu temple reflects a synthesis of arts, the ideals of dharma, beliefs, values and the way of life cherished under Hinduism.

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Susan Lewandowski states that the underlying principle in a Hindu temple is the belief that all things are one, that everything is connected.

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The Hindu temple is a place where the devotee visits, just like he or she would visit a friend or relative.

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Appropriate site for a Hindu temple, suggest ancient Sanskrit texts, is near water and gardens, where lotus and flowers bloom, where swans, ducks and other birds are heard, where animals rest without fear of injury or harm.

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For example, in Saurastra tradition of Hindu temple building found in western states of India, the feminine form, expressions and emotions are depicted in 32 types of Nataka-stri compared to 16 types described in Silpa Prakasa.

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Ancient Sanskrit manuals for Hindu temple construction discovered in Rajasthan, in northwestern region of India, include Sutradhara Mandana's Prasadamandana.

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Further, the Hindu temple explores a number of structures and shrines in 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 2:5, 3:5 and 4:5 ratios.

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Michael Meister suggests that these exceptions mean that the ancient Sanskrit manuals for temple building were guidelines, and Hinduism permitted its artisans flexibility in expression and aesthetic independence.

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Hindu temple is a symbolic reconstruction of the universe and the universal principles that enable everything in it to function.

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The Hindu temple has structural walls, which were patterned usually within the 64-grid, or other geometric layouts.

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Hindu manuals of temple construction describe the education, characteristics of good artists and architects.

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Apart from specialist technical competence, the manuals suggest that best Silpins for building a Hindu temple are those who know the essence of Vedas and Agamas, consider themselves as students, keep well verse with principles of traditional sciences and mathematics, painting and geography.

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Further, it was a tradition that all tools and materials used in Hindu temple building and all creative work had the sanction of a sacrament.

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For those thus employed by the Hindu temple, according to Michell, "some gratuitous services were usually considered obligatory, such as dragging the Hindu temple chariots on festival occasions and helping when a large building project was undertaken".

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The Hindu temple ranged from being small single pada structure to large nearby complexes.

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These stepwells and their Hindu temple compounds have been variously dated from late 1st millennium BCE through 11th century CE.

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The Elephanta Caves consist of two groups of caves—the first is a large group of five Hindu temple caves and the second is a smaller group of two Buddhist caves.

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The Hindu temple caves contain rock-cut stone sculptures, representing the Shaiva Hindu temple sect, dedicated to the god Shiva.

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Typical, ancient Hindu temple has a profusion of arts – from paintings to sculpture, from symbolic icons to engravings, from thoughtful layout of space to fusion of mathematical principles with Hindu sense of time and cardinality.

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Destruction of Hindu temple sites was comparatively less in the southern parts of India, such as in Tamil Nadu.

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Kakatiya Kala Thoranam built in the 12th century by the Kakatiya dynasty; the Warangal Fort Hindu temple complex was destroyed in the 1300s by the Delhi Sultanate.

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The Hindu temple was partly destroyed by the Sultan of Delhi, Alauddin Khalji, in 1296 CE, with part converted into a mosque and further parts destroyed by Ahmed Shah I in the fifteenth century.

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The Hindu temple was twice sacked and plundered by the Delhi Sultanate in the early 14th century, and abandoned in the mid 14th century.

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In Java and Bali, before one enters the most sacred parts of a Hindu temple, shirts are required as well as Sarong around one's waist.

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The Hindu temple's walls are typically square with the outer most wall having gopuras.

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The Hindu temple roof is mostly tiled and is sloped and the walls are often square, the innermost shrine being entirely enclosed in another four walls to which only the pujari enters.

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The Spire in Khmer Hindu temple is called Giri and symbolizes the residence of gods just like Meru does in Bali Hindu mythology and Ku (Guha) does in Burmese Hindu mythology.

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In Bali, the Hindu temple is known as "Pura", which is designed as an open-air worship place in a walled compound.

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In India, day-to-day activities of a Hindu temple is managed by a Hindu temple board committee that administers its finances, management, and events.

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