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The Architecture and Organization of Kerala Style Hindu Temples

William A. Noble
Anthropos
Bd. 76, H. 1./2. (1981), pp. 1-24
Published by: Anthropos Institut
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40460291
Page Count: 32
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The Architecture and Organization of Kerala Style Hindu Temples
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Abstract

As a basic guiding principle, some emphasis is given to a widespread belief among South Asians that existence is centered in creation, or god, or the gods, or nirvana, or any combination of these. The architectural response to centrality by Buddhists, Jainas, and Hindus exists at centers as widely separated in space as Takt-i-Bahi (in Pakistan), Martand, Girnar, Tanjore (in India), and Paharpur (in Bangla Desk), and as widely separated in time as the stupa at Shah-Dheri (about 1st Cent. B. C.) and the presently used Hindu temples of Kerala State, India. In the Hindu temples of Kerala style, the principle of centrality was strongly adhered to and is architecturally reflected in the most basic, simple forms. — For Kerala style Hindu temples, the parts are first identified. These then are used, like building blocks, to reveal how well-established principles guided the construction of a spectrum of simple to complex temples. Always, in temple development, was there special attention payed to the centering of the deity's image, or the images of deities, in each temple.

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