DMPQ- . Discuss the origin and main features of free standing temple architecture in India.

. The temple building activities that began during the Gupta rule continued to flourish in later periods. In southern India the Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas, Hoyshalas and later the rulers of the Vijaynagar kingdom were great builders of temples. The Pallava rulers built the shore temple at Mahabalipuram. Pallavas also built other structural temples like Kailashnath temple and Vaikuntha Perumal temples at Kanchipuram. The Cholas built many temples most famous being the Brihadeshwara temple at Tanjore. The Cholas developed a typical style of temple architecture of South India called the Dravida style, complete with vimana or shikhara, high walls and the gateway topped by gopuram. Magnificent temples were built at Belur, Halebid where the stone engravings reached even greater heights.

In north and eastern India magnificent temples were also constructed and the style followed by them is referred to as the Nagara style. Most of them consisted of the shikaras (spiral roofs), the garbhagriha (sanctum) and the mandap (pillared hall).

Orissa has some of the most beautiful temples such as the Lingaraja temple built by the Ganga rulers and the Mukteshwara temple at Bhubaneshwar and the Jagannath temple at Puri.

The sun temple at Konark was built in thirteenth century by the eastern Ganga ruler Narshimha Deva I. The temple is dedicated to Surya (the sun god) and has been designed as a twelve-wheeled chariot.

The temple complex at Khajuraho was built by Chandella rulers between the tenth and eleventh centuries in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. Most important among them is the Kandariya Mahadev temple.

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