Legend says that Adinatha was the first tirthankara of Jainism. He
was also called Rishabanatha. His son was called Gomateshwara.
Ahimsa means no killing or non-violence. It was preached by all the
religions in India, but was put to practice most effectively, by
Ajivikas was a religion started by Makkari Gosala, at the same time
as, Buddhism and Jainism. The features of this religion were fatalism
and austerity. It is said that this religion was later interpolated
Akbar was the third emperor of the Mughal dynasty. In addition to
establishing the empire, he also strove to blend Hinduism and
Islam. He put this into effect in Fatehpur Sikri and in his own tomb,
This is one of the constituent parts of the shikhara, in the north
Indian type of temples. It resembles the seed of an amalok (amalaka
in Sanskrit). It is circular in shape and is symbolically placed at
the apex of the shrine.
This is a shrine adjacent to the main shrine in south Indian temples,
where the consort of the main god is enshrined.
Antarala is a small space or front room between the garbhagriha
(shrine) and mandapa, usually found in north Indian temples.
The plan with a rectangular entrance and a circular rear. This was
developed as Buddhist Chaitya shrines and can be seen in very early
Hindu temples too.
An arch is a curved opening, built by placing cut stones or bricks
along a predefined curve. Traditionally, in India, column and beam
structures, corbelled constructions, etc., were common. An arch is
also called a true arch.
Aryans entered India from the north, in 1500 BC and settled here.
They used to speak an Indo-European dialect. Entirely different from
the Dravidians of the south, they introduced the Veda religion and
Brahman religion into India.
Ashoka was the ruler of the Maurya dynasty that ruled during the
period 321 BC to 184 BC. He brought most of India under his control.
When he converted to Buddhism, he built a stupa and stambha in every
An ashram is a training ground for Hinduism. Gandhi also called the
living place of his followers, ashram.
A Persian word, meaning garden.
This is a religion started by Bahaulla, in 1863, in Persia. It
believes that there is only one God, one world and one people.
The roof style commonly seen in Bengali houses. The four corners are
bent and fall vertically. Through the Mughals, this style spread as
far as west India.
The common Bengal-style roof. Since Bengal gets more rainfall, the
thatched roofs were bent to face downwards. When this style was
incorporated into the brick constructions in temples, the name was
Jain temples are called Basti, Basati, Vasathi etc. The original
Sanskrit word is vasathi.
A book house or library of Jain literature. The one in Jaisalmer is
In Kutch, the houses are circular with round walls made of clay, on
top of which is the wooden framework of the roof, which is then
thatched with straw. This circular house plan is called Bhunga. n
Blind arch An arch without an opening.
The highest in the caste hierarchy, of the four Varnas in Hinduism and
The predecessor of Hinduism. Based on the Vedas, only the Brahmins,
the topmost in caste hierarchy could interact with God and man.
Was started by Buddha who had his own ideals. He took the path of
moderation, which was accepted by the ruling class and spread all over
India. In the 13th century, it was overwhelmed by Hinduism and all but
A wall designed to reinforce the main wall, so that it will not
collapse under pressure.
An independent structure like a belfry that developed in Italian
The top most portion of the pillar that is elaborately sculpted with
designs. The most popular designs are cushions and the pot and
foliage motif .
Wayside inns, in the Islamic world, for travellers, sometimes simply
CAVE DWELLINGS, CAVE TEMPLES
These are created by hollowing out rocks. There are simple caves and
architecturally complex ones with pillars and beams. In Buddhism, the
monks' dwellings were called Viharas and the shrine caves were called
Is used as a memorial to the dead or a place to pray for the dead, but
where the dead are not actually buried. It is a tomb design, with its
origin in central Asia. An imitation coffin is kept on the main
platform and the actual coffin is kept in a small tomb room
In the Mughal gardens, diagonal waterways were designed in stone,
which gave the effect of a waterfall when water flowed over it. The
resultant bubble formations were very enjoyable.
This is a common word in Sanskrit for the object of prayer. In
Buddhism, this word came to be associated with anything connected to
Buddha. Since the most important thing associated with prayer was the
stupa, the hall where the stupa was deified came to be called the
In order to light up the interior of Chaitya caves, horseshoe shaped
arch windows were constructed and came to be called Chaitya windows.
Hindu temples of Bengal. Every surface of the hipped roof was called
Chala. Usually, four-sided roofs were called Char Chala and a
two-tiered roofs of this type were called Aat Chala.
Fergusson, who chronicled Indian architecture, called the temple
architectural style of the Middle Ages, the Chalukyan style, after the
dynasty that ruled during that period. This name is not used anymore.
n Char bagh gThe square garden. Char Bagh, an Islamic design, is a
large square garden dvided into four smaller quadrants and water
An umbrella-like, circular disc, at the apex of the stupa. Usually
made of stones, but wooden ones can be seen in some cave temples.
In Jain temples, four thirthankara statues (Chaumukha) are placed
together, facing the four cardinal directions, with their backs
towards each other. The four sides of the shrines were open and
mandapas were built on all four sides. Thus Jain temples could be
extended on all four sides.
These were decorative elements on the roof of Indian Islamic
structures. They were also called small pavilions.
An open structure with a dome supported by four or more pillars.
Chhatra means umbrella in Sanskrit. After the advent of Islam, tombs
were built and these tomb structures came to be called chhatris. n
A stupa is called a chorten, in Tibet and Ladakh. It started as a
mound where Buddha's remains were venerated and was later built in
various places, as a symbol of Buddhism.
A corridor or pathway that pilgrims use to walk around a shrine.
The courtyard in European monasteries, surrounded by a corridor.
Buildings erected by the Europeans in the colonies. At first, simple
English style buildings were erected in India that were later blended
with the Indian traditional architecture that gave rise to the
A construction technique where bricks or slabs of stone are kept one
on top of another, horizontally jutting out a little at a time, Arches
and domes were constructed using this technique. Since arches and
domes built this way are not very strong, large spaces cannot be
spanned with this technique.
The tomb of a Sufi saint is known as Dargah, in Persian. In Arabic it
is called Mazar. Once in a year, believers collect here in large
numbers and hold prayer services, etc.
Entrance gateway in Persian
The Islamic dynasties that ruled Delhi until the Mughal dynasty was
established. They came from Turkey and Afghanistan. It started with
the Slave Dynasty, went on to the Khalji Dynasty, followed by the
Tughlaq dynasty, then the Sayyed dynasty and ended with the Lodi
The shrine in an Orissa temple. At times the whole temple is called a
Public audience room The hall where the Muslim emperors gave audience
to low ranked officials and common people. It was also used as a
Private audience room The hall in Islamic palaces where the King gave
private audience to officials and dignitaries. Meetings were also
The ceiling and a roof created by placing bricks or cut stones in a
particular fashion and creating a big spherical space without
pillars. It came to India along with Islamic architecture. Before
that similar domes were constructed in India with corbelled
DOUBLE SHELL DOME
In Islamic structures, the dome and the ceiling are two separate
layers with a ceiling support, in between. As a result, the height of
the ceiling is perfect from the inside while retaining the majestic
appearance on the outside.
The language and people of the four south Indian states are called
Dravidians and they are different from the Aryans of the north. The
south style temple construction is also called Dravidian style of
Assembly Hall in a Buddhist Monastery during religious services. The
saint is deified in the front and the monks sit in a line and work, on
the opposite side. The ceilings are high and the light enters from the
The wife of Shiva who is worshipped independently. Also called
Parvathi, Uma, Gauree, Kali etc.
These are statues placed at temple entrances, to protect the shrine.
A Hindu temple in Bengal, which has only one tower.
The half room in a Hindu temple, in Bengal.
The main elevation of a building - usually the front elevation.
Semi-independent states, under the control of the British. It is said
that in 1927, there were 562 such states. The chief of these states
was generally called Maharaja. n Four Iwan style The Persian style
mosque has four iwans surrounding a courtyard and facing each
The large mosque, where all believers in the area gather. This is also
called the Jami Masjid (Friday mosque) or Jama Masjid.
At present in northwest Pakistan. Buddhist art, with a heavy influence
of Hellenic culture is prominent here. The architectural style of
monasteries was also developed here.
The river Ganges, is a holy river that is supposed to have the power
of purification. The sculptures of Ganga and Yamuna can be seen at
times on the entrance gateways of temples.
The sanctum sanctorum. In Hindu temples, statues of gods are deified
in a shrine.
A new Buddhist group in Tibet also called the Yellow Cap. Sionkpa
started it in the 14th century, as a rigid religion based on virtuous
conduct, but it was merged into the Kagyu group, in the 17th
century. The two groups coexist in Ladakh.
Stone steps usually leading down to a river, or a lake. They descend
in steps making bathing possible. Even if there was no temple near by,
the water source was a religious space.
The son of the first tirthankara, Adinatha. He is also called Bahubali
and is worshipped in south India. His gigantic statue has been
sculpted on a monolithic rock.
The Tibetan word used in Ladakh and Sikkim to mean temples or
monasteries. The monks and the young novice monks, live together,
self-sufficiently in the gompas.
In south India, a fence surrounds the precincts of a temple and tall
turret-like entrances are built on all four sides. These turrets are
called gopuras. Usually, they rise above the fence and are sometimes
as tall as 60 m.
It was started around the 18th century, in England, when Gothic
architecture of the Middle Ages was revived. At that time, architects
in India too, built colonial buildings with Gothic influences.
GOVERNOR GENERAL OF INDIA
The top-most official who ruled India for the British. At first he
was the head of the British East India Company, in Bengal, in 1774.
In 1834, he became the Governor General of the whole of India. In
1854, when the King of England also became the King of the Indian
nation, he became the royal representative and ruled by proxy.
God who looks after the cows. Another name for Krishna.
A dome in Persian. The tombs with a dome for a roof, also came to be
called Gumbad. The same is called Gubba in Arabic.
The cave temples of Orissa are called Gumphas.
The prayer hall and the surrounding buildings of the Sikh religion are
called Gurudwara. Guru means teacher and Gurudwara means a teacher's
house. Gurudwaras resemble the Mughal palaces in their architecture
and are usually painted completely white.
A box like structure on top of the stupa. On top of this, an
umbrella-like circular disc is erected
The bathing house in Mughal architecture, equipped with a steam bath.
A residence made of wood or stone, in Persian. The word corresponds
to the word mansion in English.
Is a culture that is a blend of the Grecian culture and the eastern
culture after Alexander came to conquer the east. The effect of
Hellenism spread from Gandhara to Kashmir, but there is not much
Brahmanism or the Indian religion. It would be more apt to call it an
aggregate of the life style, customs and thinking process of Indians
The architecture developed by the Hoysala dynasty in south India. It
was an in-between style with mature looking, step designs. There is
more than one shrine, with a star shaped plan and a profusion of
Any sculpted statue used in prayer, be it of a God, human or
animal. In India, statues are aplenty. Islam frowns upon idol worship
thus there are neither murals nor statues in a mosque.
Idgah is an outdoor prayer area, where all Muslims meet during the ID
festival. Along with the mihrab and minarets, the Quibla wall faces
The Sufi saint, Imam Hussain attained martyrdom in Karbala, in Iraq,
in the year 680. Since then, this day is celebrated in his
memory. Imambaras are used during the Muharram festival.
Many colonial style buildings were built during the British
era. Later, the traditional Indian style and the Mughal style were
incorporated into this. This blended style is called the
Irimoya is a type of roof style traditionally predominant in Japan,
where two sloping roofs are placed either parallel to each other or
angled to each other, with a small roof placed on top of them.
Islam means, "absolute obedience to the only God, Allah". Islam was
started by the prophet Muhammad, in Arabia, in the 6th century. The
religion came to India in the 11th century. In 1206, Islamic rule was
established in Delhi.
Iwan is an element of design from Persia. A large arched opening is
constructed on the fašade of the building and a square framework is
built around it, which is called, Iwan. It is a half open space with a
vaulted ceiling on the inner side of the arch.
The mandapa (prayer room in front of the shrine) in Orissa.
Mahavira started this religion with the doctrine of Ahimsa
(non-killing, non-violence) in the 5th- 6th century, BC. Most of the
believers are very rich businessmen, who have built many temples.
Stone latticework on walls and entrances through which, one could look
outdoors and let in sunlight and air. Usually 3 to 5 cm thick, with
arabesque or geometric patterns.
These are astronomical observatories built by Raja Sawai Jai Singh,
who was a Rajput chieftain and an astronomer.
This is a decorative window or projecting balcony made with a jali.
Generally Rajputs adopted this style.
The tirthankaras of the Jain religion were called Jina because they
have attained victory over worldly passions. Jaina is a person who
Hindu temples in Bengal with two banglas were called Jor Bangla. n
KAGYUPA A Buddhist group in Tibet, also called the Red Cap Group. In
the 11th century.
A legendary mountain where Shiva is said to be residing. Shiva
temples are built as an analogy to the mountain and were sometimes
The hall in south India, which was used for the wedding ceremony of
Temples in Kerala and Tamil Nadu are called kovil.
One of the incarnations of Vishnu, who advised Arjuna, through the
verses in the Bhagawad Gita. Krishna, known by many other names is
most adored in India, and his pictures and statues are aplenty.
The second in the hierarchy of the Hindu Varna (caste) system or
warrior class. The king and his soldiers were Kshatriyas. Buddha and
Mahavira were born Kshatriyas.
A Buddhist shrine in a monastery.
Kunds are reservoirs and tanks with steps, found mainly in west India
and south Karnataka. At times they were constructed inside the temple
A large building, in a Kerala temple complex that is used for
religious discourses, music, etc. Inside the structure is a stage that
resembles the Noa stage, in Japan.
The name of the halls in the Gompas of Ladhakh. Also a Mahayana
Buddhist temple in Ladakh and HP. There are various types of Lhakang
Linga is the symbol of Shiva. It is a phallus and is deified in Shiva
temples, as standing on a female genital organ. The worship of a Shiva
lingam continues from the days of the Indus Valley Civilization for
whom genital worship was a form of ensuring fertility and
Is an Arabic word meaning school, educational facility,
etc. High-level education based on the Quran is imparted here. Since
this system started in Arabia, the building is usually in the Arabian
style, with four iwans.
A large mandapa. When there are many mandapas in a temple, the main
mandapa is called the Maha Mandapa.
One of the two great epics of India, along with the Ramayana. It is
based on the 'Bharatha War' that took place around the 10th century
BC. Reliefs of scenes from the Mahabharatha can often be seen
sculpted on the walls of temples. This literally means the Great
King. The chieftains of Hindu feudal kingdoms were called Maharajas.
The Muslim chief was called a Nawab. Depending on the area, they were
called Maharana, Maharawat, Maharao etc.
The founder of Jainism. He is the 24th and the last in the line of
tirthankaras. Mahavira was born a prince, who left the house at the
age of 30, after long meditation became a Jina (victor) and at the age
of 42, started Jainism and came to be called Mahavira (Great warrior).
A stambha found in south India, in front of Jain temples. Usually, a
four faced Jina statue is placed at the very top. At times, statues
of Brahma, who is supposed to be the protector of the area, is also
found on top and it is then called a Brahma Deva Stambha.
The prayer hall right in front of the shrine. The basic construction
of a Hindu temple is 'shrine and mandapa style'. In large temples
there will be many mandapas and they will have their own names. gMaha
mandapa, Ranga Mandapa, Meghanath Mandapa, Namaskara Mandapa, Kalyana
Mandapa, Open Mandapa, Jagamohan.
Generally means temple, regardless of religion. Important buildings
and palaces may also be called thus.
A Persian word that means tomb or tomb gardens
People whose mother tongue is Marathi are called Marathas. Shivaji,
who was a Maratha, fought vehemently with the Mughals and formed the
Maratha Hindu kingdom. Later he fought three Maratha battles with the
A method of construction that uses stones or bricks piled one on top
of the other. In principle, it is the opposite of wood construction.
A Hindu monastery. A Buddhist monastery is called a Vihara n
Originally there was no custom of erecting tombs in India. It was
brought into India along with the Muslims and the Hindu Rajputs in
west India also adopted it. Mausoleum architecture is one of the
features of Indo Islamic architecture.
The Arabian city where Muhammed was born. The Quaba temple is the
centre of the Islamic world. All the mosques in the world face Mecca.
A large shrine seen in large Jain temples.
The architectural style of the Middle Ages, was a style that was a
blend of the style of North India and South India . It came to be
called the Vessara style. There are many examples of this style in
Niche in the Quibla wall designed in the mosque. It is built in the
direction of Mecca. Mimbar The platform near the central Mihrab in
the mosque. Usually, it is very decorative, with a roof and stairs.
This platform is used for preaching.
A tower attached to the mosque. From here, the believers are called
to come to pray for 'Azan'. At times these minarets stand
independently. It is also attached as a decoration on tombs and
Statue of an amorous couple. At times, in temples, couples in
intimate postures were sculpted, which was thought to bring good luck.
At times, it is found in Buddhist and Jain temples too.
Anything that has been sculpted out of one single rock, like a
stambha, etc. Rock cut temples are monolith temples.
The prayer house of Muslims. In Arabic, it is called Masjid, which
means the place to prostrate oneself. The main places inside the
mosque are the Quibla wall, Mihrab. Minaret, and the water jet to
A dynasty started by Babur in 1526, which later controlled most of
India. Mughal means Mongol and the Mughals are the blood descendants
of Ghenghis Khan of the Timur Empire.
The founder of Islam. Muhammed. He proclaimed himself to be
equivalent to Moses of the Jews and Jesus of the Christians. His name
was anglicised to Mahomad.
The face of Shiva sculpted on the Linga. It may be one face or many
faces. If four faces are sculpted then it is called Chatur Mukha
A follower of Islam. Most of the Indian Muslims belong to the Sunni
sect. Around Lucknow, there are more Shias.
A fence with a roof, that encloses the temple in Kerala. At times it
becomes a corridor with latticed walls.
Nagara means city or belonging to a city. It is an architectural
style of temples in north India.
A bull and a vahana (vehicle) of Shiva. Also found as a statue in
front of Shiva temples. At times independent Nandi shrines can also
One of the ten incarnations of Vishnu. He has the body of a human
being and the head of a lion. The main Narasimha Temple is located in
Ahobilam in south India.
The King of dance, also another name for Shiva. Usually seen in a
dancing posture. The Chidambaram Temple in the south is a famous
Hindu temples in Bengal that had nine small towers.
The main space inside Christian churches in Europe. Usually, there
are two rows of columns in the hall. Of the three spaces thus
created, the centre is called the main aisle and the sides are the
left and the right aisles.
The Governors who ruled the area on behalf of the Vijayanagar Empire.
As the empire weakened, the Nayakas became independent and formed
their own kingdoms. This era is called the Nayaka era (dynasty).
The restored style of old European, Greek and Roman
A cavity on the wall. A Mihrab is also a type of a niche.
Ultimate aim of Buddhists, final release from the cycle of
Temple architecture in India is broadly divided into the North style
and the South style. The shikhara or tower on top of the shrine in the
North style is vertical and strong. They can be classified as the
Orissa type, Khajuraho type, west India type and can also be called
the Nagara type.
The origin of the word is unknown, but Europeans called the Buddhist
stupa and tiered towers, pagodas. The five-storied tower of Japan is
also called a pagoda.
The Bengal temples with five towers were called Pancha ratna
A style where four shrines are added in the four corners of the main
shrine, thus creating five shrines. If three more shrines are added it
becomes an eight-shrine temple.
An art form that uses paper pulp and glue to create a shape. When dry
it is varnished and painted on. It is used to make household
A low wall is built on the roof to protect the ends of the roof and to
make it water proof.
The 23rd thirthankara who lived 250 years before Mahavira. It is said
that the Parshva religion was the predecessor of Jainism.
An arbor, or a summerhouse.
The structure with pyramidal roofs in Orissa temples, usually the
prayer hall. Pidha is the flat part from where the pyramidal tower is
built. It resembles the temple architecture of the south
India. Pillared hall A space with rows of pillars, usually found in
Arabian mosques. Since the construction of true arches and domes was
not known, most Hindu temples had large halls that were lined with
Plan usually means the floor plan of the building. The structure and
style of the whole building is also called plan.
A derivative from Sanskrit language that means doorway .
The entrance of a building. The roof is supported by the wall on one
side and two pillars on the other side.
The area around the entrance of a room or a building. Especially in
temples, the entrances of the mandapa and shrine have statues of
Dwarapalas and are sculpted and decorated with lively designs.
A corridor with pillars.
POST AND BEAM STRUCTURE
This is a style of trabeated construction where a beam is placed over
two pillars. Originally, it was a style used for wooden
constructions, but in India, this technique was adopted for stone
Circumbulatory or pathway around the shrine of the temples by keeping
time is a common form of prayer in India. This pathway made of stone
around the shrine is called Pradakshina path.
The tower at the entrance of an Egyptian temple. There have many
features similar to the gopura of South India.
The straight line facing Mecca is called the Quibla. The wall facing
Mecca in the mosque is called the Quibla wall. Believers pray facing
Actually called kur-an, it is the holy book of the Muslims, in which
the sayings of Muhammad that were given to him as revelations from God
were compiled after his death.
The fence that surrounds the circumbulatory around the
stupa. Originally built in wood, later this style was adopted in stone
fences that can be seen even today.
Rajputs, migrated from central Asia, during the 5th century, settled
in west India and blended with the locals. They were a warrior class
and established their kingdom in west India.
A very popular epic with Rama and Sita as the main characters. It has
been depicted profusely in paintings and sculptures. There are also
many temples dedicated to Rama, who is one of the incarnations of
Means a colourfully painted palace. It usually denotes the building in
the palace used for entertainment.
When there is more than one mandapa in a temple, the main mandapa is
called a Ranga mandapa. It is a place where people collect.
Forms a large part of Kutch in west India. It is a marshy swamp with
salty layers and cannot be used at all.
A wagon or horse carriage. The chariot used in temples to take God out
during festivities is also called a Ratha. At times, the shrine is
also called a Ratha.
In Bengal, the towers in the temple are called Ratna, which means a
An institutionalised tomb rather than a religious place. Most of them
are located in the middle of gardens or tomb gardens.
ROCK CUT TEMPLE
These are temples where huge rocks were sculpted from the top
downwards and the temple created, looked exactly like any other temple
made with masonry work. These are called rock cut temples, to
distinguish them from cave temples. Rococo The phase in European
architecture, after the Baroque, where there was a surplus of
This is a tile with an enamel design on top of it, made by baking
earthen slabs. These colourful designs are usually some holy writings
or arabesque patterns which are decoratively attached to a wall
Means lake and is usually used for man-made lakes.
Ancient India believed that any living being, regardless of caste,
would be reborn on the 49th day of their death. This was not
considered romantic, but was bondage and the main aim or ideal of the
religion was to cut the soul free from this bondage.
A pyramidal roof found in Gujarat, with countless small glass pieces
stuck on it. The special feature is that contrary to the square plan,
these are at an angle of 45 degrees.
Community or order of Buddhist priests, or Buddhist Monastery
Is a construction material mostly used in Karnataka. It is a fine
textured stone, green in colour that was easy to sculpt on. The
exterior is hard and it is also called crystal schist.
A broad brimmed hat used in places where there is a lot of rainfall
especially in south east Asian countries by farmers working in
The 5th emperor of the Mughal dynasty. He built many buildings like
the Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Delhi, Jami Masjid, Delhi, etc. Old Delhi was
previously called Shahjahanabad after him.
Devotee of Lord Shiva
A large group that put Ali, a family member of prophet Muhammad in the
rank of Caliph, are the Shia Ali (Ali school of thought) group and are
called Shias. The 12 Imam group forms the national religion of
Usually the roof of a shrine is made to look like a mountain, with a
tower formation. The whole edifice, including the shrine walls, is
called shikhara in north India. In south India, only the rounded
stone on the peak is called shikhara, which means mountain peak.
Shiva and Vishnu are the two main gods of Hinduism. Parvati (Durga)
is his consort. In Shiva temples, his symbol, Linga is deified. In
front of the Shiva temple a Nandi statue can be
The sanctum sanctorum in Kerala. They are usually square, round and
apsidal in shape. Sometimes oval shapes are also found.
A religion started in the 16th century, by Guru Nanak, mainly in the
state of Punjab, opposing the caste system in Hinduism. He took the
belief of one God and equality from Islam and blended Sufism and
Bakthi (belief in God) in his religion.
The architectural style of temples in the Middle Ages, can be divided
into the North type and the South type. The main feature of the
South style is that the towers on the shrine are made of horizontal
layers. This is also called the Dravidian style.
Stambha means pillars that are independent o the building and were
built as memorials. Emperor Ashoka built one in every area. Later,
Jainism in south India, adopted this feature and built Maha Stambhas
in front of their temples.
A Step-well, is a well, where steps lead down to the level of the
water. It is frequently seen in west India, where it is called a vav
and in north India, it is called a baoli. The step-wells built by
kings, were rich underground structures, so heavily decorated with
sculptures that they looked like palaces.
Stone monuments over earthen mounds, shaped like half domes, built in
India, in the olden days. These were developed specially by
Buddhists. The remains of Buddha were deified here and this custom
spread all over the country. In Tibet and Ladakh they are called
The head of the Islamic kingdom of the Sufi group was called Sultan.
Muslims are divided into two groups, the Shia group and the Sunni
group. Those who believe in abstinence and penance, which is a fairly
large group, are called Sunni.
The Sun God of India, from the Rig Vedic era. Surya Temples can be
found in Konark, Martand and Modhera.
A lake, pond etc., in Sanskrit is called a tadaka. In Gujarati it was
called talao, which means man-made lake. It was changed to tank which
meant reservoir, lake etc., and was incorporated into English language
Tanks in south India that are connected to the temple. During the
Teppam festival, statues of Gods are taken on a float to the middle of
the tank, where there will be a shrine, on an island.
Slabs of clay that are swifty carved on when they are still wet and
then baked in the kiln. They were used as decorations on the surface
of the brick temples in Bengal.
Mahavira was the founder of Jainism. Before him, there is said to
have been 23 thirthankaras and Mahavira is believed to be the 24th.
A holy place and pilgrim centre in India. It is usually on the banks
of a river. Tirtha means going from the world of daily life to the
eternal world. Usually pilgrim centres in India are located on the
banks of rivers or near the sea.
The royal tomb area of the Muslim and Rajput chieftains that were
developed as public gardens or tomb gardens.
A memorial entrance of pillars, beams and braces. Specially used as
the entrances to stupas, in Buddhist temples. It can be seen in some
middle age Hindu temples, too. In the earlier times, there must have
been wooden structures built as entrance gates of villages.
Pillar and beam construction style where a beam is placed across the
top of two pillars
A European architectural detail of lattice decoration around window
frames. It is similar to the Indian Jali'.
Shiva , Vishnu and Brahma, three Gods unified together make the
force of the universe. Can be seen at times in sculptures.
The semi-circular or triangular decorative wall surface on top of the
window or gable in European architecture is called tympanum.
A ceiling and roof constructed in masonry is called a vault. Islamic
constructions used many vaults and domes.
The sacred book of the Hindu religion. There are four Vedas, the Sama
Veda, Rig Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda.
The in-between style of south Indian architecture during the Middle
Vihara, in Sanskrit, means a long walk or a place to take a long
walk. Buddhist and Jain monks left their home and lived in cave
temples. The monks' quarters in these cave temples were called
The Vijayanagar dynasty was the last Hindu dynasty to rule India. The
architectural style of the Vijayanagar dynasty was different from that
of the Chola dynasty. Their main shrines were small and the
surrounding gopuras were huge. The sculptures were also complex and
had details of the Baroque style.
The main the architectural style of south Indian is called Vimana. The
word Moolaprasada is used in north India. Usually, there is a tower on
top of the garbhagriha (shrine).
In the Hindu religion, Vishnu along with Shiva, are the most important
Gods. With them as the patron, there is the Shaivaite group and the
Vaishnavaite group. Vishnu has 10 incarnations Rama, Krishna etc.
WEST COAST STYLE
In the long, thin state of Kerala, sandwiched between the Arabian Sea
and the Western Ghats, rainfall is plenty. Hence the wooden roofs on
the buildings here are sloping. This style is called the West Coast
Yazhi is a mythical beast, which looks like a lion with horns. It is
usually sculpted in a row on the base platform of the temple or at the
base of pillars. It is also called Vyala.
Harem, the ladies quarters in an Islamic palace. The men's quarters
were called mardhana.