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Friday, September 30, 2022

History on ‘stones’ doesn’t lie

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The sanitized version of history and fictitious folklore of Hindu culture is no longer a revelation for every citizen. The colonial era blessed us with distorted facts that made us despise our existence. In the name of the history, we were being taught about how weak civilization we inhabited in the past.

The folklore of many dynasties have been heard and documented so far which says that many rulers came by and ruled over on us again and again. Many were killed and raped and who were left? either killed each other or accepted the other religion. The truth is the identity crisis we are thriving upon is based on irregularity and plagued with narratives.

Hindus have given birth to great Kings who were expansionist and warrior per se. from Kanishka to Cholas, many dynasties were there to rule for 1000 years. Yet, we are taught of mughal’s valor.

The considerable researches have been carried out recently on the structures which were spared by Britishers or tyrants. The evidences of hindus being an expanded civilization bringing robust emperors are now visible.

Temples and KINGS

The earliest temple structures were not made of stones or bricks, which came much later. In ancient times, public or community temples were possibly made of clay with thatched roofs made of straw or leaves. Cave-temples were prevalent in remote places and mountainous terrains.

Historians say Hindu temples did not exist during the Vedic period (1500–500 BCE). According to historian Nirad C. Chaudhuri, the earliest structures that indicate idol worship date back to the 4th or 5th century CE. There was a seminal development in temple architecture between the 6th and the 16th century CE. This growth phase of Hindu temples charts its rise and fall alongside the fate of the various dynasties that reigned in India during the period—majorly contributing and influencing the building of temples, especially in South India.

Hindus consider the building of temples an extremely pious act, bringing great religious merit. Hence, kings and wealthy men were eager to sponsor the construction of temples, notes Swami Harshananda, and the various steps of building the shrines were performed as religious rites.

The Chalukyas (543–753 CE) and the Rastrakutas (753–982 CE) also made major contributions to the development of temple architecture in Southern India. The cave temples of Badami, the Virupaksha temple at Pattadakal, the Durga Temple at Aihole, and the Kailasanatha temple at Ellora are standing examples of the grandeur of this era. Other important architectural marvels of this period are the sculptures of Elephanta Caves and the Kashivishvanatha temple.

During the Chola period, the South Indian style of building temples reached its pinnacle, as exhibited by the imposing structures of the Tanjore temples. The Pandyas followed in the footsteps the Cholas and further improved on their Dravidian style, as evident in the elaborate temple complexes of Madurai and Srirangam. After the Pandyas, the Vijayanagar kings continued the Dravidian tradition, as evident in the marvelous temples of Hampi. The Nayaks of Madurai, who followed the Vijayanagar kings, hugely contributed to the architectural style of their temples, bringing in elaborate hundred or thousand-pillared corridors and tall and ornate ‘gopurams’, or monumental structures that formed the gateway to the temples, as evident in the temples of Madurai and Rameswaram.

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