Page 1

HINDU TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE AS THE BASE FOR RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE IN KERALA CONTEXT

Submitted by

ACHUTH.H A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements For the Degree of Bachelor of Architecture

Holy Crescent College of Architecture

Mahatma Gandhi University Kottayam

2017

i


Holy Crescent College of Architecture, S.Vazhakulam, Alwaye

CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that the dissertation work titled “Hindu temple architecture as

base for religious architecture in Kerala” is a bonafide work of Achuth.H, under my guidance, submitted as Semester VII & VIII subject for the award of “Degree of Bachelor in Architecture” during the term of 2013 to 2018 through Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam.

Ar. Neetha Mohan.C

Dean

ii


Holy Crescent College of Architecture, S.Vazhakulam, Alwaye

DECLARATION

I, Achuth.H, hereby declare that this dissertation entitled “Hindu temple architecture as base

for religious architecture in Kerala� is the outcome of my own research study undertaken under the guidance of Ar. Neetha Mohan.C, Professor at Holy Crescent College of Architecture, Cochin. It has not previously formed the basis for the award of any degree, diploma, or certificate of this Institute or of any other institute or university. I have duly acknowledged all the sources used by me in the preparation of this dissertation.

Achuth.H Date: 28-04-2017 Place: Vazhakulam

iii


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I express my sincere gratitude to my guide Prof. Ar.Neetha Mohan and our dissertation coordinator Vishnu Prakash, Holy-Crescent College of Architecture, South-Vazhakulam, whose valuable support and guidance helped to make this dissertation a success. I would also use this opportunity to express my thanks to all our faculty members of Holy-Crescent College of Architecture, for their valuable inputs towards this Dissertation. I would also like to express my gratitude towards Ar.Vivek.Vashista, Ar.Manoj Madhu and Ar.Inesh.V.Archary for helping me with their valuable support thought out the process of dissertation. I take this opportunity to extend my thanks to Travencore Dewasom Board Director and his office for providing me with all the data required for completing this dissertation. I am also thankful to all my friends and classmates who helped me in all stages of my dissertation. I am also thankful to my father, mother and all my family members and to the God almighty for the blessings.

iv


ABSTRACT Kerala is a state located in the southern part of India on the Malabar Coast. It has a population more than 33 billion people and has a spread around 15005 sq. m .It is a peninsular region sharing its boundaries with Tamil Nadu and Karnataka on East and North respectively. Kerala is divided into 14 districts with its capital at Trivandrum. Some of the major cities in Kerala include Kochi, Trivandrum, and Kozhikode. Before independence, Kerala was ruled by princely States of Travancore, Venad(also known as Kochi) and Malabar, under the British Empire. Kerala is with its 94% literacy rate is one of the most advanced society of India. The official language of Kerala is Malayalam, but there are other prominent languages such as English, Tamil, and Hindi. With the Arabian Sea in the west, the Western Ghats bordering in the east, Kerala experiences unique geographical features. A long shoreline with serene beaches, stretches of backwaters, networks of rivers, Lush hill station, exotic wildlife, Waterfalls, Sprawling plantation and paddy fields, Enchanting art forms, Historic and cultural monuments, all of which offer a unique experience. The Architecture of Kerala is unique .It is in contrast to Dravidian architecture which is normally seen in other parts of South India. The architecture of Kerala is influenced from Vastu Shastra. The, Thachu-Shastra, Manushyalaya-Chandrika etc. are the architectural sciences that have a strong impact in Kerala Architectural style. The Style has been derived from Kerala's climate and historic influences of traders like Chinese, Arabs and Europeans. Kerala is an abode of religious places of Hindu, Christian and Muslim faiths. A large number of Hindu temples in Kerala are managed by Devaswom Boards. Exquisite sculpture, wood work, murals, etc., of temples, mosques and churches bring in a large number of tourists. Both Christianity and Islam came to Kerala long before they were introduced in other parts of India. Unique architectural pattern of the temples, mosques etc. attract large number of people to the state every year.

v


LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: Different Elements related to temple complex ..................................................................... 13 Table 2 : Different Elements related to Church complex .................................................................. 30 Table 3: Comparison between different features of different religious spaces................................ 38

vi


LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1: METHODOLOGY-STUDY PROCESS .............................................................................. 2 Figure 2 : Example for Middle Phase Temple Figure 3: Entry Gopura to Peruvanam Shiva Temple........................................................................... 6 Figure 3 : Image depicting Three-storied structure................................................................................ 6 Figure 4 : Model of a Temple Complex -Tirukulashekarapuram ........................................................ 6 Figure 5 : Main Entry towards the temple Complex Figure 6 : Back side entry to the second level of temple complex ...................................................... 7 Figure 7 : Paintings seen on the columns Figure 8 :Annakottil of the Temple......................................................................................................... 7 Figure 9 : Main Sree-kovil Complex (in elevated platform) Figure 10 : Circumambulatory Space around the temple ...................................................................... 8 Figure 11 : Layout of the temple .............................................................................................................. 8 Figure 12 : Back side Entrance to temple Complex Figure 13: Main Entrance of the Temple Complex .............................................................................. 9 Figure 14 : Other Minor Deities Around the temple complex Figure 15 : The Mathrushala of the Temple .......................................................................................... 9 Figure 16 : Universal Design (Steps and Ramps) ................................................................................. 10 Figure 17 : General Temple complex..................................................................................................... 15 Figure 18 : Aalthara as seen within Temple Complex ......................................................................... 17 Figure 19 : General plan of Mosques ..................................................................................................... 20 Figure 20 : Essential features of a basic Mosque Structure ................................................................ 21 Figure 21: Tharathangadi temple Mosque, Kottayam ......................................................................... 23 Figure 22: Talli Shiva Temple Gopura , Kozhikode ............................................................................ 23 Figure 23 : The Kannur Mosque symbolizes the slow transit from Kerala style to Persian style with additions of Minarets ....................................................................................................................... 25 Figure 24 : The Cheraman Mosque, originally built in Kerala style, which was renovated recently to give Arabic touch ................................................................................................................................. 25 Figure 25: Pazhaya surianni Palli ,Chenganoor..................................................................................... 27 Figure 26 : General Church layout, West Facing Entrance ................................................................ 28 Figure 27 : General Church layout, South Facing Entrance ............................................................... 29 Figure 28 : A Syrian Church with a mixture of East Syrian and Kerala architecture...................... 32

vii


Figure 29: The Kadamattom Church near Muvattupuzha, is one of the oldest churches built in Kerala style ................................................................................................................................................. 33 Figure 30 : The assimilated Syrian style in Kerala architectural patterns .......................................... 34 Figure 31 : Syrian Orthodox church in Chengannur : built in Kerala style with a Stone Lamp ... 34 Figure 32 : St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church or the Cheriya Pally church, typical Kerala design ..................................................................................................................................................................... 35 Figure 33 : Typical brass oil lamp as seen in Hindu Temples ............................................................ 36 Figure 34 : Colorful Altar similar to Mural paintings .......................................................................... 37 Figure 35 : Dwajastambam(Flag Post ) as seen in Hindu Temples. .................................................. 37 Figure 36: Elevation Details of Different Religious buildings ........................................................... 39 Figure 37 : Mosque at Varkala Figure 38 : St.John's Metropolitan Cathedral, Tiruvalla ...................................................................... 40 Figure 39 :St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church, Kottayam Figure 40 : Ganapathy Temple, Kottarakara ........................................................................................ 40 Figure 41 :Tharathangadi temple Mosque, Kottayam Figure 42 :Talli Shiva Temple, Kozhikode........................................................................................... 41 Figure 43 :Mar toma Church,Kothamangalam Figure 44 :Balllikallu at a temple complex............................................................................................ 42 Figure 45 :Vadakunathan Temple,Thrissur Figure 46 : Pallikara Church .................................................................................................................... 42

viii


TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgement………………………………………………… Abstract…………………………………………………………… List of Tables……………………………………………………… List of Figures………………………………………………

Chapter 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7

Background Study Aim Objective Methodology Scope Limitation Research Questions

Chapter 2 2.1

Introduction …………………………………..

Religious Architecture …………………………………..

Hindu Temples

2.1.1 Classification of temples in India 2.1.2 Phases of Evolution (a) First Phase (b) Second Phase (c) Middle Phase (d) Final Phase

2.1.3 Case Study –Thrikoor Temple,Trissur 2.1.4 Concept behind Temple Zoning (a) Sthoola Sharira (b) Sookhsma Sharira

2.1.5 General Temple Layout 2.1.6 Temple Complex 2.1.7 Main features of Temple Complex (a) Sanctum Sanctorum (b) Second Enclosure (c) Third Enclosure (d) Fourth Enclosure (e) Other main elements

ix


2.2

Mosque Architecture

2.2.1 2.2.2 2.2.3 2.2.4 2.2.5

Phases of Evolution: Establishments of Mosques Mosque Architecture Concept behind Mosque building General Mosque Zoning Main Features of Mosque Complex (a) Minara (b) Mihrab (c) Musalla (d) Wudhu Tap

2.2.6 Traditional Mosque: Influence of Hindu architecture 2.2.7 Literature Study : Jamaat Palli,Kuttichira 2.2.8 New Mosque in the Townscape

2.3 Church Architecture 2.3.1 2.3.2 2.3.3 2.3.4 2.3.5 2.3.6 2.3.7 3

Concept behind Churches Origin of Churches in Kerala Architecture of Churches General Church Layout Church Concept Traditional Churches : influence of Hindu Architecture Literature Study : St.Mary’s Church , Kottayam

Analysis 3.1

Concept behind Churches

3.1.1 Elevation Details 3.1.2 Similar Elements/Features 4

Conclusion

5

Bibliography/Reference

6

Annexure

x


xi


1. CHAPTER 1 Introduction 1.1 Background Study Religion, throughout human history, has been the inspiration for brilliant and luminous works of literature, philosophy, sculpture, painting and architecture. From the sands of ancient Egypt to the streets of modern day Barcelona, sacred traditions are embodied, expressed and preserved in places of worship and pilgrimage. This research act as a guideline or a base for designing a common platform for different religions where they could showcase artefacts , and related items that reflects its importance and religion values. The study is to look into the aspects of influences that different religion has done in the field of architecture (specifically to place of worships and religious buildings).

1.2 Aim To explore, analyze and compare the architectural features that defines the experience of different religion in Kerala context and thus defining Hindu architecture as the base for religious architecture.

1.3 Objective 

To study the spacial characteristics and concepts involved in designing of religious spaces.

To do a detailed study on Hindu Religious architecture under different period and list down various related parameters.

To study the essential requirements such as zoning, layout, architectural elements, scale etc. required for various religion.

To study the similarities and dis similarities of different religions with respect to Hindu Architecture in the realm of architecture.

1.4 Methodology

1


1. Selection of particular religions and associated region for analysis and study 2. Analysis of essential elements from different religion 3. Conducting background study on the evolution and history of the specific religion on the selected region 4. Literature study, case studies and data collections of various elements in relation with religion 5. Compilation of different architecture data obtained from various studies 6. Study of different similarities and dis-similarities between different religions. 7. Classification and listing down guidelines for developing a new platform

Figure 1: METHODOLOGY-STUDY PROCESS

2


1.5 Scope 

The detailed study on Hindu Temple Architecture helps in defining an architectural link of Hindu Temples with other religions religious space.

With the study of different zoning layouts, the research helps in defining the religious identity of different religion in respect to the architectural features and elements.

It also helps in developing an architectural way of interpreting a common platform that can act as a link between different religions.

1.6 Limitations The study is confined to region of Kerala and covers only 3 prominent religions.

1.7 Research Questions The main purpose of this research is to understand that there exists a common guideline in designing the religious space which is reflected from Hindu temple Architecture. The research is guided by the following research questions 

On what basis can we define that there exist a relation between Hindu temple architecture and other religious architecture?

How can we develop a common platform for different religions with respect to their customs?

3


2. RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE 2.1 Hindu Temples The Temple worship is associated with evolution of mankind. For the Early tribal people, they conceived the idea of god as an entity based on nature and environment which could both protect and destroy them. This thought made them worship elements of nature such as Sun, Rain, fire, animals, Plants etc. Later in the course of time, the modes of worships had a slight shift towards spirits, Indian mythology and historic\legendary heroes and people who attained divinity. There is no recorded history as to when and by whom the temples in Kerala were built. Many ancient temples are believed to be constructed by Lord Parasurama. It is believed that temples even date back to 5000 years old. Even though it is believed that Temples in Kerala existed before Christian era, records of temples date back to 8th century onwards. The survey on temples done by archeology department of Kerala government divides the temples into three distinct phases of construction. They are early period (800-1000AD), Medieval Period (1001-1300AD), and Late Period (1301-1800AD).Kerala temples were not confined to the title of worship, but were also centers of arts and cultural institution. Art forms like koothu, koodiattom, mudiettu, mohiniattom, kadhakali etc. were a part of temple culture. Also ritual art forms like Kalamezhuthu, theeyathu, etc. were also categorized under temple arts.

2.1.1 CLASSIFICATION OF TEMPLES IN KERALA There are five classes of temples in Kerala. 1. A village temple ("Graama Kshethram") in every village; 2. A "Desa Kshethram" in every "Desam", within a village; 3. Family Owned temples, where their family deity is worshipped. 4. Sacred groves ("Kaavu"); 5. Transplanted deity temples ("Kudiyiruthukal").

4


2.1.2 PHASE OF EVOLUTION The temple architecture can be divided into three phases.

2.1.2(a) The first phase Rock-cut temples: This is one of the earliest forms and is derived from the idea of Buddhist cave temples. These types of temples are mostly prominent towards the South-Eastern side of Kerala. Initially the idea of cave temple in India was brought in by the Buddhists. And the technique of rock-cut architecture in Kerala seems to be continuation of similar works in Tamil Nadu under Pandya's. All the Rock-cut temples were said to have constructed before 8th century .The Thrikkoor Shiva is an example of such Temple built in the 8th century.

2.1.2(b) The second phase The structural temples: Developed during the 8th and 10th centuries, These temples had a single shrine (also known as Srikovil). In most cases a porch (mandapa) is seen attached to the shrine. A namaskara mandapa which is usually detached from the main structure is built in front of the Shrine. A circumambulatory area known as nalambalam encloses the Srikovil.Other main elements of such temples include the namaskara mandapa, balikkal etc. is a part of the plan developed during this phase.

2.1.2 (c) The middle phase There are four functional doors on all the four cardinal direction and windows to provide subdued light in the passage. At times Pseudo doors can also be seen instead of functional doors. Storied temple concept comes under this phase. Peruvanam Siva Temple is an unique example of three-storied temple (lower two stories of square plan and the third stories of octagonal form).

5


Figure 2 : Example for Middle Phase Temple

Figure 3: Entry Gopura to Peruvanam Shiva Temple

Figure 3 : Image depicting Three-storied structure

2.1.2(d) The Final Phase Emerged during 1300-1800 A.D. Complexity in design details were achieved during this phase. The Vilakkumadam, (structure fixed with rows of oil lamps) is added beyond the Nalambalam as an outer ring. The balikallu is also enclosed within a pillared structure. A deepastambham (the lamp post) is added in front of the balikkal mandapam.

Figure 4 : Model of a Temple Complex -Tirukulashekarapuram

6


2.1.3 The Thrikoor temple: Case-Study

Figure 5 : Main Entry towards the temple Complex

Figure 6 : Back side entry to the second level of temple complex

The temple is in multiple layers. The entrance is thought a Gopura leading towards a colorful multi-pillared Anakottil/hall with a Dwajasthamba in front of it. The main temple complex is at a higher level with steps leading to it. There are also another set of crude steps leading to the other shrines on top of the hillock. There are other shrines around the circumambulatory path and below the main temple complex.

Figure 7 : Paintings seen on the columns

Figure 8 :Annakottil of the Temple

7


The sanctum sanctorum is within a cave on a hillock. Extensions have been made to include an Artha Mandapa and a Nada with steps leading to the main shrine. Apart from this, the rocks also hold the office block and other shrines. This temple is an ASI protected monument.

Figure 9 : Main Sree-kovil Complex (in elevated platform)

Figure 10 : Circumambulatory Space around the temple

Trikkur is situated on the shores of the Manali River, around ten kilometers from Thrichur. The Trikkur Temple is located about 200m above the sea level. In this temple, Lord Shiva is seen as a majestically beautiful deity, and is over six feet tall and is over two feet wide.

Figure 11 : Layout of the temple

8


The Garbha-Griha is located within a cave. The cave opens out towards the north. In front of the sanctum sanctorum is a Namaskara mandapa which is carved out of rock. The diety of thetemple faces East direction but the devotees get to see only the right side of the Linga.

Figure 12 : Back side Entrance to temple Complex

Figure 13: Main Entrance of the Temple Complex

On the West side of the temple, Lord Ganapathi is seen engraved on the wall. On the East side lies two Dwarapalakas respectively. The floor which is rock, and the Namasakara Mandapa, which is constructed from sixteen rock pillars have a large number of beautiful carvings on them. Towards the North of the temple is a hall where Saraswati Pooja and Chakyar Koothu are conducted during Navraatri and Utsavas respectively.

Figure 14 : Other Minor Deities Around the temple complex

Figure 15 : The Mathrushala of the Temple

9


Figure 16 : Universal Design (Steps and Ramps)

2.1.4 CONCEPT BEHIND TEMPLE ZONING According to Viswakarmaneeyam, a famous treatise on architecture, the temple concepts are divided into two (i)

Sthoola Sarira (gross body)

(ii)

Sookshma Sharira (subtle body).

The interior darkness of the `Garbha Graha’ (inner chamber of sanctum sanctorum) symbolizes the mystery of the universe .The dim burning light there represents the spirit behind the veil of mystery. 2.1.4(a) STHOOLA SARIRA According to this concept, the Garbha Graha corresponds to the head of the deity. The Arthamandala (the space where Bali Peetas of deities are located) His face .The Namaskara Mandapa (where Vedic chanting is done), His throat or neck .The inner Pradakshina Vazhi and Nalambalam together [inclusive of Yagasala (where vedic sacrifice is done), Thidappalli (Temple kitchen) etc – otherwise known as Anthahara] his hands. The Vilakkumadam and the area within

10


the outer Balikkallu, his belly. The Maryaada or the outer wall as knees .The Gopura (tower at the entrance of a temple) his feet. In short, each space within the outer wall of the temple represents the body part (Sthoola Sarira) of the principal deity.

1: Temple as Body of deity (Sectional view)

2 : Temple as Body of deity (Plan view)

11


3 : Temple as Body of Deity (Elevation View)

12


Akathe Balivattom

Girbha Graha

Head of the deity

Anthar-mandala

Face of the deity

Namaskara Mandapam

Neck of the deity

Chuttambalam or Nalambalam

Hands of the deity

Vilakkumadam and Purathe Balivattom

Belly of the deity

Maryada or Outer-wall

Knees and Ankles of the deity

Gopura

Feet of the deity

Table 4: Different Elements related to temple complex

2.1.4(b) SOOKSHMA SHARIRA The concept is related to the idol is based on Aadhara Chakras mentioned in yogic literature. They are Mooladhara Chakra, Swadhishtana Chakra, Manipooraka Chakra, Anachatha Chakra, Aajna Chakra and Sahasrara Chakra. These Chakras are centers of vital force. The various units of the Prathista (idol) symbolize these Chakras.

13


2.1.5 GENERAL TEMPLE LAYOUTS

2.1.6 TEMPLE COMPLEX The temple complex of Kerala follows the Pancha Prakara Concepts. Pancha Prakara means five enclosures around the Sanctum Sanctorum. According to this concept the temple premise is divided into: 1. Inner most part (Akathe Balivattom) 2. Second enclosure (Chuttambalam /nalambalam)

14


3. Third enclosure (Vilakkumadom) 4. Fourth enclosure: where all secondary deities are placed (Sivelipura) 5. Outer wall (Maryada or Puram Mathil)

Figure 17 : General Temple complex

2.1.7 MAIN FEATURES OF TEMPLE COMPLEX 2.1.7 (a) SANCTUM SANCTORUM (Sree-Kovil) This is known to be the most sacred structure of temple complex. The Presence of god is believed to exist here. The Sree-Kovils are categorized into 5 types based on their plan shape: (i)

Square

(ii)

Rectangle

(iii)

Circular

(iv)

Elliptical

(v)

Apsidal.

The basic structure of Sree-Kovil is mainly divided into three parts: 1. Garbha-Griha This is where the deity is placed in a raised platform. It forms the center of the Sree-Kovil. 2. Sopanam This is the steps that lead to the Garbha-Griha. This is placed in front of the Garbha-Griha and is developed in the odd numbered steps. The Sopanas are differentiated into two types: (i) The one with direct flight of steps (ii) The one which has lateral entries 3. Namaskara Mandapa

15


This is an open space with stone columns supported by wooden roofs. It is usually smaller than the Sanctum-Santorum. This although, is not an essential feature of the temple complex but is seen in most of the temples. This space is where people can submit their offerings , poojas are done .

2.1.7(b) SECOND ENCLOSURE (Chuttambalam/Nalambalam) This is the structure that contains Valiambalam, Thidappalli, nilayara, sub-shrines, store etc. The main enteries to the nalambalam is called Valiambalam. Thidapally which is a part of Nalambalam is usually located towards the North-East or North of Nalambalam and is used as storage and kitchen space of the temple. According to Vasthu Sasthra, Thidapply is located at the Northeast side of Nalambalam,( position of the Agni Devatha).

2.1.7(c) THIRD ENCLOSURE (Vilakkumadam) This is the outer structure with fixed lamps. This area is not prominently seen in all temples but is present in all major and large temples. This area is studded with lamps made up of iron or brass and is lit up during the evenings and on special occasions.

2.1.7(d) FOURTH ENCLOSURE (Sivelipura) This is the outer zone in the temple complex. This zone houses Valia Balikkal and other subsidiary deity, outer circumambulatory area, flag post, Koothambalam, etc. It is the area between the Third enclosure and the compound wall.

2.1.7(e) OTHER MAIN ELEMENTS (i)

BALIKALLU :

Valia Balikkal is at the front of the main entrance of the deity. The position of the Valia Balikkal is at the prescribed distance from the centre of the Sree Kovil. Bali peeta is a platform for offering to the deities. (ii)

FLAG POST (Dhwaja-Sthamba)

16


Dhwaja Sthambha is erected in front of the Sree Kovil. It is believed that worshipping the dwaja is equal to worshipping of the main deity of the temple. Also it is a custom to hoist a flag in the Dwaja-stamba when the temple festivals have started. (iii)

TEMPLE THEATER (Koothambalam)

Koothambalam is the large hall constructed in front at the right side of the principal deity where various temple arts such as Koothu, Koodiyattam, Ottamthullan, Krishnattom, Kath kali etc. are performed.Basically it is a performance center for developing arts and folks related with temple. (iv)

OOTUPURAS(Dining Hall)

In all the important temples, there are Oottupura or dining hall with attached kitchen. Formerly, it was used to serve food to Brahmins and devotees on festival days. (v)

TEMPLE PONDS

(vi)

AALTHARA

It’s a raised platform usually seen in front of temples. This is a platform usually built around a banyan tree. This area is also used as a space for social activities.

Figure 18 : Aalthara as seen within Temple Complex

17


2.2. MOSQUE ARCHITECTURE

The word ‘mosque’ means masjid in Arabic. A mosque is a religious gathering place for prayer for Muslims. Masjid means “place of prostration.” Though it is said that most of the five daily prayers prescribed in Islam can be done anywhere, all men gather together at the mosque for the Friday noon prayer. Other than religious purpose, the mosques are also used in for other functions like study, socializing space, recreational zones etc. Certain Mosques acts as centers of learning, some mosques become places where jurist give out judgments. In most of places Mosques also act as Kitchens were food is served for poor and needy. Some mosques even act as hostel for students. In all major cities there exist a main mosque which is used as gathering space of men for Friday prayers ,such a mosque is called a Jami masjid, literally meaning “Friday mosque,”. The style, layout, and decoration of a mosque reflect the Islam culture in general but also it can give information on the period and region in which the mosque was constructed. The Architecture of mosque in Kerala doesn’t reflect the features of Arabic style nor the IndoIslamic architecture as seen in other parts of India. The Mosques of Kerala was mainly constructed by the same local craftsman who built in temples and houses. Most of the old mosques in Kerala resemble the traditional building of that specific region. The Arabic tradition of simplicity of plan with the blend of vernacular and traditional construction techniques brought in a new style of Mosque architecture unique to Kerala. The typical Kerala mosques are seen around Northern Kerala as well as in most old Muslim settlements.

2.2.1 PHASE OF EVOLUTION: ESTABLISHMENT OF MOSQUES Islam reached into Kerala five centuries before its spread over North-India. It had more early converts in Kerala before anywhere after Arabia. This is because of the proximity of the coastlines and Islamic Trade links. Arabs traded spices to other parts of world from Kerala during this time. A number of them set up residences in Malabar as well and it’s through them that Islam reached Kerala. According to legends, Malik-ibn-Dinar (contemporary Prophet)

18


landed at Kodungaloor in 642-643 AD and influenced Cheruman Perumal who was the then ruler to convert into Islam. Malik-ibn-Dinar was the first to build the mosque in Kerala. This was followed by eleven more along the coastal side. These are some of the oldest to be established in the Islamic world. Islam spread in Kerala through the migration from Arabs and gradual conversion of the native population. It was during this time that the Arabs flourished their trades and started to develop settlements .Along with developing their settlements, they started building in Mosques .Mosque Architecture in Kerala reached its peak between 13-16th century along the Malabar Coast.

2.2.2 MOSQUE ARCHITECTURE In plan the mosque comprises of a large prayer hall with a Mihrab on the western wall and covered verandah all around. Generally it has a tall basement and often the columns are treated with square and octagonal section as in mandapa pillars. The arch form is seen only in one exceptional case for the mosque at Ponnani. Wood is used for the construction of ceiling and roof. The roof is usually covered with sheets of copper. The pulpit in the mosque present the best example of wood carvings associated with Islamic architecture of Kerala Structures are coming up all over Kerala in the modification of old mosques during the last decades.

2.2.3 CONCEPT BEHIND MOSQUE BUILDINGS At first the structure of mosques was simple. It had similarities of residences constructed by the prophets. The basic structure comprises of a large enclosure with an open portico at one end and roofed with palm leaves or similar materials. It did not have a dome, minarets and cloisters. The plan for mosque came out of the Middle East. There were a large number of buildings, mostly halls, around an open court yard just like the traditional Nalukettu residences. Access was through steps leading to an open area where water was available. The entrance and opposite end where the Mihrab was located could be roofed more elaborately with domes and other conspicuous structures. Minarets were placed at convenient points. The scriptures ordained that they should accord protection from sun and rain, but specifically prohibited over ornamentation and shown structures when designing a mosque.

19


Indian indigenous style of architecture was different in form which a mosque is required. The mosque architecture in Kerala did not show any features of the Arabic or Indo-Islamic style of architecture. They are simple buildings with tiled roofs, large prayer halls covered verandah all around, tall basements, walls made of laterite blocks.

2.2.4 GENERAL MOSQUE ZONING

Figure 19 : General plan of Mosques

20


2.2.5 MAIN FEATURES OF MOSQUE COMPLEX Main part of a mosque is a vast open quadrangle enclosed on three sides by cloisters or arched cells known as Sahn. On the western side there is a large hall for congregational prayers knows as Liwan.. Right to Mihrah, there is the Mimbar from which the Imam delivers the sermon (Khutba) or leads the prayer.

Figure 20 : Essential features of a basic Mosque Structure

2.2.5(a)MINARA It is the Arabic term for Minaret. It is a distinctive architectural structure akin to a tower and typically found adjacent to mosques. Minarets are used as focal point and functionally used for the Muslim call to prayer. It is a high tower attached to the mosque itself. The size and shape of minaret may be square, spiral or cylindrical. The call to prayers (Tahkbir) is given from the top of minaret so that it could be heard to greater advantage 2.2.5(b)MIHRAB \ QIBLA (PRAYER NICHE)

21


It is a semi-circular niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the qibla; that is, the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca and hence the direction that Muslims should face when praying. The wall in which a mihrab appears is thus the "qibla wall." In the mosques situated to the eastern part of K’aba, on the western wall there will be an arched concave recess to indicate the direction of Mecca or representing stairway to Heaven. 2.2.5(c)MUSALLA A musalla is an open space inside or outside a mosque that is mainly used for praying. The words are derived from the verb meaning "to pray�. This is the largest space where the prayer mats are laid and prayers are offered. 2.2.5(d)WUDHU TAP \ HAUD POND Wudhu is the Islamic procedure for washing parts of the body (hands, mouth, nostrils, arms, head, and feet) using water. It is outside the Musalla (hall) that the tank with full of water for washing oneself before entering the Liwan is placed.

2.2.6 TRADITIONAL MOSQUE: Influence of Hindu Architecture The traditional Mosques in Kerala are different from those in the imperial and provincial IndoIslamic styles through the sub-continent. Religious Architecture in Kerala has its roots from domestic traditions. In Kerala the Mosques take its form from an architecture evolved from local climate, material, culture and traditions of crafts. Local artisans well versed with the craft constructed mosques under the instructions of Muslim religious heads. Their requirements were functional and simple. The existing model for place of worship was temple gateways (gopuras), theater hall (koothambalam) and hence these features were adapted into the new religion. A traditional Mosque in Kerala comprises of rectangular prayer hall with a mihrab on the western wall and enclosed verandahs on the sides that serve as a spill-over space. The front verandah is used as a transition space .This leads to the front hall, in front of the main prayer hall. Along the edge of this there is a pond (water-body). The entire structure is raised on tall plinth, similar to that of temple. The walls are made of laterite blocks and then lime plastered. The tile roof has elaborately carved gables. The structural system for the halls is of timber post, beams and brackets. Often the columns are square or octagonal as in mandapa pillars. Usually Ship builders were the sculptors for the mimbars in most mosques.

22


Figure 21: Tharathangadi temple Mosque, Kottayam

Figure 22: Talli Shiva Temple Gopura , Kozhikode

23


Most of the notable mosques on the Malabar cost are in Kozhikode, Malapuram, Thalassery and Cochin. Built about centuries ago their extant form is a result of periodic repairs and reconstruction as in case with timber construction.

2.2.7 LITERATURE STUDY: Jamaat Palli –Kuttichira In Kuttichira, centered on the Kuttichira tank there are several mosques, all traditionally built in timber. Even though the most famous Mosque here is the Mishkal Masjid, this case study is on the Friday mosque adjacent to it known as Jamaat palli. The Building is in close proximity with the common water tank. Smaller in size than the Mishkal Mosque, the Jamaat mosque is directed in the orientation of mecca.

The front porch is marked by a heavily carved gable. The ceilings are designed using timber with geometric and calligraphy on them. The Jammat Mosque has two number of wells of which one is situated inside the prayer hall. The mosque is designed in a way that it reflects the vernacular architecture of Kerala with its gabled roof and central courtyard systems.

2.2.8 NEW MOSQUE IN THE TOWNSCAPE:

Replacement and

Renovation of traditional Mosques. In recent times, a number of traditional mosques have been replaced or reconstructed. Also, many new mosques have been constructed and many are in concept development stages, most of which are made using modern materials like RCC, brick, glass etc. The architectural language of these mosques has no resemblance with traditional one nor is there an attempt to create an alternative modern astatic expression. Built using arbitrary mix of disproportionate elements, painted in garnish colors, they kind of resemble marriage halls or shopping complex rather than

24


places of worships. The only features of spiritual functions are the minerets and arches which neither belong to local tradition nor are expressions of possibilities of new construction. In towns and cities, domestic and indigenous architecture is also getting formatted in the same loud manner in sharp contrast to the scale and structure of traditional low -key character.

Figure 23 : The Kannur Mosque symbolizes the slow transit from Kerala style to Persian style with additions of Minarets

Figure 24 : The Cheraman Mosque, originally built in Kerala style, which was renovated recently to give Arabic touch

25


2.3. CHURCH ARCHITECTURE 2.3.1 CONCEPT BEHIND CHURCH Church is a religious building used for public Christian worship. It may even be a particular Christian organization, typically one with its own clergy, buildings, and distinctive doctrines. But this is not the biblical understanding which is more a body of believers than anything else. The word ‘church’ comes from the Greek word ekklesia which means ‘an assembly’ or the ‘called-out ones’. For all Christian believers, the church is the body of Christ, of which He is the head. The ‘body of Christ’ is composite concept, They are: 1. the universal church consisting of all those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as they believe that they obtained Salvation through faith in Him 2. the local church with a body of believers attached to it. The members of the universal church should seek fellowship with local believers for learning and practicing their faith through a local church.

2.3.2 ORIGIN OF CHURCHES IN KERALA It is believed that Christianity was introduced to Kerala by Thomas the Apostle, who visited Kerala in 52 AD to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some historians argue that Christianity was brought into Kerala by Thomas of Cnana, who was a trader and who landed in Kodungallur by 345 AD from Syria accompanied by a large group of Christian believers. There is a small section of the present day Christians in Kerala who consider themselves as the pure descendants of those came with Thomas of Cnana. On the other hand there is a larger section of believers who claim direct descend from, those who were originally converted by Apostle Thomas from Indians. There were also conversions to Christianity during subsequent periods and through the efforts of missionaries. The advent of the Portuguese in the 16th century gave a boost to the growth of Christians in Kerala under Roman Catholic missionaries, the most significant one being St. Francis Xavier. As several European missionaries also came to Kerala the non-Catholic Christian population also grew both in number and diversity.

26


2.3.3 ARCHITECTURE OF CHURCHES The general concept on the design of churches is based on the three crucial periods in the life of Jesus Christ (i)

the Baptism,

(ii)

the Public Life

(iii)

the Crucifixion.

Liturgically these are expressed in (i) the Baptismal Font (ii) the Pulpit and the Altar, and (iii) the Tabernacle. This concept was clearly adopted in the design of early Christian churches. Later, churches became a general space in which various elements were met together. The church architecture of Kerala evolved from the Christian immigrants from Syria and the missionaries of European settlers. But, during the early period some of the temples worshipped by the Hindu converts might have been used as churches. The historical references to the incident of Vasco-da-Gama entering a temple at Kozhikode by mistaking it as a church, and the old relics of Hindu temples kept at Palur church, are some of the examples to cite. Earlier church buildings had only a rectangular hall. Later the sanctuary (madubaha) and nave (haikala or palliyakom) were included. Gradually, church buildings were done following the Kerala style of architecture. The Kadamattom Church in Kolencherry of Ernakulam district is one of the oldest churches in Kerala, built in Kerala style.

Figure 25: Pazhaya surianni Palli ,Chenganoor

27


Syrians who had migrated to Kerala had brought some of the West Asian conventions in church architecture. Consequently churches have begun to be built in a distinct architectural style. Another visible change in church style took place from the period of the Portuguese in India who adopted Roman and Gothic styles. The first church that built in that new style was the St. Francis Church, Cochin, which is considered as a model for the later construction of churches. However, modern architectural trend shows new plans and structural shapes in designing a church complex. Even then the Orthodox and Jacobite churches mostly adhere to their traditional designs only.

2.3.4 GENERAL CHURCH LAYOUTS

Figure 26 : General Church layout, West Facing Entrance

28


Figure 27 : General Church layout, South Facing Entrance

29


2.3.5 CHURCH COMPLEX Unlike temples of Kerala, there is no standard layout for the churches of Kerala. Many are designed according to their traditions. Generally, a church complex has religious structures such as granite cross, sthambhas, baptismal font, altar, alcoves for icons, belfry, drum house, church pond, kurusupally, cemetery, etc. Open air granite cross

Dipasthambham (Pillar of lights)

Dwajasthambham (Flag Staff)

Madubaha (Sanctury)

Nave (Palliyakam)

Altar and Pulpit

Roopakoodu (Alcoves for icons)

Baptismal Font

Belfry (Bell tower)

Kottupura (Drum House)

Oottupura (Dining hall)

Natakasala (Theatre)

Ayudhappura (Armoury)

Kurusupally

Church Layout

Table 5 : Different Elements related to Church complex

(i) Open Air Granite Cross An open air granite cross is known as Kalkurissu, in Malayalam, which is erected in front of the church close to road. It is erected on a carved granite base having vertical shaft topped with horizontal bars forming arms of the cross. A winged cross has two bars (one short and one long) and four arms.

(ii) Dipastambham Dipasthambham is found in ancient churches. It is similar in the form and function as that in Hindu temples in Kerala, but with a cross at the top.

(iii) Madubaha (Sanctury) The area around the altar is known as Madubaha or sanctuary which is considered as holy because of the deemed presence of God. In certain churches the sanctuary is separated from the nave by a small partition, may be a set of railings or a curtain or both.

(iv) Nave (Palliyakam) Nave is a long central part or main body of a church that extends from the entry to the ‘chancel’ (the space around the altar).

30


(v) Altar and Pulpit ‘The Holy Mass’, the most sacred of all the performances in a church is staged at the Altar. It is here that the priest stand and perform and the Mass. Pulpit is the raised stand beside the Altar where the priest stands to preach to the community. The Altar and the Pulpit usually covers the entire eastern part of madubaha. Sacred objects intended for rituals are kept on a cup-board at the back side of the Altar duly decorated with icons or other carvings.

(vi) Alcove for Idols (Roopakoodu) Roopakkodu is a small area formed by part of the wall being hollowed, for keeping statues and icons of saints. It could even be in a wooden gopuram with or without glass sides.

(vii) Baptismal Font ‘The baptismal fonts are basins used for carrying out be sacrament of Baptism

(viii) Belfry (Bel-Tower) Belfries or bell towers were simple structures in the past, but now it has gained height. Bell towers contain bell or bells that ring to inform the time of worship, to call together people for special events, etc.

(ix) Dining Halls (ootupuras) As in the Hindu temples, Oottupura is a dining hall for holding cordial feast.

(x) Kurusupally (nerchappally) Kurusupally or Nerchappally is a small chapel built in front of the church on the road side where devotees can offer cash or candles.

31


2.3.6 TRADITIONAL CHURCHES: Influence of Hindu Architecture History suggests that the first followers of Christianity came from Persia. According to the Byzantine monks, Kerala had churches by 10th century A.D. They also played a significant role in trade and commerce. The buildings of the Syrian Christians were similar to the native architecture.

Figure 28 : A Syrian Church with a mixture of East Syrian and Kerala architecture.

Syrian Culture had practiced building their churches in traditional Kerala style, which reflected the temples of Kerala. The Syrian Church in Chengannur has been built in Kerala style with stone lamps, and is a mixture of Kerala Christianity with native architecture. But original Syrians who had migrated to Kerala had brought with them some of the West Asian conventions in church architecture. Consequently, churches with regular chancel and nave began to be built and there evolved a distinctive style of church architecture. The features of this style were the ornamental gable facade at the nave end, surmounted by a cross. A grand porch in front of the nave was also seen. The baptistery was a small chamber inside the nave. Belfries were built on side of the nave.

32


Figure 29: The Kadamattom Church near Muvattupuzha, is one of the oldest churches built in Kerala style

There was no uniformity or fixed layout for churches of Kerala, like the Temples. But the churches had a different perspective to architecture according to various number of experimentation of new designs. Still most of churches share several common features. The church had a gable roof extending to the most sacred part of the church. The tower over the chancel soared higher than the roof of the nave similar to the shikhara over the garbhagriha in a Hindu temple.

33


Figure 30 : The assimilated Syrian style in Kerala architectural patterns

The outside features retained some of the features of the Hindu style. The church and the ancillary buildings were enclosed in a massive laterite wall. Similar to the concept of Balikallu ,there was an open cross in front of the main entrance on a basement . A church also had the flag mast, (the dwajastambha) in front. In the Orthodox Syrian church at Chengannur, Peter and Paul occupy the place of dwarapalas, the guarding deities of a Hindu shrine. Sometimes a gateway like the temple gopuram with a kottupura or music room on the upper storey was also provided.

Figure 31 : Syrian Orthodox church in Chengannur : built in Kerala style with a Stone Lamp

34


Wood carving and mural paintings similar to that of temples are seen to be used in ancient churches. Figures of angels and apostles are motifs of mural paintings.

2.3.7 St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church,Kottayam : Literature-Study

Figure 32 : St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church or the Cheriya Pally church, typical Kerala design

St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church or the Cheriya Pally church, is an old Syrian church in Kottayam. The architecture design of this church is unique, reflecting the local culture and style of Hindu temple worship. The combination of the Hindu tradition and Christian is an important feature of this church where one can see niches for the oil lamps which are common in Hindu temples. There is big brass oil lamps used in the church.

35


Figure 33 : Typical brass oil lamp as seen in Hindu Temples

The front part of the church shows the influence of the Portuguese style of architecture. The features that draw the attention of the visitors are religious murals on the walls. There is a tall thick pole made of brass similar to the Dwajasthambam or as found in the Hindu temples. Lamps are lit in the church as in the Hindu temples. All along the corridor, there are brass lamps like the vilakkumadoms.

36


Figure 34 : Colorful Altar similar to Mural paintings

Figure 35 : Dwajastambam(Flag Post ) as seen in Hindu Temples.

37


3. ANALYSIS 3.1 COMPARISON OF HINDU TEMPLES WITH CHURCHES AND MOSQUES

From the Above study, it is quite visible that both the traditional Churches and Mosques had an architectural influence of Hindu Temples. This may be because of the geographic features, the local craftsmanship and related factors. The basic elements of all religious structures remain same. The base model is normally circular, square or rectangular plain shapes with a ribbed roof formulated from functional consideration. The most distinctive visual form of Kerala architecture is the long, steep sloping roof built to protect the walls and to withstand the monsoon. The science of Vaastu plays a very important role in developing the different styles of architecture. The basic concept is that, every structure built on earth has life, which is shaped by its surroundings. The most important science which Kerala has developed is Thachu-Shastra (Science of Carpentry) as the availability of timber was abundant and the use of it.

Table 6: Comparison between different features of different religious spaces

38


3.1.1 ELEVATIONAL DETAILS: It is quite evident that the Hindu Temple architecture had a great impact on carving out the guideline for developing Religious architecture at that period. Most of the traditional religious buildings like the mosques and churches had certain features that were similar to Hindu Temples. The slopping roofs, use of wood and clay tiles etc. were some among them. This influence was prominent during that time because these buildings were done by the local craftsmen who practiced Temple architecture and because of the indigenous material availability.

Figure 36: Elevation Details of Different Religious buildings

39


3.1.2 SIMILAR ELEMENTS/FEATURES: From figures 37 and 38 it is quite evident that there is a link between the different religious buildings of Kerala. It is seen that the minarets, which is a feature of the Muslim Mosque architecture is also seen in a Church Complex.

Figure 37 : Mosque at Varkala

Figure 38 : St.John's Metropolitan Cathedral, Tiruvalla

From Figures 39 and 40 , Flag Post also known as Dwajasthamba is seen in both Hindu Temple complex and Christian Church Complex. Thus, emphasizing the impact of the influence of Hindu architecture.

Figure 39 :St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church, Kottayam

Figure 40 : Ganapathy Temple, Kottarakara

40


Figures 41 and42 shows that the elevation details of traditional Mosques were similar to that of Hindu Temples of that period. This is because of factors like the local craftsmanship, Materials, climatic features etc. This proves that the traditional mosque architecture was evolved from the Hindu Temple architecture.

Figure 41 :Tharathangadi temple Mosque, Kottayam

Figure 42 :Talli Shiva Temple, Kozhikode

A ballikallu is usually seen in front of the sree-kovil of temple where devotees can keep their offerings. In figures 43 and 44, it is quite prominent that the feature of Ballikallu was also part of Church complex.

41


Figure 43 :Mar toma Church,Kothamangalam

Figure 44 :Balllikallu at a temple complex

From figures 45 and 46, the deepastamba or the lamp-post which used to be a feature of the Hindu Temple complex also forms a part of the Christian Church architecture. This proves that there exists a link between Hindu architecture and Christian architecture.

Figure 45 :Vadakunathan Temple,Thrissur

Figure 46 : Pallikara Church

42


4. CONCLUSION From the study and analysis, it is evident that there exist a relation between Hindu architecture and the other religious architecture. The first religion to gain its prominence in Kerala was Hinduism and hence the first religious space to come up was Hindu Temples. Hindu Temple architecture during those period gained popularity as they were one of a kind and were unique to Kerala. Later as the other religions sprouted out, the guidelines of building a religious space was taken in reference from the Hindu Temple architecture. This was done mainly because, the religious building that came up during those periods were done in by local craftsman who constructed the residences and temples, so they would leave their signature architecture in all the buildings they constructed. Also it can be seen that not only the architectural features were taken in from Hindu Temple architecture but also certain features of Hindu temples such as Deepasthamba, Dwajastamba, Balikallu were also taken into other Religions architecture both in form and function. Later there was a shift of this custom, and the other religious spaces stated mocking in features from outside the state .Mosque buildings started to bring in influences of Indo-Islamic and Persian characters into their religious spaces. The plans which were square or rectangular in shape started to get converted into octagonal and ir-regular shapes. The church buildings that reflected Hindu Temple architecture got either renovated or reconstructed into new and better ones with characters derived from western architecture. The elevations of the Church buildings got refurnished into churches that reflect the characteristics of churches from Rome, Germany etc. But it is seen that this shift took place a few years back, until then all the major religious buildings of Muslim and Christian communities had some elements related to architecture in them .This can be seen even now in few Churches and Mosques which have been conserved from renovation .This in turn is enough to prove that Hindu Temple architecture was the base for religious architecture in Kerala context.

43


Bibliography / References 1. Research Papers: (a) “Religious architecture: Theology and symbolism of church building” (b) “Construction Practices in Traditional Dwellings of Kerala”, lndia,Jacob Joseph Koduveliparambil (School of Architecture McGill University, Montreal May 1997) (c) “LIGHTING AND SPATIAL STRUCTURE IN RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE: a comparative study of a Byzantine church and an early Ottoman mosque in the city of Thessaloniki “(Theodora Antonakaki The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, UCL) (d) “The architecture of New Mosque in Kerala” , Smita Dalvi(AIKTC School of Architecture,Mumbai) (e) H. Sarkar, Monuments of Kerala, 1973 (f) Soundara Rajan , K.V, Temple Architecture in Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, 1974.

2. Websites: (a) http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Architecture_of_Kerala (b) http://www.keralatemples.net/classification.html (c) http://www.keralawindow.net/workship.html (d) http://www.kamit.jp/05_wooden/6_kerala/ker_eng.htm (e) http://vastusastra.info/vastu_guidlines.aspx

3. Books: (a) Traditional Architectural Forms of Malabar Coast by Dr.Ashalatha Thampuran (b) Traditional Kerala Architecture by Boney Philip (c) Glimpses of Architecture in Kerala by Ramu Katakam

44


45

Architecture Dissertation 2017  

Hindu Temple architecture as the base for religious architecture in Kerala

Architecture Dissertation 2017  

Hindu Temple architecture as the base for religious architecture in Kerala

Advertisement