Latina in Khajuraho
A seven-storey vimana
Homogeneous Shikhara (but with rathas) of the Lingaraja Temple in Bhubaneswar
The vimana of the Jagannath Temple at Puri in the Kalinga style of architecture
Golden shrine of Tirumala Venkateswara Temple
Vimanam and gopuram
Sirkazhi Temple vimanam
Tirunallur vimanam
Vimana, Mariamman temple, Bokkapuram village, Tamil Nadu, Mar '21

In typical temples of Odisha using the Kalinga style of architecture, the vimana is the tallest structure of the temple, as it is in the shikhara towers of temples in West and North India.

- Vimana (architectural feature)

In South India, the equivalent term is vimana; unlike the shikhara, this refers to the whole building, including the sanctum beneath.

- Shikhara
Latina in Khajuraho

5 related topics

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Elements in a Hindu temple architecture.

Hindu temple

Symbolic house, seat and body of divinity for Hindus.

Symbolic house, seat and body of divinity for Hindus.

Elements in a Hindu temple architecture.
The 9x9 (81) grid "Parama Sayika" layout plan (above) found in large ceremonial Hindu Temples. It is one of many grids used to build Hindu temples. In this structure of symmetry, each concentric layer has significance. The outermost layer, Paisachika padas, signifies aspects of Asuras and evil; while the inner Devika padas layer signifies aspects of Devas and good. In between the good and evil is the concentric layer of Manusha padas, signifying human life. All these layers surround Brahma padas, which signifies creative energy and the site for a temple's primary murti for darsana. Finally at the very center of the Brahma padas is the Garbhagriha (Purusa Space), signifying the Universal Principle present in everything and everyone.
Hindu temple sites cover a wide range. The most common sites are those near water bodies, embedded in nature, such as the Bhutanatha temple complex at Badami, which is next to a waterfall.
Ancient India produced many Sanskrit manuals for Hindu temple design and construction, covering arrangement of spaces (above) to every aspect of its completion. Yet, the Silpins were given wide latitude to experiment and express their creativity.
Chaturbhuj Temple at Orchha, is noted for having one of the tallest Vimana among Hindu temples standing at 344 feet.
The Golden Temple at Vellore is gilded with 1500 kg of pure gold.
Illustration of Chitrardha style of art work in a Hindu temple.
Jagannath Temple at Puri, one of Char Dham: the four main spiritual centers of Hinduism.
Dakshineswar Kali Temple, Kolkata
Bird's Eye view of one of the four Char Dhams, The Jagannath Temple at Puri, Odisha built using the Kalinga Architecture.
Saptakoteshwar Temple, Goa.
Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur, Kerala.
An aerial view of the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, from the top of the southern gopuram, looking north. The temple was built by the Pandyan Empire.
Pashupatinath Temple from the other bank of Bagmati river, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Art relief at the Hindu temple Banteay Srei in Cambodia.
The Besakih temple complex, largest Hindu temple in Bali, Indonesia.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Bali, Indonesia.
The Prambanan temple complex in Yogyakarta, the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia and the second largest Hindu temple in Southeast Asia.
Partially ruined Mỹ Sơn Hindu temple complex, Vietnam.
Sri Mariamman Temple, Bangkok
The 5th-century Ladkhan Shiva Temple, in the Aihole Hindu-Jain-Buddhist temple site, in Karnataka.
Plan of 5th-century temples in Eran, Madhya Pradesh.
The early 6th-century Dashavatara Temple in the Deogarh complex has a simple, one-cell plan.
1880 sketch of the 9-square floorplan of the same temple (not to scale or complete). For better drawings:<ref>Madho Sarup Vats (1952), The Gupta Temple at Deogarh, Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India, Vol. LXX, pages 49-51 Plates 1-3</ref>
Layout of Cave 3 temple of the 6th-century Chalukyan-style Badami cave temples
Plan of the 6th-century main-cave temple at Elephanta.
The Elephanta main cave is thought to follow this mandala design.<ref>{{cite book|author1=Carmel Berkson|author2=Wendy Doniger|author3=George Michell|title=Elephanta: The Cave of Shiva|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=_RYqq7um0hcC|year=1999|publisher=Princeton University Press (Motilal Banarsidass, Reprint)|isbn=978-81-208-1284-0|pages=17–21}}</ref>
A 7th century Chalukyan-style temple ceiling, also in Aihole.
Rani ki vav is an 11th-century stepwell, built by the Chaulukya dynasty, located in Patan. The stepwell remains well-preserved, but is partly silted over.
The Somnath temple in Gujarat was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt. Here it is shown in 1869, after having been ruined by order of Aurangzeb in 1665. These ruins were demolished and the temple rebuilt in the 1950s.
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple was destroyed by the army of Qutb al-Din Aibak in 1194 CE. Since then, it has been demolished twice (in the 1400s, and 1669 CE) and rebuilt four times (in the 1200s, twice in the 1500s under Akbar, and in the 1800s). Shown is the current 1800s temple, with the white domes and minaret of the co-located 1600s Gyanvapi Mosque in the background. The tonne of gold for the temple roof was donated by Ranjit Singh in 1835.<ref>{{cite book|url=https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.217371|title=The Sacred City of the Hindus: An Account of Benares in Ancient and Modern Times|author=Matthew Atmore Sherring|publisher=Trübner & co.|year=1868|page=51 }}</ref><ref name="Madhuri_2007">{{cite book|author=Madhuri Desai|title=Resurrecting Banaras: Urban Space, Architecture and Religious Boundaries|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=KdD3MYnYey8C&pg=PA30|year=2007|isbn=978-0-549-52839-5 }}</ref>
An 1832 reconstruction of the 1500s temple Akbar funded. James Prinsep based the reconstruction on the foundations of the Gyanvapi Mosque. Many Hindu temples were rebuilt as mosques between 12th and 18th century CE.
Ruins of the Martand Sun Temple after being destroyed on the orders of the Sultan of Kashmir, Sikandar the Iconoclast, in the early 15th century, with demolition lasting a year.
In the 14th century, the armies of Delhi Sultanate, led by Malik Kafur, plundered the Meenakshi Temple and looted it of its valuables; it was rebuilt and expanded in the 16th century.
Kakatiya Kala Thoranam (the Warangal Gate) built in the 12th century by the Kakatiya dynasty; the Warangal Fort temple complex was destroyed in the 1300s by the Delhi Sultanate.<ref name=re2000>Richard Eaton (2000), Temple Desecration and Indo-Muslim States, Journal of Islamic Studies, 11(3), pp 283-319</ref>
Artistic rendition of the Kirtistambh, a surviving portion of the 10-11th century Rudra Mahalaya Temple. The temple was partly destroyed by the Sultan of Delhi, Alauddin Khalji, in 1296 CE, with part converted into a mosque and further parts destroyed by Ahmed Shah I in the fifteenth century.
Exterior wall reliefs at Hoysaleswara Temple. The temple was twice sacked and plundered by the Delhi Sultanate in the early 14th century, and abandoned in the mid 14th century.<ref name="Bradnock2000p959">{{cite book|author1=Robert Bradnock|author2=Roma Bradnock|title=India Handbook|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=2hCFDsTbmhoC|year=2000|publisher=McGraw-Hill|isbn=978-0-658-01151-1|page=959}}</ref>
The 12th-century Mahadev Temple is the only Kadamba-period temple building to survive the Goa Inquisition.
The Ganesh temple of Hindu Temple Society of North America is the oldest Hindu temple in the Western hemisphere, in Flushing, Queens, New York City.
Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville, New Jersey, U.S., is the largest Hindu temple in the Western hemisphere.<ref name="World'sLargestHinduTempleNJ">{{cite web|url=https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/worlds-largest-hindu-temple-being-built-new-jersey-n166616|title=World's Largest Hindu Temple Being Built in New Jersey|author=Frances Kai-Hwa Wang|publisher=NBC News|access-date=April 23, 2019}}</ref>
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London, United Kingdom.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto, Canada.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Los Angeles, United States.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Houston, United States.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Atlanta, United States.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Chicago, United States.

Above the vastu-purusha-mandala is a superstructure with a dome called Shikhara in north India, and Vimana in south India, that stretches towards the sky.

Gopuram of Sri Mahamariamman Temple, a South Indian Koyil in Bangkok.

Gopuram

Monumental entrance tower, usually ornate, at the entrance of a Hindu temple, in the South Indian architecture of the Southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, and Telangana, and Sri Lanka.

Monumental entrance tower, usually ornate, at the entrance of a Hindu temple, in the South Indian architecture of the Southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, and Telangana, and Sri Lanka.

Gopuram of Sri Mahamariamman Temple, a South Indian Koyil in Bangkok.
Detail of a gopuram at Chennai
Sri Kailasanathar Temple gopuram in Tharamangalam, Tamil Nadu, India
Nataraja Temple gopuram artwork in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu
Thiruvannamalai Annamalaiyar Temple Gopurams
Annamalaiyar Temple, Thiruvannamalai
Murdeshwar
Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam
Srivilliputhur
Pariyur
Vadakkunnathan, Thrissur
Tiruchendur
Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram
Kancheepuram
Hampi
Tirumala
Kuala Lumpur
Annavaram
Simhachalam
Athi Koneswaram
Madurai
Nanjangud
Biccavolu
Chebrolu
Besakih, Bali
Toronto
On left is a gopuram, to the right above the sanctum is vimana
Thiruvananthapuram

Another towering structure located towards the center of the temple is the Vimanam.

The gopuram's origins can be traced back to early structures of the Pallava kings, and relate to the central shikhara towers of North India.

Vijayanagara style architecture characterized by Yali pillars at Vitthala Temple, Hampi

Dravidian architecture

Architectural idiom in Hindu temple architecture that emerged in the southern part of the Indian subcontinent or South India and in Sri Lanka, reaching its final form by the sixteenth century.

Architectural idiom in Hindu temple architecture that emerged in the southern part of the Indian subcontinent or South India and in Sri Lanka, reaching its final form by the sixteenth century.

Vijayanagara style architecture characterized by Yali pillars at Vitthala Temple, Hampi
The Annamalaiyar Temple in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu
Typical layout of Dravidian architecture
An aerial view of the Meenakshi Temple, Tamil Nadu, from the top of the southern gopuram, looking north.
Stone vel on a brick platform at the entrance to the Murugan Temple, Saluvankuppam, Tamil Nadu, 300 BCE-300 CE
The rock-cut Shore Temple of the temples in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, 700-728
Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal, Karnataka built in 740
The rock-cut Kailash Temple at Ellora
Doddabasappa Temple, Dambal, Gadag district, Karnataka
Srivilliputhur Andal temple
Detail of the main vimanam (tower) of the Thanjavur Temple-Tamil Nadu
A Dravidian architecture style pillar in Airavatesvara temple, Darasuram, Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu.
The Brihadeeswarar Temple (11th century), Tanjore has a vimana tower that is 216 ft (66 m) high, a classical example of Dravidian architecture. and The sikhara, a cupolic dome (25 tons), is octagonal and rests on a single block of granite, weighing 80 tons.
Symmetrical architecture on Jagati, Somanathapura, Karnataka
Virupaksha Temple at Hampi, Karnataka
Chera dynasty Style temple Layout
Vadakkunnathan Temple
Thirunelli Temple front view
Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple
Kandiyoor Sree Mahadeva Temple
Nallur Kandaswamy temple front entrance
Raja Gopuram of Nainativu Nagapooshani Amman Temple.
Yamuna Eri, a 15th-century pond in Nallur.
Corridor of Naguleswaram Temple
Mantri Manai, the remains of the minister's quarters of Jaffna Kingdom. It is built in a Euro-Dravidian style.<ref name="Rajadhani">{{Cite web |url=https://www.jaffnaroyalfamily.org/royalpalace.html |title=The Nallur Rajadhani}}</ref>

It is seen in Hindu temples, and the most distinctive difference from north Indian styles is the use of a shorter and more pyramidal tower over the garbhagriha or sanctuary called a vimana, where the north has taller towers, usually bending inwards as they rise, called shikharas.

Devotees offering prayers at the Garbhagriha in Chennakeshava Temple, Belur, which houses the icon of the god Vishnu.

Garbhagriha

Sanctum sanctorum, the innermost sanctuary of a Hindu and Jain temples where resides the murti of the primary deity of the temple.

Sanctum sanctorum, the innermost sanctuary of a Hindu and Jain temples where resides the murti of the primary deity of the temple.

Devotees offering prayers at the Garbhagriha in Chennakeshava Temple, Belur, which houses the icon of the god Vishnu.
Garbhagriha at Pattadakal with the Lingam icon of the god Shiva.

In the great majority of temples with a tower superstructure, a shikhara (in the north) or vimana (in the south), this chamber is placed directly underneath it, and the two of them form the main vertical axis of the temple.

A seven-storey vimana

Tala (Hindu architecture)

A seven-storey vimana

In Hindu temple architecture, tala is a tier or storey of a shikhara, vimana, or gopuram.