Pallava Architecture

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Pallava Architecture

The caves and temples of the Pallava days have a very refined stone-cutting and engraving. The temples of Kanchi are the best examples of the art of architecture of the Pallavas.

The five chariots of Mahabalipuram have been named after the five Pandavas which are Shiva temples. The Sahadeva, Dharma Raja and the Bhima Rathas have a roof like that of a pyramid having three stories and window niches.

The Arjuna Ratha in very simple and has the influence of southern architecture. The Draupadi ratha is in the square shape and appears to be like the modern temple built of ordinary bricks. All these rathas are said to belong to the Mamalla style which was in vogue between 625 and 674 A.D. Narasimhavarman is said to have founded the Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) city.

The Mahindra style of 600 to 625 is the first style of the cave temple of Mahendravarman I. Mahindra had introduced the cave style after having borrowed it from Krishna district.

A few paintings of the Jaina Pallava have been found at Sittanavasal but they were later on given up.

The third style of Pallava architecture is known as the Raja Singha style which is evident from some temples of Kanchi and Mahabalipuram. The Kailash temple of Kanchi with its tower like a pyramid and the mandapam having a flat roof is the best example of this deviation.

The fourth and the last known style of the Pallavas is Aparajita style of 900 A.D. This art has a close relationship with the Chola style.

Dr. Smith opines, ‘the work begun by the Pallavas was continued by the Cholas and the art of the Chola period was the continuation of that of the Pallava times.’

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