Difference between Nagara and Dravidian Style of Temple Architecture

Difference between the Nagara Style and Dravidian Style Temple Architecture is explained here in detail. This topic is important from the perspective of Indian Art and Architecture Syllabus for UPSC Civil Service Exam. Nagara style of temple architecture emerged in North India and Dravidian style of architecture evolved in South India.

Both Nagara and Dravidian styles of architecture emerged from the earlier style known as the Panchayatana style of architecture. Basically, their development can be divided into three stages. First, there were simple pillars and structures.

In the second stage, more carvings were added and the top part became heavy, so the pillars were also made more ornate. In the third stage, more decorations were added to the Shikhar (top part) and also to the pillars. The trajectory of growth was very complex in art. The difference between Nagara Style vs Dravidian Style Architecture given here can help the UPSC Civil Service exam aspirants to understand the basics better and know their comparisons thoroughly.

Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

Difference between Nagara and Dravidian Style – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

Difference between Nagara and Dravidian Style Temple Architecture

The major differences between Nagara vs Dravidian Style Temple Architecture are:

Nagara Style of Temple Architecture Dravidian Style of Temple Architecture
Temples located in Northern India are classified as Nagara Style. Temples located in Southern India are classified as Dravidian Style 
Nagara Style has multiple Shikharas The dravidian style has 1 single Shikhara.
In Nagara Style, there are multiple towers In Dravidian Style, it is always a single tower.
In Nagara Style, Central Tower is Curvilinear in shape In Dravidian Style, Central Tower is shaped like a Pyramid
In Nagara style, the most prominent element is the Shikhara In Dravidian Style, the most prominent element is the Gopuram.
In Nagara Style, at the entrance of Sanctum Sanctorum; Ganga and Yamuna rivers are depicted in personified form In Dravidian Style, the entrance has Dwarapalas.
In Nagara style, there is not much importance given to the temple boundaries In this style, temple boundaries are given high importance
In Nagara style, pedestals are higher than the ground. Pedestals are at ground level in the Dravidian Style.
In Nagara Style, deities are inside In Dravidian Style, deities are outside.

After learning about the Nagara Style and Dravidian Style differences, it is better to know the details of Dravidian Style of temple architecture, major temple architectures in India, Buddhist and Jain Architecture, cave architecture in Ancient India and style of architecture during Pallava Dynasty thoroughly.

Visit the below-given links to learn about the major temple architecture styles, Dravidian style, Buddhist and Jain style and Cave Architecture in Ancient India in detail along with other information. These are the main differences between Nagara Style and Dravidian Style of Temple Architecture.

The differences given in the above table can help the UPSC Civil Service Exam aspirants to answer any related questions easily in the exams.

UPSC Civil Service Exam aspirants should diligently study the NCERT Art, Culture, Literature and Architecture Notes, as it is an extremely important component of UPSC Civil Service Exam Syllabus.

Difference between Nagara and Dravidian Style – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2020.

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