Playing with Age limit

I know you all have read reports in newspapers regarding decreasing upper age limit for UPSC CSE. There are talks of making it to 26 for GE, 28 for OBC and 29 for SC/ST from 2015. Upper age limit for CSE 2014 is 32 years for GE, 35 for OBC and 39 for SC/ST. Actually it is 30/33/35 years but 2 years of grace period is provided for 2014 and 2015 due to drastic change in syllabus of mains examination.

I was shocked with the news and am sure you too. Specially shocking is the information that it will be applicable from 2015. Though government has earlier announced extra attempt in CSE 2015 for those who appeared in 2011. It plays literally with dreams of many aspirants who have worked hard for years but unlucky. We should not let it happen. Hindi medium aspirants protests have enough impact on 2014 prelims but at the cost their own loss.  I am sure many of protesting students would not have enough time to prepare.

Once Rajiv Gandhi tried to lower it to 26 years on recommendation of Kothari Commission but he had to retract because of strong protest and 30 yrs limit maintained. It is learnt that the decision was taken by DoPT in 2013 based on recommendation of 2nd ARC but government has kept the implementation pending. Probably it will be kept in pending for next many years as its implementation undoubtedly will invite wrath of many aspirants.

So let us not be distracted from such news until a confirmation comes from UPSC. If something like this happens, do not sit quite. We all are together.

Temple Architecture in South India

Four styles developed:

  • Dravidian
  • Vesara
  • Nayaka
  • Vijayanagara

In pallav school, temple architecture developed
Stage I – Mahendra group

  • Rock-cut architecture
  • Word Mandap is used instead of temple

Stage II – Narsimha group

  • Decoration in rock cut caves
  • Mandap now became rathas. The biggest rath was called as Dharmaraj Rath and small called Draupadi Rath
  • Dharmaraj rath was a precursor of Dravidian style

Stage III- Rajsimha group

Development of real structural temple. Ex. Shore temple at Mahabalipuram TN, Kailashnath temple at Kanchipuram.

Stage IV- Nandivarman Group

  • Development of small temple
  • Dravidian style continued

Dravidian Style of Architecture

Oldest Style of Architecture
Dravidian Style of Architecture

Shikhara is a crowning element at the top of the temple. It is shaped like an octagonal cupola. It is equivalent to ‘Amalak’ and Kalash of Nagara style of Architecture

Shikhar of Dravidian Temple

Entrance of the temple’s garbha griha has sculptures of Dwarpals gaurding the temple ( Whereas in Nagara style there are images of Mithun and river goddess Ganga and Yamuna are seen at entrance of Garbha Griha

There is only one Vimana in Dravidian (Unlike Nagara where there are multiple Shikhars ie also in subsiduary shrines).

Crucified ground plan and unraised platform is another feature

Brihadeshwara Temple - Tanjore

Ex. Brihadeshwara Temple at Tanjore, TN. It was built in 1011. Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple

Dravidian started during pallavas but flourished during the rule of Cholas

Functions of Temples

      Administrative centres
      Controlling vast areas of land in terms of revenue collection
      Centre of education

Chola Sculpture – Nataraj
Nataraja Sculpture

  • Upper right hand – holding drum: The drum represents sound, great sound from which all creations spring
  • Upper left hand- Eternal Fire: Represents destruction which is inevitable counterpart of creation – First destruction and then creation not vice verse
  • Lower right hand Raised in gesture of benediction (Abhaya Mudra) which reassures the devotee not to be afraid
  • Lower left hand points towards his upraised foot as the path of salvation
  • He dances on a small dwarf which represents ignorance and the individual ego
  • Mattled Locks indicate river Ganga which flows down to irrigate the earth
  • One ear has a male ring and another ring a female, symbolizing ardhanarishwar ( Fusion of male and female)
  • A snake is twisted around his arm representing Kundalini power. Kundalini power reaches in the human spine and when aroused represents consciousness
  • The Nataraj is surrounded by nimbus if light symbolising vast unending cycles of time

Nayaka Style

Famous example – Meenakshi temple @ Madurai. All the features of Dravidian style are present here along with an additional prominent feature called PRAKARMS .Prakarms are huge corridors alongwith roofed ambulatory passageways. Intricate carvings are seen all across the temple walls.
Meenakhsi temple constructed with initiative of Tirumalai Nayak in mid 17th century, hence called Nayak style

Vesara Style/ Chalukya style/ Karnataka Style

This style has features of both Nagara and Dravidian style. It consists of two principle components – 1. Vamana and 2. Mandapa
both joined by Antarala. It did not have covered ambulatory around sanctum. The pillars, door frames and ceilings are intricately carved.
Ex. Dodda Bassapa Temple at Dambal. Temples at Badami.
Developed in Mid 17th century

VijayaNagar Art

Some variations from Dravidian style in temple architecture:

  • gopuram now enlarged
  • High enclosure walls
  • More decorations
  • Sculpture of motif of supernatural horse frequently
  • The concept of secular buildings was also introduced by the Vijayanagar Empire – Ex Lotus Mahal

Pala School of art

  • Pala ruled in Bihar-Bengal region
  • Developed under Pata and Sen rulers
  • Eighth to twelveth century
  • Influence of Hindu and Buddhist
  • Focut on architecture and culture
  • The Architecture were fine finished
  • Figures were much decorated and well polished
  • Both stone and metal sculptures have been found
  • Even the stone sculptures appear as metal due to high polishing.

Rashtrakuta Art

  • Around eighth century
  • Successors of Chalukyas
  • Elephanta caves
    • Built in second half of 8th century
    • They are cave temples on island of Elephanta near Mumbai dedicated to Lord Shiva
    • Sculpture of trimurati representing 3 faces
  • Kailash Temple at Ellora

  • Kailasha Temple at Ellora

Hoysala Art

  • Developed in southern region in Karnatka esp Mysore
  • Period 1050Ad-1300AD
  • Multpile shrines are ground arond central pillared hall and laid out in shape of intricately designed store. Thus the ground plan is know as stellate plan
  • Hoysala Art - Ground plan

  • The temples are made up of soft soap stone – a good material for intricate carving
  • Both interior and exterior of the temple has intricate carving( Particularly in the jewelleries of God in temple walls)
  • Shikhara on each inner chamber, and radically modified by an arrangement of horizontal lines and molding which resolve the tower into an orderly succession of tiers
  • Temples were built upon an upraised platform of about a meter called Jagati. Jagati follows a star shaped design, and the walls of the temple follow zig-zag design

Nagar Style of Temple Architecture


Nagar School of Architecture

Skeleton of Nagara School Temple

  • Successor of third stage, so has all features of it.
      Pillared approach
    • Assembly hall
    • Covered ambulatory passageway
    • Shikhar
    • Garbha-grih – Sanctum Sanctorum
    • Upraised platform
    • Panchayatan Style
    • Square temples
    • Crucified ground
  • Absence of tanks in the temple ( Unlike Dravidian style)
  • Division of each wall into 3 vertical planes called rathas
  • Sculptures made in these three planes. All three as a whole are called Trirathas
  • Later Pancharatha, Saptaratha and even navratha planes originated
  • Prominent in Northern and Central part of India except peninsular India
  • Three sub-schools developed under Nagar Style – 1. Odisha school, 2. Khajuraho school, 3. Solanki School
  • Odisha School

    • Ex. Konark Temple in 13th century also called black Pagado -> gate of black sandstone.
    • Believe that during sunrise, first rays enter these pagoda
    • Jagannath Temple – Puri, Lingaraja Temple (1100AD)

    Unique features of Odisha School:

    • Exterior walls are lavishly decorated through intricate cravings but interior walls are plain
    • No use of pillars- Instead of pillars, iron gridders were used, to support roof.
    • Shikhara is called Deul and is almost vertical till the top when it suddenly curves sharply inwards
    • Shikhar of a Nagara School Temple

    Khajuraho School/ Chandel School

    Developed by Chandel Rulers. – 10th -11th Century

    • Both interior and exterior is lavishly decorated with intricate carving
    • Sculptures based on erotic themes on the walls of temple – is. based on Kamasutra
    • Do not have boundary walls
    • Have 3 elements :
      • Garbha Griha
      • Assembly hall
      • Portico – Veranda surrounded by Pillars
    • Shikharas also present in the subsidiary shrines( Gives impression of a mountain range)
    • Platform relatively high
    • Kandariya Mahadeva

    • Ex. Kandariya Mahadeva temple

    Solanki School

    Modhera Sun Temple

    Modhera Sun Temple

    In Gujarat by Solanki Rulers – ex. Modhera Sun Temple. Solanki were branches of Chalukya rulers

    • Massive rectangular stepped tank. On steps there are small temples
    • The walls of the central shrine are devoid of carving and are left plain as the temple faces east, and every year at the time of equinoxes, the sun shines directly into this central shrine
    • Delwata Temple - Nagar School

    • Ex. Dilwara temple in Mt Abu – Highest Jain pilgrimage

Golden Age of Indian Architecture – Gupta Age

  • Beginning of temple architecture and also reached its climax in the gupta age
  • Greatest development in caves were mural paintings
  • Guptas were Bramhanical by religion but they also showed their exemplary tolerance for both Buddhism and Jainism
  • Early Gupta period shows emphasis on Hindu art and later also Buddhist and Jaina Art, Buddhist Art reached its climax during this stage.
  • Under Hinduism, 3 deities were worshiped->
    • Vishnu -> Vaishnavas (Northern and central part)
    • Shiva – Shaivas (Southern part)
    • Shakti – In southern Malabar region and eastern India

Development in cave architecture took the form of cave paintings

Ajanta caves-

  • Near Auragnabad in Maharashtra
  • 29 caves discovered in 19th century(1829)
  • Period of development 200BC to 650 AD
  • Out of 29, 4 chaityas and 25 Vihars
  • They are carved on a perpendiculat cliff(unlike ellora which is on sloping side). As they are on perpendicular side, there are no countryyards
  • All three forms of art are combined in these caves – Architecture, sculpture and paintings – Mural painting

Techniques involved in preparing painting –

  • First step: A layer of clay mixed with cow dung and rice husks was first spread on the rough surface of the rock
  • Second step: A coating of lime plaster is done
  • Third step: Surface was kept moist until the color was applied. ( Hence they are called Fresco paintings)
  • Outlines are drawn in red color and then all colors are used except blue as it cant be obtained from the hills.

Theme : Inspired by Jataka stories

  • Chinese Buddhist traveler Fa-Hien and Hiuen Tsang refer to Ajanta in account of their travel to India
  • Out of 29 caves, 5 belong to Hinayana period and rest 24 belong to Mahayana period.
  • Cave number 16 is the most elegant architecturally

Famous Fresco paintings of Ajanta:

  • Dying princess
  • Flying apsara
  • Preaching Buddha

Ellora Caves

  • Has 34 caves
  • These caves are associated with all three religion unlike Ajanta
  • 17 caves – Hinduism Dominant , 12 – Buddhism and 5 – Jainism
  • excavated or craved out on sloping side of hill, hence most temples have courtyard
  • Cave no 10 is a chaiyta dedicated to lord Vishwakarma, indicating its dedication to patrons saint of craftsman
  • Cave 14 – Ravan ki Khai
  • Cave no 15, Dashavtaram cave
  • Cave 16 – Kailash Temple is architectural wonder as it is craved out of monolith (Kailash leni)
  • Ellora has even triple storied caves – Ajanta has only double storied

Jain caves

  • Indra Sabha
  • Jagannath Sabha( smaller than Indra Sabha. Same techniques of painting used that is mural and fresco painting

Bagh cave

  • Near Bagh river in MP, there is 9 Buddhist caves dated around 6th century AD similar to Ajanta caves.

Junagadh Caves

  • In Gujarat
  • Main feature – UparKot that is citadel.
  • Uparkots are 30 to 50 feet high. Artificial platform connected by staircase to the hall

Nasik caves

  • 25 Buddhist caves belonging to Hinayan perion dated around 1st century AD called as Pandav Leni . Spiritual presence of Buddha denoted by thorn and footprints.

Mandapeshawar caves

  • Dated to 8th century AD
  • Only Brahmanical cave converted into a christian cave


  • One new school was added that is Sarnath school
  • As name suggest – developed at Sarnath
  • Use of cream color sand stones
  • Nakedness was lacking- more dress and properly covered
  • Halo is more decorative
  • Even metal sculptures were developed during this age – eg. Sultanganj Buddha (7.5 ft in height)


  • less number of stupas constructed
  • Best example – Dhamekh – Stupa near Sarnath

Temple Architecture

  • Temple architecture began and also reached at its climax during Gupta age
  • Development occurred in 5 stages

First Stage:

  • Flat roof temples
  • Square Temples
  • Shallow Pillared approach at the front
  • On low platforms
  • eg – Temple number 17 in Sanchi

Second Stage:

  • Continues – Flat roof, square, pillared approach – not shallow
  • Now on high or upraised platforms
  • Covered ambulatory around the sanctum sanctorum
  • Even instances of 2 storids temples are found
  • Ex. Prabhavati Temple in MP

Third Stage:

  • Continued – square temple, pillared approach, High platform or covered ambulatory
  • Flat roofs not seen
  • Low and square Shikhars(curve-linear tower
  • Introduction of panchayatan style of temple making
  • Ex. Dashavatara temple at Deogarh(UP), Durga temple at Aihole, Karnataka
  • Nagar style is successor of Third stage of temple making

Fourth Stage:

  • Rectangular temples
  • Rest all features continued
  • temple at Solapur

Fifth Stage:

  • Circular Temples with shallow rectangular projects
  • Rest all features continued
  • Ex. Maniyar Math at Rajgir