(Medieval Indian History) Religious Movements, Literature and Architectural Features 800 - 1200 AD
Religious Movements and Beliefs (8020 – 1200 AD)
Buddhism: Buddishm was gradually confined to eastern India. The Pala rulers were patrons of Buddhism and with their decline, Buddhism lost royal patrongae. The rise of Mahayanism and its deviation from the teachings of the Buddha aslo contributed in certain measure to the decline of Buddhism. The Palas patronized Mhayana from of Buddhism.
Jainism: jainism continued to be popular, particulary among the trading communities. The Chalukyan ruler of Gujarat patronized Jainism and built the Dilwara temple at mount Abu and many other Jain temples. The Paramara rulers of Malwa also built many huge images of Jain saints and Mahavira was worshiped as a god. In South India, Jainism attained its high water mark during the 9th and 10th centuries and the Ganga rules of Karnataka were great patrons of Jainism. The statue of Gomateswara in Sravanabelagola made of granite was built in this time. In course of time, the growing rigidity of Jainism and the loss of royal patronage led to the decline of Jainism.
Hinduism: there was a revival and expansion of Hinduism and it took many forms. Shiva and Vishnu became the chief gods. Many local gods and goddesses incuding those of tribals became Hinduized. In eastern India, the consorts – Tara, the consort of Buddha, Durga the consort of Shiva, themselves became the chief objects of worship. There was a process of cultural synthesis and in an era of lotical disintegratin, religion played a positive part, But the religious revival also increased the power of the brahmins which resulted in a series of popular movements which emphasized the element of human equality and freedom, such as Tantrm, Bhakti movement and Virshaivism.
Literature (800 – 1200 AD)
Kalhana: Wrote the book ‘Rajatarangini’ which covers the history of Kashmir from acient times to the 12th century A.D. the book was written in Sanskrit under the patronage of Srittarsha and Jay singh, the rulers of Kashmir. Rajatarangini is an account of history of Kashmir upto 12th century.
Alberuni: belonged to Khiva and was pickedup by mahmud after conquering Khiva. He came alongwith Mahmud fo Ghazni as a freelance observer to India. He was a profound scholar with command over Persian and Arabic language. He wrote a book Tahqiq-i-hind Jawahir-fil-Jawahir, a book on mineralogy.
Firdausi: court poet of Mahmud of Ghazni who wrote Shah Namah in Persian.
|Alberuni||Tahqiq-i-hind or Kitab-ul-hind, jawahir-fil-jawahir|
|Bhoja (Parmara king)||
Architectural Features (800 – 1200 AD)
Nagara style: The fundamental characteristics of the Nagara style of temples, found all over north India are the cruclform ground plan and curviinear tower (shikhara). They are found in the temples of Orissa, central India, western India, and temples of Malwa and Khandesh.
(i) Orissa: Temples in Orissa exhibit Nagara style its greatest purity.
- Parasaramesvara temple of Bhuvanesvar – 8th century AD – an advance over the archetypal design of the Gupta period .
- Mukteswara temple of Bhuvanesvar – 9th century AD- mature expression of Nagara style.
- Lingaraja temple at Bhuvaesvar – 100 AD – represents the Orissa style in its maturity.
(ii) Central India: Development of another variety of Nagara style.
- Built by the Chandellas of Budelkhand between 950AD and 1050 AD.
- Kandariya Mahadev temple, vishvanatha, tinanatha, Vaidyanatha temples are prominent.
- Red Sandstone used for construction Great Shikars and Mandaps.
- Temples also konwn for uru-sringas (allied shikhars). Rich ornamentation.
(iii) Western India: Built by chalukyas of Gujarat.
- Characteristics of the Nagarastyle in Western India took a precise form.
- Jain temples built at Dilwara, Mount Abu (Rajsthan).
- The most noteworthy are the ones built by Vastupala and Tejpala.
- In these temples white marble has been used admirably.
(iv) Malwa and Khandesh: Under the paramaras of Malwa.
- Another variety of Nagara style developed and designated as Paramara type.
- Example is Nilakantesvara temple at Udayapur in Madhya Pradesh.
Dravidian Style: Initiated by the pallavas, further developed and perfected by the Cholas, an example is the Brihadesvara temple at tanjori . the essential features of dravidian style are the Gopuram, the Vimana and the shikhar. The Vijaynagar rulers in the 15th and 16th century’s added the Kalyanamanadapa.
Vesara (chalukyan) Style: Emeraged under the Chalukyas of Badami and attained its ripest expression under the Hoysalas of Halebid ( Dwarasamudra). The Vesara style of temple architecture is a mix of both Nagara and Dravidian features.
Hoysalas: hoysala temples are not single but double, all essential parts duplicated. Hoysala shrine are built in high- plinthed star-shap3ed platform on which the edifice with gorgeous sculpted panels has been built. Exquisite sculptures cover the exterior wall.
Eg. Kesava temple and chennakesava temples at Belur. Hoyasalesvara temple at Halebid.