The Vesara Style of Temple Architecture

Coming to the third style of temple architecture, the Vesara temples are a combination of both the Nagara and the Dravidian styles. The most salient feature is that the Gopuram is carved out in the Northern style and the Mantap the temple in the Dravidian style. The Vesara style also called the Chalukyan style of temple architecture as it was the Chalukyan dynasty which made this style popular and distinctive. Later, the Rashtrkutas and the Hoysala dynasties also developed this style by giving more additions. The Sikhar is a combined feature of both the Dravidian and Vesara style.ImageSource

Unlike the elongated Nagara style of Sikhar , the Vesara structure, is shorter. But mixing the Dravidian style, it is geometrical and with the same detailed carvings of different sculptures as in the Dravidian Vimana. Apart from the main Sikhar, there are many small structures besides it, as if multiple Sikhars arranged in a descending order, along with the main one. The main Sikhar has a singular round shaped kalash on the top.

As in the Dravidian style, there are Mantaps in the Vesara style, but instead of being flat, there have domes or square ceilings on them, again filled with lots of sculptures. When it comes to the fine carvings, the sculptures are highly stylised and a lot of importance is given to fine carving with even the minute details ( like finger nails) shaped in the sculpture.

The Vesara style of temples can be divided into five kinds

1) Small temples with only a mantap of the main diety and without any passage ways for pradakshin
2) These are bigger temples with a passage way for pradakshin
3) Temples with garbhgrih, common mantap and a pradaskhin path
4) Temples with only garbhgrih , but no mantap or pradakshin path
5) Horse shoe shaped temples like the Nagara style, but also featuring rock cut architecture like the Dravidian style

The best examples of the Vesara style of temples are the Hoysala temples of Belur and halebid temples, The Chalukyan temples of Badami and Pattadakal in Karnataka, Deccan and Central India, the Somnathpur temple,