Sreevallabha Temple - Architecture

Architecture

Built in the silent and picturesque land on the banks of Manimala river, this icon of Kerala temple architecture, covers an area of 8.5 acres and ranks first among the temples of old Travancore state in terms of area inside the compound wall. The temple is surrounded on all sides by 12 feet, tall 566 feet long, 4.5 feet thick red granite compound walls with a two-storied gopuram (gate tower) on each side. This huge wall was built in 57 BC and is believed that it was completed in a single night by bhoothagana (servants) of The Lord. Outside eastern wall a big pond covering 1.5 acres is seen in north-eastern direction with a copper flagstaff on its southern bank. A platform for performing kathakali is seen just in front of the eastern entrance. Inside the wall pradakshina veethi or outer circumambulation path is seen with four small aankottils (places where the deity is taken out and kept for worship inside temple wall) and a big one on south-eastern corner. South-east to this an oottupura or dining hall is seen which is built in all other temples only on northern side and this is unique to Sreevallabha temple only. Temple auditorium and administrative offices can be seen next to this. Smaller shrines for lord Ganapathy and Ayyappan and another auditorium are seen in south-western side. The position of kshethra palan or temple guard which is strictly built in all temples on northern side is found here just in front of Ganapathy’s shrine i.e. on southern side which also is another peculiarity found nowhere else. The sacred fig and mango trees beneath which sage Durvasa meditated is found near Ayyappan shrine. Just outside the western gopuram, Sankaramangalth Illam where Sreedevi Antharjanam lived is seen well preserved for the initiation of any pooja in the temple. Northern gopuram is closed always and is opened only for Uthra Sreebali festival. North east to pradakshina veethi, a self originated pond called Jalavanthi or Khandakarna theerthem which is believed to contain 64 hidden idols of the Lord is seen. It is for only the use of priests. Spot where sage Vedavyasa and sage Durvasa disappeared is found on its eastern bank and resting building for the priests on southern side. North to the temple a roofless shrine dedicated to kurayappa swamy is seen. No pooja is done here, but only banana as naivedyam. The bahir bali vrutham or outer circle of sacrificial stones is built inner to bahir pradakshina veethi. The temple koothambalam (stage) was destroyed by fire in 1915. The most highlighted construction of the temple is the Garuda dhvaja sthambam or flagstaff of Garuda, the majestic eagle mount of lord Vishnu. This monolithic structure is completely built from black granite and elevated 53.5 feet above the ground with its lower end touching water table. Constructed in 57 BC, this structure was also built in a single night along with the outer wall. And an amazing fact is that no black granites can be found in an area ten miles around the temple. A 3 feet massive idol of Garuda is placed on the top of it facing the main sanctum. Since this flagstaff started slanting and reached its current position, a three tiered copper roofed construction has been made all around it to prevent further slanting. West to this, currently used golden flagstaff can be seen.

West to the third flagstaff, balikkalpura (room of the major sacrificial stone) is built around a ten feet tall balipeetha (main sacrificial stone). Vallyambalam (building attached to naalambalam at its main entrance and between naalambalam and balikkalpura) is a double storied copper sheet roofed building standing on 16 stone pillars. These pillars and the roof are noted for their exquisite and minute carvings demonstrating the excellence of those who built it. The central corridor of vallyambalam leads to naalambalam (double walled building constructed around sanctum-sanctorum at a distance) with thidappalli or holy kitchen, navakappura or room for navaka pooja etc. The 150 feet long, 11 feet Broad square naalambalam is completely made out of black stones and supported by 54 stone pillars beautifully carved with the image of a Salabhanjika on each. Outside naalambalam, a deepasala (galaxy of bronze lamps) is built on teak wood. The western part of naalambalam is adorned with some murals and a small shrine for vadakkum thevar i.e., the idols of Vishnu, Shiva, Parvati, Murugan and Nrithaganapathy worshipped by Sreedevi Antherjanam. Two namaskara mandapam (prostration building) are built against both doors of Sreekovil (sanctum-sanctorum) and only Brahmins are allowed there. The eastern mandapam is 24 feet long square building with copper sheeted roof and stand on 12 wooden and 4 stone pillars. All these are well known for their fine carvings. The western mandapam is small and also square shaped. The circular, copper roofed, golden domed sreekovil is adorned with finely etched murals of matsya, kaaliyamardana, kurma, Dakshinamurthy, varaha, venu gopala, maha ganapathy, narasimha, vamana, sudarshana, parashurama, sree rama, Purusha sukta, balarama, sreeKrishna, lakshmi, kalki and garuda in clockwise manner. Sreekovil has an outer perimeter of 160 feet and has three concentric walls. It enshrines Lord Sreevallabhan facing east and Sudarshana chakra(sathrusamhaaramoorthy) facing west under the same roof. Sreevallabhan is portrayed as bearing a lotus in right hand, chakra in right upper hand, sankha in left upper hand and his left hand kept on his waist (kati hastham). This 7 feet tall massive idol is situated at a height of 10 feet in such a way that one has to bend his body to see it and its top and bottom cannot be seen. Along with this idol other idols of Vishnu, Lakshmi, Dakshinamurthy, Varaha and Sreebali bimbam or procession idol of Sreevallabhan are also there. Unlike usual yantra form, here Sudarsana is installed in eight handed human form bearing sankha(conch), chakra(disc), gada, padma(lotus), pasha(rope), ankusa (hook), musala(pole), and dhanu(bow). No other temples are known to enshrine lord Vishnu and lord Sudarsana under same roof

Read more about this topic:  Sreevallabha Temple

Other articles related to "architecture":

Cubism - Architecture
... that Cubism formed an important link between early-twentieth-century art and architecture is widely accepted ... between avant-garde practices in painting, sculpture and architecture had early ramifications in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Czechoslovakia ... Though there are many points of intersection between Cubism and architecture, only a few direct links between them can be drawn ...
Gottfried Semper - Life - Early Life (to 1834)
... He subsequently studied architecture in 1825 at the University of Munich under Friedrich von Gärtner ... Between 1830 and 1833 he travelled to Italy and Greece in order to study the architecture and designs of antiquity ... Plastik bei den Alten (Preliminary Remarks on Polychrome Architecture and Sculpture in Antiquity), in which he took a strong position in favor of polychromy - supported by his investigation of pigments ...
Gottfried Semper
... – May 15, 1879) was a German architect, art critic, and professor of architecture, who designed and built the Semper Opera House in Dresden between 1838 and 1841 ... Semper wrote extensively about the origins of architecture, especially in his book The Four Elements of Architecture from 1851, and he was one of the major figures in the controversy surrounding ...
Modern Uses of The Harvard Architecture
... The principal advantage of the pure Harvard architecture—simultaneous access to more than one memory system—has been reduced by modified Harvard ... Relatively pure Harvard architecture machines are used mostly in applications where tradeoffs, such as the cost and power savings from omitting caches, outweigh the programming penalties from having ... and data (SRAM) memory, with no cache, and take advantage of the Harvard architecture to speed processing by concurrent instruction and data access ...
Information Science - Research Vectors and Applications - Information Architecture
... Information architecture (IA) is the art and science of organizing and labelling websites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability ... on bringing together principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape ...

Famous quotes containing the word architecture:

    And when his hours are numbered, and the world
    Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
    Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
    To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
    Built in an age, the mad wind’s night-work,
    The frolic architecture of the snow.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    In short, the building becomes a theatrical demonstration of its functional ideal. In this romanticism, High-Tech architecture is, of course, no different in spirit—if totally different in form—from all the romantic architecture of the past.
    Dan Cruickshank (b. 1949)

    For it is not metres, but a metre-making argument, that makes a poem,—a thought so passionate and alive, that, like the spirit of a plant or an animal, it has an architecture of its own, and adorns nature with a new thing.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)