(Last Updated on : 21/04/2017)
Religious Iconography in Indian sculpture showcases the early era Hindu cult and religion, which makes itself the conventional tradition of India.
has adopted several iconic symbols, forming part of Hindu iconography, that are imbued with spiritual meaning based on either the scriptures or cultural traditions.
Significance of Hindu Cult
The exact significance of Hindu cult accorded to any of the icons varies with region, period and denomination of the followers. Over time some of the symbols, for instance the Swastika has come to have wider association while others like Aum are recognized as unique representations of Hinduism. Other aspects of Hindu iconography are covered by the terms murti, for icons and mudra
for gestures and positions of the hands and body.
Religious Iconography in Khajuraho Temple, Madhya Pradesh
The temples in Khajuraho
share both design and layout from the Chandella
times. They are built on a high plinth, with multiple ascending spires, which are believed to be inspired by the peaks of the Himalayas. The larger temples, like the Lakshmana, Vishvanatha and Kandariya Mahadeva
, are accompanied by smaller temples; the not so large ones stand alone. Their interior and exterior and sometimes the platforms too are adorned with figures of gods, goddesses, nymphs, humans and animals. It is among these depictions of life that the famous or infamous erotic sculptures can also be spotted.
Religious Iconography in Hampi, Bellary District, Karnataka
The temples and the archaeological ruins of Hampi
are the examples of Vijaynagara Empire
. The beauty of Hampi is filled with architectural beauty with Tungabhadra River
on its side. Hampi Temples consist of a large number of palatial complex, stone images of Hindu mythical figures, terracotta designs, stucco figures, and the excavations of the figures of Vijaynagara kings.
Religious Iconography in Gupta Empire
The Gupta style of sculpture remained relatively uniform across the empire from its rise and decline. It incorporated the earlier figurative styles practiced in Gandhara School of Art & Sculpture
School of Arts, but introduced new and more sophisticated forms and motifs. It is marked in particular by sensuous modelling of bodies and faces, harmonious proportions and more subtle expressions. The most innovative and influential artistic centers includes Sarnath
, Jammu and Kashmir
and Mathura. The Gupta cult of Hindu iconography was spread across much of India, influencing artists for centuries afterward. It also spread via the trade routes to Thailand and Java, as well as other countries in South and Southeast Asia.
Religious Iconography in Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Tamil Nadu
Sri Ranganatha Svami Temple
, located in Thiruchillapalli was constructed in the Tamil style of architecture. This temple is glorified in the Thiviya Pirabandham, the early medieval Tamil literature canon of the Alvar saints from the 6th to 9th centuries AD. The architecture is counted among the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple follows Thenkalai tradition of worship. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is enclosed by 7 concentric walls with a total length of 32,592 feet or over six miles. This temple has 21 gopurams (towers), 39 pavilions, fifty shrines, Ayiram kaal mandapam (a hall of 1000 pillars) and several small water bodies inside.