Origin of temple architexcture in assam
Cobncept of temple in assam
Deities were identified with nature and were assigned places of adobe with same imagination with which they wered perceived. The bhakti – marga (cult of devotion) , belief of ideas in the form of image worship- making religion nearer to common man, replacing the vedic sacrifices. Hence it gave an unqualified encouragement fo r the construction of the temple which became places of popular worship.a new craft ibn the fotrm of temple building began,hence it spread to assam. Most of the terms now in use in assam to denote a temple show their origin in INDO- Aryan terminology.
Terms used for teple in Assam.
Temple in Assam is popularly expressed in no. of colloquial ways.
In eastern part of Assam covering districts of Sibsagar, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur and Darrang, a temple is popularly called Dol.
Derived from Sanskrit word- devaluka
Denotes a temple of later medieval pd.it clearly refers to temples erected by later medieval Ahom rulers of land.
Debaloy is another word also popular in almost all the districts of state.(Devalaya)
The numerous Vaisnavite Satras of Assam use the word in 2 senses:
to meanm a seat of religious hesd of Vaisnavas and
to indicate a place iof worship established over the spot of cremation of religious person.
In lower Assam, districts of Nowgong, Kamrup, western Darrang, Goalpara and south Assam, Ateple is called Mandir(Mandira().
Ghar, used by common people , Devi ghar at Jaisagar- to rflect the shape of the temple str.i.e imitation of a common Assamees house
Gosainghar( Gosian means God)
Pitha –a shrine established over discarded limb of Dati..
Matha- brick built Sikhara temples in Vaidsnavite Satras rae called Matha.
Goalpara, badi., it being the westernmost district of saam and contiguous with West Bengal, henct the influence.
From remote past it appears that Assam had her masonry buildings activities through traces of her archetypal edifices have failed to suvive to this date.
No extant Satras on the Vastuvidyain this region . A close look look at to presume they are of Indo Aryan style. With reguional influences.
Myths and legends
Some imp. Spots. Note remem story
Cow in a village with milk
Cowherd and grasshopper
Buddhist tantric pd. Inspired construction of same major Sakti temples of the state.
Inspite of different backgrounds for origin of temples, the royal patronage had always been the most dominating factor in their construction.
Building activity: offshoot of same architectural type that was once popular in north INDIA. They r basically Nagara type with reghional elements infused into them.
Mostly they r Sikharas or Rekha deul type in their elevation.
Variety of shapes-Rekha deul, ratha, hut shaped,barrel vaulted, bulbous,round, pyramidal and polygonal etc. exist.
For ground Plan, all sorts of geometric patterns right from square,rectangleto stellate abnd polygonal.
Composite plans similar to that of Chaitryas and multi-angular ratha types are also common.
Same str may have one shape internalyy and externally.
Only one chamber i.e the Girbhagrihe or it may have the combination of a few separater strs joined together axially , diagonally or in a cardinal directions.
GG may contain an Antarala. A Mansdapa, A mukhamandapa or Ardhamandapaor any one or all of them.
Layout not separate for each chamber, is normally one with common walls as in bw, except in case of existence of an Antarala which separates the layout of Vimana from the rest.
Sikharas may be plain or may contain Bhumi amalaka,
Agnasikhara and other decorative elements.
Materials- botjh brick and stone were in use. Tuimber was also used for specific purposes in combpo with brick aor stone.
Earliest known in Brick masonry work, almost all trhe pre-Ahom temple display use
In case of latter medieval temples, brick appears to have dominated the bldgs.
Stone in use for portion below ground level.
Since Brick being pervipus in conmstitution was found less effective for using below gl., particularly in region like Assam with high sub-soil water level due to higher intensity of rainfall.
It also have a low bearing capacity which further grows lower due to soakage of water when used brelow GL.
Stone, a peculiar fact in case of most of the later medieval temples is that their cella has been designed in the form of a well with its floor much below the surrounding gl. This naturally raised the problem of water proofing the ce;lla, hence stone.
Hence old stone foundation for latter medieval brick built temples.
The lime –Surki mortar was commonly used as bonding material for brick – masonry work.
A more composite mixture consisting of Mati-Kalai( Vigna Sinensis), malasses, tamarind(Tamarindus Indica) etc with lime- surki is also reported to have been in use.
Mud of sticky consistency is found to be in use in less important works, such as in case of bounadary walls, fortifications etc. Noemally mortar was not used as a bonding material for stone masonry work,but instances are there where mortar is used to fil up thre vouds , joints and interstices,
Both the Cyclopean type as well as rubble and Ashalr sytone masonry work are seen.Use of iron dowels and straps in stone masonry is fpoinfd in almst all the ruins of stone temples. One temple , the Kachari Rajar Mandir at Miabongin north Cachar District, is hewn out of solid rock.
Assam temple architecture , like others , had always been considered as apiece of unique product of art ." much of thia was due to the systwm by which architecturwe was treated not so much as an art, ut as a craft, the bldg was nor the creation of one man , but the combined and often equal effotrys of several , each an expert in his profession and each making his own particular contri to the whole. Rthat is why the names of mastrwr-masons or architects atre not found associatwed with any creation of art and architecture, save the name of the king or his consort who patronisded it.