hindu-architecture

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Galwar Bagh (Galtaji) - Monkey Temple
Ramgopalji Temple, Galtaji, Jaipur, India (via Instagram: bobyrock)

Galtaji is an ancient Hindu pilgrimage site in the town of Khania-Balaji, about 10km away from Jaipur, in the Indian state of Rajasthan. The site consists of several temples and sacred kunds (water tanks) in which pilgrims bathe. It is believed that a Saint named Galav lived here, practiced meditation, and did penance.

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Illustrations by Robert de Jager in Michael W. Meister, “Prāsāda as Palace: Kūṭina Origins of the Nāgara Temple” [ Artibus Asiae, Vol. 49, No. ¾ (1988 - 1989) ]

Top: Rajim, Rajivalocana temple, axonometric drawing.

Bottom: Alampur, axonometric drawing of hypothetical structure based on the Svarga-Brahma and Visva-Brahma temples (ornament is removed from upper storeys).

Akshardham, New Delhi, built 2001-2005. By most measurements the largest Hindu Temple in the world.

It is dedicated to Swaminarayan (1781-1830), the founder of the Swaminarayan sect of Vaishnavism, who is considered an incarnation of Purushottama (the supreme deity) by his followers. The name Akshardham refers to the divine abode of Swaminarayan, where the soul goes to attain moksha (liberation).

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Aīrāvatīśwara Temple

Located near the sacred town of Kuṁbakoṇam in the Tamil heartland is the Aīrāvatīśwara (ऐरावतीश्वर) Temple. Built in the 12th Century CE by the Cola monarch Rājarājā II, it is a sparkling example of Dravidan style architecture as perfected under the Cola kings. While smaller than the Brihadīśwara Temple in Thanjāvur, the Aīrāvatīśwara Temple contains more finessed sculptural details. The main maṇḍapa is in the form of a chariot with large wheels and drawn by stone horses – a theme that is seen in other temples as well – notably the Sūrya Mandira at Konark.

The Aīrāvatīśwara Temple is dedicated to Lord Śiva – Mahādeva as the saviour of Aīrāvata – the resplendent white elephant who was the vāhana of Indra the king of paradise – relieving the supplicant from a complexion blemished by a curse.

The number 864 is a foundation stone in the code of canonical numbers that formulates the universe. Its character is solar and orderly, and its most prominent appearance is in the sun whose diameter is 864000 miles. That is 400 times the diameter of the moon (2160 miles) and, strange though it be, the moon’s distance from the sun is about 400 times its distance from earth. That is why the moon’s disk fits neatly over the sun at total eclipse.
Comparative sizes and distances of the sun, moon and earth, shows the organising function of 8640 and its fractions, 4320, 2160, 1080, often in conjunction with the number 11, reflecting the 11:3 ratio between the diameters of earth and moon. Notable appearances of 864 include the radius of the Grand Orb ( the earth’s circuit around the sun or vice versa in earth-centred cosmology), which is 933120 miles or 86400 x 1080, a tenth part of the sun’s diameter multiplied by the radius of the moon.
The number 86400 is the number of seconds in a 24 hour day, and this number extends through all the vast ages covered by traditional chronology, culminating in the period of 8640 million years which the Hindu call a day and a night of Brahma. In the 12-note musical scale and in metrology, 864 is a familiar number. The royal Egyptian half-cubit of .864 is a standard measure in the pyramids and in the former temple of Jerusalem.

John Michell
How the World was made
The Story of Creation according to Sacred Geometry