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Introduction to Temple Architecture

Introduction to Temple Architecture

The INDICA Course will offer a historical and cultural overview of Hindu temples with a special emphasis on art and architecture. It will provide a deep insight into the various tangible and intangible aspects related to Hindu temples in India.

30 Hours
Date & Time

15 March 2023 - 4 October 2023

7:00 PM -8:00 PM IST

Every Wednesday


Course Fee: ₹5000
This is a test
Enrollment Manual
Medium of Instruction
One year from the end date of the course
Online through INDICA Courses Portal
Contact Details



India is a land of enormous cultural heritage and there are various significant elements which have kept that soul alive for various centuries. Hindu Temples have been an active “character” of Indian cultural heritage and one of the most illustrious aspects of Indian art and architecture.

Temples have been conceived in India for many centuries as a sentiment towards the Divine with a perfect blend of geography, planning principles, ornamentation, crafts and other vibrant elements. The regional variation across the country in the past has added something prodigious to the idea of temples.

This INDICA Course will offer a historic and cultural summary of Hindu temples under the larger domain of art and architecture which will allow learners to have a sneak peek at one of the prime standing repositories of Indian culture.

Course Objectives

  • Know the basics of Hindu temple architecture
  • Learn the associated terminologies related to Hindu temple architecture
  • Understand the variations in temple architecture in terms of geography, planning, art, materials, among others
  • Appreciate the intangible cultural aspects of Hindu temple architecture

Course Outcomes

The participant will get a wholesome portrait of the enormous architectural heritage of India in relation to Hindu temples across the country.

Course Syllabus

  • Why are Hindu temples made?
  • The idea of a Hindu Temple
  • Basic Terminologies related to a Temple
  • Texts related to Hindu Temple Architecture
  • Planning Principles in relation to Hindu Temples
  • Geography in Hindu temples
  • Nagara Style of  Temples
  • Dravida Style of  Temples
  • Vesara Style of  Temples
  • Kalinga Style of  Temples
  • Arts and Crafts in relation to Hindu temples
  • Hindu Temples in Medieval-Modern times

Reading List

  • The Hindu Temple by Stella Kramrisch
  • Essays in Early India Architecture by Ananda K Coomaraswamy
  • Indian Art by Vasudeva Sharan Agarwal
  • The Temple Architecture of India by Adam Hardy
  • Indian Temple Architecture: Form and Transformation by Adam Hardy
  • Theory and Practise of Temple Architecture in Medieval India by Adam Hardy
  • Mayamatm by Bruno Dagens
  • Vishwakarma Prakash (translated by Abhaya Katyayan)
  • Vastumandanam (translated by Sri Krishna Jugnu)

Course includes

  • Live sessions
  • Access to class recordings (for asynchronous participation)
  • Certificate of Completion

Watch this video for a detailed course overview


Sushant Bharti

Sushant Bharti is a Conservation Architect and Researcher based in New Delhi. His broad interests lie in understanding the diverse architectural heritage of India. His area of research is centred around Indian temple architecture, iconography and the cultural heritage of Braj, known for its complex religious setting. He has previously worked with the National Museum, New Delhi to document the cultural heritage in Uttar Pradesh and Ladakh. As part of this work, he was tasked with conceptualizing designs for new museums at Kashi Vishwanath and Kedarnath.

He has been a keen advocate for the protection of the tangible and built heritage of the Braj region. He was selected under PM YUVA Fellowship by the National Book Trust, Ministry of Education to write a book on the Indian Independence movement. He is a recipient of the “Ideas Research Fellowship 2023” from the Society of Architectural Historians, Chicago. He is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Ireland and Great Britain and an Associate Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, London.