Saturday, April 9, 2011

The main temple at paharpur

The main temple at paharpur stood approximately in the center of its monastic quadrangle and rose to its extant height of 72' in two terraces between the top and the basement An extensive staircase provided access to the two terraces from the north. The ground plan was in the shape of across with angles of projection between the arms. In the two upper terraces there was a circumambulatory walk enclosed by a parapet wall around the monument. The central element in the composition of this temple was a hollow square shaft rising high above the terraces .Projections containing an ante-chamber and a mandapa were added to each of the four faces of the second upper terrace ,leaving out a portion of the whole length of the square at each of the four corners. This outline was cruciform with one projecting angle between the arms of the cross. The circumambulatory walk on this level was made to conform to the outline of this plan which became more marked with the addition of a rectangular projection to each of the four sides in the first upper terrace .The alignment of this terrace was repeated at the basement level and this meant that the angles of projection in the plans of the first terrace and the basement were three each between the arms of the cross, apart from the projection caused by the staircase landing in the middle of the northern arm. There was also an enclosure wall properly aligned with the basement plan with only a slight deviation near the staircase . around the monument. The main shrine of the edifice was located at the top, comprising a square chamber with a circumambulatory passage around it. First, the main sanctuary ought to have been on the same level of the ante-chambers and the mandapas , there is no evidence of entry to this from them. Sarawati thinks that the brick-paved floor was meant to make the foundation of the lofty walls more solid, He believes that so far as the arrangement of the temple goes , the sanctuary could have neither been situated at the top no inside the central square pile. It is quite reasonable to infer that the temple was capped by some sort of superstructure . The arrangement of the superstructure at the lower terraces would appropriately suggest a roof rising in receding tiers over the vaults spanning the different corridors. The square masonry pile in the center , on the analogy of the pagan temple, may be said to have supported a curvilinear Sikhara as the crowning element of this colossal edifice. At pagan the central pile is solidly designed and constructed ,But at Paharpur , probably to reduce the weight of the stupendous building and to guard against resultant sinking , it was left hollow ,though sufficient stability for the accumulating weight as the monument rose up has been ensured in the enormous girth of each to the four walls.