Saturday, April 13, 2024

Arts and Architecture


Thangal General Temple of Wangkhai

The temple is situated in Wangkhai locality of Imphal town. It was built by Thangal General in 1879 AD. The temple structure is raised on a distinct platform. The plan of the pedestal is square. The sanctum cube of the internal sanctum and the outer jacket is raised straight up from the base up to the maulding cornice.

The outer jacket wall on each side opens out with a rectangular opening to lead in front into four flying steps  of staircases. This facilitates the approach to the circumambulatory path or the pradakshna path from any side. The cornice is achieved by stepping outward a few courses of brick layers to make a projection and then making a slant to the projection. The railing is made by alternate spacing and brick wall and finally giving a horizontal brick layer on colonnades gripping the corner salas. The first railing perfectly covers the terrace above the pradakshna path. The second railing is the replica of the lower railing. The octagonal dome is after the second railing. The arches converge at the base of the inverted kalasa placed at the top of the dome. Each arch line can be seen having its ridge line on the dome surface from above. 

On the ground at all four corners, there is one temple replica of Bengal hut type on each corner. 'Garbha Griha', the internal sanctum is a square and is surrounded by pradakshna path. The sanctum cube wall internally can be seen reaching up to the dome. The parabolic lines of eight arches start  from the last brick layer on the sanctum cube. The ceiling of the circumambulatory path is slightly curved.

The architectural design is in Bengal style.

The structure of the dome and decoration of the railings reflect the Islamic influence. The entire  structure is in brick, the mastery of brick masonry is of high order. This also reveals a step towards artistic adroitness.