Thursday, February 9, 2023

Arts and Architecture



Manipuri temple art and architecture is basically of Hindu style showing more inclination towards the traditional Hindu building art and architecture of Bengal. There is no existence of any temple and its art relating to the animistic faith of ancient Manipur. The architectural style of Manipuri temples exhibit its basis in the ancestral houses of forest dwellers. The temple construction was done with bamboo.

It resembles the Bengal temple style. The parabolic contours in the majority of temples of Manipur are a dominating characteristic. This style is prominently achieved in hut-type temples like that of Mahabali Temple and Nagara styles of Govindajee temple and Tangal temple. There are a few temples on Shikhara style .e.g. Kakching Narsingh Thakur temple, Lord Krishna temple of Krishnampat and Krishna Chandra temple of Kakhing Bazar. Another peculiar style is given to Kamakhya temple of Hiyangthang Lairenbi. This temple reveals the amalgamation of Shikhara and pagoda styles. The style of Sanamahi temple is unique, the polygonal Baptistery type in a Gothic style structure ends with Nagara style, having Amalaka Sila on the top. 

The temples are designed on the principle that the main structure, square in plan, its walls vertical but lines and planes (which in most buildings are ordinarily horizontal) in this type  are carried across in its front in series of parallel curves, bent in the form of a bow. Such a distinctive application of curves specially effects the form of the roof and its cornice or eave, which in contour are parabolic and clearly inherited from a bamboo framework given this shape in order to throw off heavy monsoon rains.

The site for the temple, earth's terrestrial surface, has to be near the bank of a river or lake or amongst the groves or on a hillock in solitude. The sites for some of the temples in Manipur have been at the places of the capital of the king Patron. Almost all the temples of Manipur are constructed on Brahmanical rules of Vastushastra. Therefore the square plan is taken as the basis. It denotes the Panchratna plan with Brahma in the central position and other gods on the sides. In all temples the material used was brick and mud. The pedestal or the platform is distinctively prominent in all temples of Manipur because the entire valley is a low lying area and in rainy seasons the ground surface gets flooded. All temples in Manipur have the Mandapas. The most artistic point about the Mandapa is the display of the paintings about the love story of Khamba-Thoibi.