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Fri, 10/02/2017 - 10:01
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The vimana also called the cella, contains the most sacred shrine wherein resides the image of the presiding deity. The vimana is often topped by a tower which is quite different on the outside than on the inside. Inside, the vimana is plain and square, whereas outside it is profusely decorated and can be either stellate  or shaped as a staggered square, or feature a combination of these designs, giving it many projections and recesses that seem to multiply as the light falls on it.Each projection and recess have a complete decorative articulation that is rhythmic and repetitive and composed of blocks and mouldings, obscuring the tower profile. Depending on the number of shrines , the temples are classified as ekakuta , dvikuta , trikuta , chatushkuta and panchakuta. Most Hoysala temples are ekakuta, dvikuta or trikuta, the Vaishnava ones mostly being trikuta. There are cases where a temple is trikuta but has only one tower over the main shrine. So the terminology trikuta may not be literally accurate.In temples with multiple disconnected shrines, such as the twin temples at Mosale, all essential parts are duplicated for symmetry and balance. The highest point of the temple has the shape of a water pot and stands on top of the tower. This portion of the vimana is often lost due to age and has been replaced with a metallic pinnacle. Below the kalasa is a large, highly- sculptured structure resembling a dome which is made from large stones and looks like a helmet.It may be 2 m by 2 m in size and follows the shape of the shrine. Below this structure is domed roofs on a square plan, all of them much smaller and crowned with small kalasas. They are mixed with other small roofs of different shapes and are ornately decorated. The tower of the shrine usually has three or four tiers of rows of decorative roofs while the tower on top of the sukanasi has one less tier, making the tower look like an extension of the main tower. One decorated roof tier runs on top of the wall of a closed mantapa above the heavy eaves of an open mantapa and above the porches. Below the superstructure of the vimana are temple "eaves" projecting half a meter from the wall. Below the eaves, two different decorative schemes may be found, depending on whether a temple was built in the early or the later period of the empire. In the early temples built prior to the 13th century, there is one eave and below this are decorative miniature towers. A panel of Hindu deities and their attendants are below these towers, followed by a set of five different mouldings forming the base of the wall. In the later temples, there is a second eave running about a metre below the upper eaves with decorative miniature towers placed between them. The wall images of gods are below the lower eaves, followed by six different mouldings of equal size. This is broadly termed "horizontal treatment".The six mouldings at the base are divided into two sections. Going from the very base of the wall, the first horizontal layer contains a procession of elephants, above which are horsemen and then a band of foliage. The second horizontal section has depictions of the Hindu epics and Puranic scenes executed with detail. Above this are two friezes of yallis or makaras and hamsas . The vimana is divided into three horizontal sections and is even more ornate than the walls

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