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PANDYA ARCHITECTURE

Pandya architecture includes both rock-cut and structural temples. The early rock-cut temples have monolithic vimanas. The structural ones are small stone temples and have all the features of bigger temples i.e. vimana, mandapa and sikhara. Groups of small temples are to be seen at Tiruchirapalli district of Tamil Nadu. The Shiva temples have a Nandi in front of the maha mandapa.

The period of the latter Pandya rulers saw the development of elegant vimanas with finely sculptured idols and the gopurams or portals of the temples. The rectangular entrance or portals of the temple are called the gopurams. The portions above the entrance is pyramidal in shape. Gradually the gopurams were given more importance than the sikharas. While the former were higher and more imposing, the latter declined in height. Lofty gopurams of great proportions with lavish decoration were constructed by succeeding dynasties.   

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