Alayam , the Hindu Temple  -  An Epitome of Hindu Culture

Alayam , the Hindu Temple - An Epitome of Hindu Culture

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Author: G Venkataramana Reddy
Publisher: Ramakrishna Math
Year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 127
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788178235424


Alayam means a temple. While temples have been built in India and elsewhere for millennia, not many people know about the grand science and philosophy behind the construction. At the back of the concrete structure and design of a temple stands a subtle and lofty ideal - affirming the presence of the Ultimate Truth - in a symbolic and tangible manner.

This book attempts to present the principles and practices of temple construction in a systematic and clear manner. It aims at providing a comprehensive idea of how a Hindu temple is truly a house of God, enshrining His presence, facilitating a devotee to worship and adore Him and invoking role in the cultural and spiritual life of all believers in God.

Today when many new temples are being constructed in India and abroad, there is need to understand the concept and detail of construction involved in making of a Hindu temple. This book is a humble effort in that direction.

Back the Book

According to Vedic Philosophy. The physical body of every being is itself an Alayam (Temple) and the Atman (soul) dwelling therein is the subtle body which is in fact the manifestation of the Supreme Being (Paramatman) and thus every being is in fact a mobile temple.


Publisher’s Note

Chapter – I : Alayam – Its Definition and Significance

1. Image Worship
2. Alayam in the Community Life of the Hindus
3. Origin of Worship
4. Origin of Philosophical Symbolism in Temples

Chapter – II : Alayam - Its Origin and Evolution

5. Beginning of Religion Among the Primitive Tribes
6. Temples in Ancient Civilizations of the World
7. Rise of Different Philosophical Systems
8. Origin of Buddhist Architecture
9. Influence of Buddhist art and Architecture on Hindu Temple
10. Buddhism and Jainism in Ancient South Asia
11. Rock – Cut Temple in India

Chapter – III : Alayam – It’s Early History in India

12. Classical Age in Indian History – Type of temple Built in South India During the Early Historical period (Before the 7th Century A.D.
13. Temple Building in North and Central India Before the 5th Century A.D. and After
14. Temple Building in South India After the 15th Century A.D. Role of Archeologists in Tracing the Architectural History of the Ancient Temples of India
15. Adi Sankaracharya and the Advent of Renaissance in Hinduism

Chapter – IV : The Sastras on Alayams

16. Origins of Agamas
17. The Contents of Agamas
18. Charya Padam
19. Kriya Padam
20. Yoga Padam
21. Jnana Padam
22. Alayam According to Agamas
23. Different Kinds of Icons to be Enshrined in Temples
24. The Significance of Shiva Linga
25. The Worship of Aswattha Tree
26. The Worship of the Lighted Lamp

Chapter – V : Alayams – The Significance of Their Location in Human Settlements

27. Process of Development of Human Settlements

Chapter – VI : Alayam – The Embodiment of Philosophic Symbolism

28. Philosophic Symbolism of Lotus (Padman)
29. Philosophic Symbolism in Religion to the System of Worship in Alayams

Chapter – VII : Alayams – Evolution of Their Architectural Styles in North India

30. Bhumija Style of Temple Architecture
31. Kalinga Style of Temple Architecture

Chapter – VIII : Alayams – Evolution of their Architectural Styles in South India

32. Beginnign of Dravida style of Temple Architecture
33. Monolith Stone Temples (Rathas) at Mamallapuram
34. Dravida style of temple Architectural style in Kerala
35. Dravida Style Temples in Deccan
36. Vesara Style of Temple Architecture

Chapter – IX : Alayams – Their Existence After The 14th Century A.D.

37. Building of Temples inn South India During and After the 14th Century A.D.
38. Hindu Temples in North India During the Muslim Rule and After

Chapter – X : Alayams – In Religion to the Religio-Reformative Movement in the 19th and 20th Centuries

39. Brahmo Samaj
40. Prarthana Samaj
41. Arya Samaj
42. Reformist Movement of Saint Ramalingar of Vadalur, Tamilnadu
43. Role of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission in the Reformative Movement
44. Social and Religious Reformative Movements of Sri Narayana Guru of Kerala
45. Conclusion
46. About the Author