Tower characteristic of Hindu temples of northern India. The sikhara over the sanctuary of a temple is usually tapered convexly, consisting of piled-up roof slabs of diminishing size. The surface is covered with vinelike candrashala (ogee arch) tracery; at the top is a cushion-shaped grooved disk (amalaka), and above that a pot with a crowning finial. The sikhara developed during the Gupta period (4th–6th century AD) and steadily grew taller and more elaborate, as in the soaring tower of the 11th-century Lingaraja Temple in Bhubaneswar. In a variation of the basic form, half spires are added on either side of the sikhara; excellent examples are the 10th-century Laksmana and 11th-century Kandarya Mahadeva temples at Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh. In addition to the curved sikhara, there is a smaller, rectilinear type frequently used above the temple mandapas (halls).
A sikhara of the bhumija type, Udayesvara temple, Udayapur, Madhya Pradesh, India,
Variants of SIKHARA
sikhara or shikhara
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