Parts of an Orissan Temple (East India)

Because of their separate regional development, some parts of an East Indian temple have a different terminology than what is used elsewhere in India. For example, the part of the temple that contains the shrine is called a deul in Orissa, but a vimana everywhere else.

East Indian temples combine a northern-style tower, or rekha deul in the Orissan terminology, with a southern-style hall: the style of the tower is like that of Khajuraho in the Deccan, while its adjoining hall typically has a pyramidal-shaped roof which is laid in courses called pidha (also spelled "pida"). Above the pidha is a ghanta ("bell," named after its shape), the whole being capped by a kalasha-type ("pot") finial.

Other parts of the Orissan temple in elevation, starting from the bottom, include: (1) the pista, or platform; (2) the bada, or wall, divided into one or more horizontal sections; (3) the gandi ("trunk") is the tower or spire of the deul; and (4-5) capping elements of amalaka and kalasha, already familiar from northern-style temples. The tower is divided into horizontal courses called bhumi, separated by amalas ("cushion;" the same element also appears on the amalaka, and can also be used as the capital of a column, as at Ellora and Elephanta.)

Temples in East India often, although not always, open to the west. In the larger and later temples, such as Ananta Vasudeva (1278) whose plan is sketched above, there are four structures: the deul which contains the shrine; the jagamohan which is the entry hall to the deul; a natamandir or dance pavilion; and an initial bhogamandapa or offering hall. The latter two buildings are sometimes separate from, and sometimes joined to, the deul/jagamohan complex. The deul is usually of the rekha (curved, Deccan-style outline) type, as mentioned earlier.

Squarish projections from the base of the deul, called rathas, approximate a circular shape in plan. Three projections on a side make a triratha, five projections make a pancaratha, and so on.