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TEMPLE -4' X 4' X 9'-6"(H)  
Temple architecture

In the Hindu temple the mandapa is a porch-like structure through the (gopuram) (ornate gateway) and leading to the temple. A large temple would have many mandapa.

If a temple has more than one mandapa, each one is allocated for a different function and given a name to reflect its use. For example, a mandapa dedicated to divine marriage is referred to as a kalyana mandapa.[4] Often the hall was pillared and the pillars adorned with intricate carvings.[5] In contemporary terms, it also represents a structure within which a Hindu wedding is performed. The bride and groom encircle a holy fire lit by the officiating priest in the center of the mandapa.[1]

Name variations

When a temple has more than one mandapa, they are given different names.[3][6]

  • Ardhamandapa (Artha Mandapam or Ardh Mandapam) – intermediary space between the temple exterior and the garba griha (sanctum sanctorum) or the other mandapa of the temple
  • Asthana Mandapam – assembly hall
  • Kalyana Mandapam – dedicated to ritual marriage celebration of the Lord with Goddess
  • Maha Mandapam – (Maha=big) When there are several mandapa in the temple, it is the biggest and the tallest. It is used for conducting religious discourses. Sometimes, the maha mandapa is also built along a transversal axis with a transept (bumped-out portions along this transversal axis). At the exterior, the transept ends by a large window which brings light and freshness into the temple.
  • Nandi Mandapam (or Nandi mandir) – In the Shiva temples, pavilion with a statue of the sacred bull Nandi, looking at the statue or the lingam of Shiva.
  • Ranga Mandapa or rangamandapa - a larger mandapa, which can be used for dance or drama, with music
  • Meghanath Mandapa
  • Namaskara Mandapa
  • Open Mandapa


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