Pallavas Art and Architecture
The temples built by the Pallava rulers are the best specimens of the Dravidian art and architecture.
The Pallava Art could be divided into four styles according to its evolution viz.
- Mahendra style,
- Mahamalla or Narasimha Style,
- Rajsingha or Narasimha-II style and
- Aparajita Style.
Magnificent rock cut temples and structural shrines were made during the times of the Pallavas. The rock cut architecture includes two types of shrines Mandapas viz. open pavilion and Rathas viz. monolithic shrines carved out of a single boulder on the seashore Rathas are square at base but pyramidal in shape. It resembles Buddhist chaityas viharas.
Narsimhavarman pioneered the art of making temples in the shape of chariots.
The shore temple of Mahabalipuram resembles the Dharmaraja Ratha in structure.
The Kailashnath Temple of Mahabalipuram built during the times of Narasimhagupta was also known as the seven pagodas.
The Tripurantakeshwar and Airavatesvara temple at Kanchi and Mukteswar temple are some of the finest examples of the rock art architecture pioneered by Mahendra Varman.
Narasimhavarman pioneered the art of making temples in the shape of chariots.
The Pallava art was influenced by the Amaravati School of sculpture. This art has its influence on the architecture of Vistnu temple at Angkorvat in the south East Asia.