The Vesara style of architecture:
1. has its roots in the Buddhist chaityas
2. is a midway between the Nagara towers and the Dravida tiers
3. was used prominently in western India and Deccan
Which among the above statements is / are correct ?

Answer: [D] 1, 2 & 3

Hindu temple architecture in India has developed over time into several distinct, mature styles. The earliest phases are based on early Buddhist architectural forms, such as the rock-cut cave temple (chaitya) or enclosed courtyard (vihara). Some of these early Hindu rock-cut temples include those at Ellora and Elephanta; others are free-standing but based on this form, as at Aihole. Later Hindu architecture has three basic styles: Nagara, Dravida, and Veshara, of which the first two are the most important.

Each of these styles is found in a certain area of India: the Nagara in the north and east, the Dravida in the south, and the Veshara in the west and in Deccan. The basic differences between them can be simplified to the different styles of the temple towers. The Nagara style emphasizes verticality, with the whole temple building culminating in a single highest point.

Different emphases in the ways of treating the tower led to different substyles: In the temples at Khajuraho, the entire structure gradually leads up to the central tower, whereas the Orissa style stresses a single enormous tower surrounded by much smaller subsidiary parts. In the Dravida style, the towers tend to be composed of horizontal tiers, with the visual emphasis on horizontal rather than vertical. In the later Dravida temples, the tallest structures are the gopurams, the central gateways in the walls enclosing the temples.

A Dravida-style temple may have a fairly modest tower over the central shrine, but the area covered by the temple is often enormous, and many of them are cities in their own right.

The Veshara style has a barrel roof over the sanctuary, an architectural feature with roots in the Buddhist chaityas (rock-cut cave temples). This architectural style is midway between the Nagara towers and the Dravida tiers.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module