The Pallava architecture not only sets the standard in South India but has also greatly influenced the architecture of South East Asia, particularly Cambodia and Vietnam. Discuss.

Pallavas were one of the pioneers of south Indian / Dravidian architecture. Since they were great maritime power, their activities on the sea were mainly directed towards maintaining friendly relations and close contacts with the countries of South East Asia. Apart from trade, this close contacts leads to spread of Pallava art and architecture to South East Asian countries particularly in Cambodia and Vietnam.
For Example, Angkorwat at Cambodia shows the influence of Pallava Architecture. The temple is constructed on the Dravidian style and the sculptures depict episodes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata has many features in the architecture of are common with Pallava temples. Like the Pallava temples Angkorwat consists of three levels or tiers, each of the upper tiers slightly smaller than the one below it, giving the structure the look of a pyramid. 
Pallavas contributed the cult of Ashtabhuja Vishnu (eight-armed Vishnu) to South East Asia which influences temple architecture of S-E Asia. This cult originated around Mathura region in North India, spread to Nagarjunakonda (Andhra) and from there to south to Kanchipuram. This form of deity enshrined in many temples in and around Kanchi especially at Ashtabhuja Perumal Temple.  Similar eight armed Vishnu huge monolithic figure in Angkor Wat
The presence Shiva and Vishnu cults in Cambodia and Vietnam Shows how Pallava architecture influences the Architecture of South East Asian countries.

Question for UPSC Mains:
"The Pallava architecture not only sets the standard in South India but has also greatly influenced the architecture of South East Asia, particularly Cambodia and Vietnam." Discuss.

Published: September 22, 2017 | Modified:November 27, 2019

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