KHAṆḌA HARMYAS OF RĀJASIṂHA

          Rājasiṃha pallava, embodiment of innovative ideas encouraged sculptors to introduce innovative structures in the shrines built during his period. Kailāsanātha temple at Kāñcīpuram and Tālagirīśvara temple at Paṉaimalai are the excellent examples of innovative structural wonders. Kaṇḍa harmyas are the components introduced in these temples which are not seen in any of the temple.

          Kailāsanātha temple which is a Catusthala temple fixed in miśra viṣṇu chanda plan. The temple has four Bhadraśālā in four directions and has four Karṇaśālās in the corners. As a special feature the karṇaśālā is projected and a special shrine is introduced in each karṇaśālās. It is treated as a separate shrine and manifestations of my Father are installed in the middle. The Bhadra shrines also have the same ideas.

The ṣadvarga scheme is followed in these abutting shirnes in the karṇas and in Bhadras. Since the Vimāna is of Sāndhāra type, the abutting shrines are treated as the extension of the Bāhya bhitti. The prastara elements of these sub-shrines are framing the hāra of the first tala which is an excellent idea and met only in these two temples of Rājasiṃha.

The śālā śikhara of the Bhadra shrines are acting as the śālā of the first tala and the Kūṭākāra śikhara of the karṇa shrines are seen as the Karṇakūṭa of the the same. All the śikharas are of ṣaḍvarga type. They act as the super structure of these sub-shrines as well as the Hāra elements of the first tala.

khanda_3 copy khanda_5 copy

The same structure is seen in Tālagirīśvara temple at Paṉaimalai without the karṇa shrines. The śālā shrines are seen and the same super structure style is followed in the Mukhaśālā. The śālā shrines have dhārā liṅgas in their sanctums.

panailmalai temple

panailmalai temple

Let us see the Talacchanda of both the temples. We can see that the central dvāra is seen in the case of Paṉaimalai and the same is followed in Kailāsanātha temple except the shrines at the Bhadra shrines on south and north directions.

ground plan _ Kailasanatha

ground plan _ Kailasanatha

ground plan _ Panaimalai

ground plan _ Panaimalai

This type of shrines are termed as Khaṇḍa harmyas in the scriptures. The term literally means as “partial temples”. Kāmikāgama gives this term while explaining a building namely Nandyāvarta.

सालिन्दं खण्डहर्म्यं वा कूटकोष्ठकभारकम्  ३४

sālindaṁ khaṇḍaharmyaṁ vā kūṭakoṣṭhakabhārakam  34

The building can have alinda (ambulatory path), Khaṇḍa harmya (Partial house) and Kūṭas and Koṣthas. Further it adds the details about the measurement of the khaṇḍa harmyas.

खण्डहर्म्यसमायुक्तं समन्तात्परिकल्पयेत्  ४२

स्वव्यासार्धं तदर्धं वा कर्णकूटस्य निर्गमः

शालायामविशालेन पञ्चभागविनिष्क्रमात्  ४३

बाह्ये तु खण्डहर्म्यं स्याच्चतुर्भद्रं  प्रयोजयेत्

khaṇḍaharmyasamāyuktaṁ samantātparikalpayet  42

svavyāsārdhaṁ tadardhaṁ vā karṇakūṭasya nirgamaḥ

śālāyāmaviśālena pañcabhāgaviniṣkramāt  43

bāhye tu khaṇḍaharmyaṁ syāccaturbhadraṁ  prayojayet

The Khaṇḍaharmya at karṇakūṭa can be projected half of own breath or quarter. The śālā khaṇḍa harmya can be extended one fifth of its breath.

It further states that Pañjaras can be added in the Khaṇḍa harmya.

अन्तरे पञ्जरान्कुर्यात्खण्डहर्म्ये विशेषतः  ९३

antare pañjarānkuryātkhaṇḍaharmye viśeṣataḥ  93

The Khaṇḍa harmyas can be added in temple starting from Tritala.

Mayamata too mentions the proposition of Khaṇḍa harmya in the temple type “Bhadrakoṣṭha”. It adds that in the nine parts of a temple, three must occupied for the sanctum, one by the alinda and one by the Khaṇḍaharmya. The same measurement is given for the type Jayāvaha too. Mayamata prescribes that Khaṇḍa harmya can be used in buildings with two, four, five, six and seven talas.

I have come across the terms like “Aṅgālaya” for these shrines in some articles. Since the term is not found in scriptures this term must be used instead.

Pictures : From NET

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