was a style of architecture that emerged thousands of years ago in the Indian subcontinent. They consist primarily of pyramid shaped temples called Koils
which are dependent on intricate carved stone in order to create a step design consisting of many statues of deities, warriors, kings, and dancers. The majority of the existing buildings are located in the Southern Indian
states of Tamil Nadu
, Andhra Pradesh
, and Karnataka
. Various kingdoms and empires such as the Pallavas
, Vijayanagara Empire
amongst the many others have made a substantial contribution to the evolution of Dravidian architecture through the ages. Dravidian styled architecture can also be found in parts of Northeastern Sri Lanka
, and various parts of Southeast Asia
Composition and structure
Dravidian style temples consist almost invariably of the four following parts, arranged in various manners, as afterwards to be explained, but differing in themselves only according to the age in which they were executed:1. The principal part, the actual temple itself, is called the Vimanam
. It is always square in plan, and surmounted by a pyramidal roof of one or more stories; and it contains the cell in which the image of the god or his emblem is placed.
2. The porches or Mantapams
, which always cover and precede the door leading to the cell.