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1. a native, citizen, or inhabitant of the Republic of India
2. an American Indian
3. any of the languages of the American Indians
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
Indian(Buddhist) architecture (300 B.C.–320 A.D.)
The earliest surviving buildings are of timber and mud-brick construction, of which the stupa is the most characteristic; it is a hemispherical mound with a processional path around the perimeter and elaborately carved gateways. The most typical is the stupa at Sanchi. In rock-cut Buddhist temples, the main forms and details follow early wooden prototypes, with elaborately carved stone shrines in which the exterior is more important than the interior.
All types of temples in this style consist of a small unlit shrine crowned by a spire and preceded by one or more porch-like halls, used for religious dancing and music. The stone was laid up rough-cut and carved in place by Hindu sculptors who treated every element on every surface as unique, using the repetition of sculptural forms to achieve a unifying context. There was no attempt to evolve a style or to perfect any particular pillar or column.
The Hindu and Buddhist religions had a strong influence on Far East temple architecture. One of the most well known and representative sites is Angkor Wat located in Cambodia, a temple complex of shrines that was intended as a funerary monument. It is perhaps one of the world’s largest religious structures and was conceived as a “temple mountain” within an enormous enclosure and surrounded by a wide moat. A monumental causeway, framed by giant mythical serpents, leads to the entrance gate. The temple is built on a series of stepped terraces, surrounded by towers at each corner. Vaulted galleries receive light from an open colonnade illuminating the continuous relief friezes which adorn the inner walls. The central sanctuary is a large pagoda-like tower on top of a stepped pyramid. It is joined by passageways to towers at each of the four corners at the base.
An architecture in which temples are enclosed shrines preceded by an open porch, which is often elaborately carved. They have a lighter appearance and are more elegant than Hindu temples.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.