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Simplified schema of a Kalinga architecture temple

A deula is an element in a Hindu temple in the Kalinga architecture style of Odisha temple in Eastern India.[1]

Sometimes the whole temple is called Deula. The word "deula" in Odia language means a building structure built with a particular style that is seen in most of the temples from Odisha. "Deul" is often used in English, though deul temples are also a (different) form in Bengal.

There are three types of Deulas:[2] In terms of the general north Indian terminology, the Rekha Deula (rekha deul) is the sanctuary and the tower over it, respectively the garbhagriha and the shikhara, the Pidha Deula (pida deul) is the mandapa where the faithful are present. The Khakhara deula is an alternative form of tower over the sanctuary, which in shape resembles the oblong gopuram temple gatehouses in southern Dravidian architecture.

Rekha Deula[edit]

Lingaraja temple, example of a "shikhara deula".
Shantinath Shiva temple at Shihar near Jayrambati, West Bengal.

Rekha in Odia means a straight line. It is a tall building with a shape of sugar loaf, looking like a Shikhara. It covers and protects the sanctum sanctorum (Garbhagriha). Examples :

Pidha Deula[edit]

Konark Sun Temple, example of a "pitha deula" (the larger tower behind has fallen down).

It is a square building, typically with a pyramid-shaped roof, rather like the vimana towers over the sanctuaries of temples in southern Dravidian architecture. For the halls or service rooms of the temple. Examples

Khakhara deula[edit]

Baitala Deula example of a "khakara deula".

Khakara deula is a rectangular building with a truncated pyramid-shaped roof, like the gopuras. The name comes from Khakharu (=canteen (bottle)) because of the shape of the roof. The temples of the feminine deities as Shakti are temple of that type. Examples :


  1. ^ "Architecture on the Indian Subcontinent - Glossary". Retrieved 26 January 2007.
  2. ^ p. 45-47

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