Mandapam

« Back to Glossary Index

is an architectural term referring to a pillared hall in temples, with “thousands of pillars” often ornamented and carved. The sacred dances were held in the center of the building. It is an open room for meditation where the faithful can commune with the divine before performing a pūjā at the sanctuary. The mandapa is a hypostyle hall in temples in India that is often highly developed (mandapa of 100 pillars, mandapa of pillars 1000, actually their number is lower obviously), the pillars are often highly decorated and display carved representations of gods and goddesses, various characters and mythical animals. The mandapa comes before the entrance of the ardha-mandapa (ardha means half), and ardba-mandapa precedes the small vestibule giving access to the garbhagriha , the innermost holy sanctuary of the temple, accessing this part of the temple is generally prohibited.

« Back to Glossary Index